10 Health Facts About Blood Oranges

10 Health Facts About Blood Oranges

Blood Orange – Why They Are So Blood Good For You.????


Everyone has heard of the health benefits of citrus, particularly oranges. Same with berries. What are often overlooked is the blood orange. Whilst you could hardly call them a humble fruit, the key difference between a blood orange and a regular orange is the presence of a raft of phenolic compounds but principally the presence of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are what makes blueberries blue and raspberries red. They are not present in other citrus, just blood oranges.

It’s the anthocyanins that bestow the added health benefits to blood oranges that regular oranges do not have. In addition, blood oranges have the full profile of polyphenols and carotenoid molecules that are found in regular oranges that berries do not have.

Len Mancini says:

“It’s like having the benefits of two of the most nutritious fruits in one. Benefits of the berries and the benefits of citrus. What one fruit has these properties, none! The blood orange is unique.”

Redbelly Citrus and Kathleen Alleaume collaborated in 2017 to produce a Blood Orange Health Report that examined all of the current scientific knowledge surrounding blood oranges and their role in health.

Kathleen Alleaume:

“The anthocyanins in blood oranges have been associated with improved cardiovascular health, protection from UV cell damage and improvements in metabolic disease including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver and obesity.

“As a bonus, blood oranges also represent an economical way to get anthocyanin phytonutrients into your diet. Berries can be very expensive.

“Nutrition wise this cocktail of phenolic compounds make blood oranges unique amongst citrus varieties.  They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C with one blood orange providing the daily recommended intake, and are also a source of fibre, vitamin A , folate and potassium.”

Riverina Blood Orange growers, Redbelly Citrus, have coined the term “VitaminRED®” to refer to the unique combination of phenolics which are responsible for the power of the blood orange and its ability to change the way in which the body metabolises food.

10 Health Facts about blood oranges:

  1. Blood oranges have anthocyanins in them, the same compounds that make blueberries blue and raspberries red, that makes them unique in the citrus world;

  2. Blood oranges still have all of the compounds of regular oranges that give regular oranges their health benefits. For example they have all of the hesperidin and other flavonoids that regular oranges have and which make them very good for your eyes as recently reported in a recent scientific publication that was widely publicised in recent times[1].

  3. The red coloured anthocyanins in blood oranges have been dubbed “VitaminRed” based on all the evidence of their health function and other studies involving anthocyanins from other sources. “Red really is the new Green”.

  4. Blood oranges have been shown to improve cardiovascular health, protect from UV damage and other sources of free radicals including pollution, certain recreational activities and physical exercise – mainly through their action as potent antioxidants.
  5. The anthocyanins in blood oranges are 3X as potent as Vitamin C or Vitamin E. One blood orange has the equivalent antioxidant quenching capacity of 2kg of navel oranges.

  6. Blood oranges have less sugar than navel oranges (7g/100g vs around 9g/100g). Consuming one 200ml glass of blood orange juice from the juice of 2.5 blood oranges (containing 14g of sugar) is equivalent in antioxidant capacity to consuming 2L of navel juice which would have 90g of sugar.
  7. Blood oranges have been shown to be beneficial in metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, insulin sensitivity and obesity where the compounds in blood oranges were demonstrated to affect the expression of DNA and the alteration of metabolic pathways that determine the fate of digested carbohydrates and fats. Put basically, blood orange components reprogrammed the metabolism to that of a healthy individual with a healthy diet.

  8. In a human study which involved consuming 750mls of blood orange juice a day, the people on the blood orange juice did not gain any weight when combined with a normal diet[2]. In mice studies, comparing groups of mice on a high fat diet – one with unlimited water, one with unlimited navel juice and one with unlimited blood orange juice – only the blood orange juice group did not become obese and even the navel juice group put on less weight than the water only juice.

  9. The phenolic compounds in blood oranges and berries can be incorporated into diets in an economical way by consuming them via blood orange consumption. Berries and other similar fruits such as pomegranates are often much more expensive to obtain a gram of polyphenols from, than blood oranges.


  1. They are BLOODY good for you.

[1] Dietary flavonoids and the prevalence and 15-y incidence of age-related macular degeneration, Bamini Gopinath  Gerald Liew  Annette Kifley  Victoria M Flood  Nichole Joachim  Joshua R Lewis Jonathan M Hodgson  Paul Mitchell, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 06 July 2018

[2] Red-fleshed sweet orange juice improves the risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Silveira JQ, Dourado GK, Cesar TB. International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition. 2015; 66(7):830-6.

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