Karen Collins, MS, RDN, CDN
American Institute for Cancer Research
Q: Do mandarin oranges provide the same nutrients as other oranges?
A: Nutrient content is similar, but there are differences. Like other oranges, mandarin oranges are excellent sources of vitamin C, although not as high in this valuable nutrient as navel oranges, even comparing equal portions. However, mandarins provide greater amounts of two antioxidant phytochemicals: beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Many people think of mandarin oranges only as canned fruit. Actually, fresh mandarins include Satsumas, Clementines and a wide variety of tangerines. Most are sweeter than other citrus fruits, and they have a bright orange, convenient to peel skin and easily divided inner sections. That makes these small beauties perfect for packing in lunches or on-the-go snacks. If you use canned mandarin oranges, choose juice-packed versions instead of those in light syrup in order to minimize added calories and maximize vitamin C.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $96 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.