Clementines are a type of mandarin. These bright orange citrus fruits have a sweet flavor and are easy to peel, making them a tasty and convenient snack.

Like other citrus fruits, clementines are also a good source of nutrients, such as vitamin C and potassium.

Continue reading to find out more about the nutritional information and health benefits of clementines, as well as some of the potential risks of consuming these fruits.

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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) FoodData Central, one raw clementine contains the following nutrients:

Some potential health benefits of clementines and other citrus fruits are outlined below.

Flavonoids

Clementines and other citrus fruits contain natural plant chemicals called flavonoids, which help regulate the growth of the plant and protect it from pathogens and disease, 2018 research explains. Mandarin fruits, like clementines, have the highest content of flavonoids, compared with other citrus fruits, according to a 2019 review.

Research suggests that flavonoids also play a beneficial role in human health. Per the 2019 review, citrus flavonoids possess the following health-promoting properties:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties: The flavonoids in citrus fruits influence the metabolism of arachidonic acid and histamine, both of which are involved in the body’s inflammatory response.
  • Anticancer properties: Citrus flavonoids may help protect against tumor growth.
  • Cardiovascular protective properties: Citrus flavonoids help stop red blood cells from clumping together, reducing the risk of blood clots. Citrus juice also contains high levels of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which may help manage high cholesterol levels, further protecting against cardiovascular disease.
  • Antiallergic activity: Some citrus flavonoids show anti-allergic properties.
  • Antidepressant properties: Citrus fruits contain the flavonoid apigenin, which appears to alleviate behavioral signs of depression in animal models of depression, according to a 2019 study.

Carotenoids

Carotenoids are pigments that exist in certain plants, bacteria, and algae. They give these organisms their bright yellow, orange, or red coloring.

Clementines and other mandarin fruits are rich in provitamin A carotenoids, which the body converts into vitamin A, explains the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH also notes that vitamin A is involved in the following body processes:

Vitamin C

Clementines are a rich source of vitamin C. The human body is unable to make vitamin C, so a person must get this vitamin from their diet.

According to the NIH, vitamin C is important for the following:

  • Immune functioning: Vitamin C helps the immune system destroy infectious microbes while limiting damage to the body’s tissues.
  • Wound healing: Vitamin C helps with wound healing because the body needs it to make the connective tissue collagen, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.
  • Neurotransmitter production: Vitamin C helps regulate the production of certain neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine.
  • Iron absorption: Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron from plant-based foods.

Mucilage

Mucilage is a gelatinous substance that exists in the peel, seed, and pulp of citrus fruits. It is a rich source of dietary fiber.

A 2020 review outlines the following health benefits of dietary fiber:

Essential oil

According to a 2019 review of the health benefits of citrus fruits, citrus essential oils possess antimicrobial properties.

A 2018 study investigated the antimicrobial activity of clementine peel essential oil on wound healing in skin cells in the lab. The researchers found that the clementine essential oil demonstrated potent antimicrobial activity, particularly against the yeast Candida albicans.

The researchers concluded that clementine essential oil may be a useful ingredient in skin care and wound-healing products.

Certain individuals may need to take caution when consuming clementines and other citrus fruits.

A 2016 study notes that clementines, grapefruit, and some other citrus fruits contain enzymes that can interact with certain medications. An older 2013 review notes that these enzymes can interact with more than 85 drugs and that more than 40 of these interactions can cause serious adverse effects.

Some types of medication that can interact with these citrus enzymes include:

  • immunosuppressants
  • heart medications
  • cancer medications

Serious adverse effects, per the 2013 review, can include:

A person who is taking medication should ask their doctor or pharmacist whether they can safely consume citrus fruits.

Ripe clementines are bright orange and have a strong citrus aroma. They should have soft, thin skin that is easy to peel.

A person can enjoy clementines as a whole fruit snack, or they can add the fruits to sweet or savory dishes.

Clementines are a type of citrus fruit. They are rich in various vitamins and minerals that are vital to health.

Clementines are also a source of flavonoids. Research suggests that these plant chemicals may have various health-promoting properties, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and cardioprotective properties.

Certain people should take caution when consuming clementines. The fruit contains enzymes that may negatively interact with some medications. A person who is taking medication can ask their doctor or pharmacist whether it is safe for them to eat citrus fruits.