Is it good to blend oranges?

Oranges are one of the most popular fruits around the world. Known for their sweet, tangy flavor and wealth of nutrients, oranges make a refreshing snack or addition to many recipes. Some people enjoy eating oranges whole and segmented, while others prefer them juiced or blended into smoothies and other drinks.

Blending oranges into smoothies, juices, and other blended drinks has become an increasingly popular preparation method. Proponents claim that blending oranges helps release more of their nutrients. However, some argue that blending removes valuable fiber and may degrade certain nutrients.

This article reviews the benefits and downsides of blending oranges to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Nutrition profile of oranges

Oranges are low in calories yet packed with important vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. One medium orange (131 grams) contains approximately:

  • Calories: 80
  • Carbs: 19 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 70% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Thiamine: 11% of the DV
  • Folate: 11% of the DV
  • Potassium: 10% of the DV
  • Antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavanones

Oranges are perhaps best known for their impressive vitamin C content. Just one orange supplies over 100% of the recommended daily intake. They’re also an excellent source of thiamine, folate, and potassium.

Additionally, oranges contain disease-fighting antioxidants like anthocyanins in red and purple varieties and flavanones such as hesperidin and naringenin, which have been shown to reduce inflammation.

Benefits of blending oranges

Blending oranges into smoothies, juices, and other blended drinks has become popular due to purported benefits like:

Increased nutrient release

Some claim that blending oranges helps break down their cell structure, releasing more nutrients like vitamin C. However, research shows this isn’t entirely accurate.

One study found that blending oranges until smooth increased vitamin C extractability by nearly 15%. However, extended blending for up to 5 minutes did not improve nutrient release.

Blending briefly helps make some nutrients more bioaccessible but extensive blending can actually degrade heat-sensitive vitamins like vitamin C.

Easier digestion

Blending oranges makes them easier to digest, especially for those who have difficulty eating whole fruits and vegetables. The mechanical breakdown makes their nutrients more accessible for absorption.

Those with gastrointestinal conditions like acid reflux may also tolerate blended oranges better since they have less insoluble fiber.

Greater convenience

Preparing whole oranges can be time consuming. You have to wash, peel, and segment them. Blending streamlines this process, making it much easier to consume oranges on-the-go.

Blending with other fruits and vegetables also allows you to enjoy oranges in fun, unique combinations. You can create a wider variety of orange-based drinks and smoothies.

Increased intake

Blending oranges makes it easier to consume larger quantities, especially if you struggle eating whole fruits and vegetables.

One study in overweight and obese adults found that consuming blended beverages containing fruits and vegetables increased overall intake of fruits and veggies compared to eating them whole.

Downsides of blending oranges

Despite some benefits, blending oranges also has downsides:

Decreased fiber content

Oranges’ soluble fiber helps slow digestion, stabilize blood sugar levels, and promote gut health. However, blending them removes the insoluble fiber from their pulp and skin.

One study found that while blending fruits increased their nutrient bioaccessibility, it decreased insoluble fiber content by over 50%. Thus, blending may reduce some of oranges’ gut-healthy fiber.

Potential nutrient loss

While short blending times help release some nutrients, extended blending can degrade others. Vitamin C is very sensitive to heat, light, and air exposure. Blending for too long may destroy some of oranges’ vitamin C.

One study found that a blended orange juice lost nearly 14% of its vitamin C content after 1 week of refrigeration compared to freshly squeezed juice.

Higher calorie intake

It’s easy to consume more calories from blended oranges since they lack the fiber and bulk of whole oranges that fills you up. Drinking just 1 cup (250 ml) of orange juice contains 112 calories — the equivalent of over 2 whole oranges.

Consuming orange smoothies and juices in excess can lead to unwanted weight gain if you’re not mindful of portions.

Potential contamination

Improper cleaning of blenders and juicers can introduce harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli into your drinks. Be sure to thoroughly wash produce and equipment.

Also, concentrates from spoiled oranges can accumulate in blenders and juicers. Promptly and properly cleaning equipment reduces this risk.

Smoothies vs. juice

There are some differences between blending oranges into smoothies versus juicing them:


  • Contain all parts of the fruit, including fiber-rich pulp
  • Lower risk of nutrient degradation from heat and oxygen
  • Require chewing and have more bulk, which slows intake
  • Higher in calories but more filling


  • Contain only the liquid pulp, lacking insoluble fiber
  • At higher risk of vitamin and antioxidant loss
  • Easier to consume quickly since they lack fiber and bulk
  • Lower in calories but less satiating

Both smoothies and juices have pros and cons. For better fiber retention and fullness, orange smoothies may be slightly better.

Best practices for blending oranges

Follow these tips to retain the most nutrients when blending oranges:

  • Wash oranges thoroughly before peeling.
  • Peel oranges first to retain fiber and nutrients in the pulp.
  • Cut oranges into smaller pieces to blend more smoothly.
  • Blend on low speeds to minimize nutrient damage from heat.
  • Blend only until smooth, not extensively.
  • Consume blended drinks immediately.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Clean your blender thoroughly after each use.

The bottom line

Blending oranges makes it easier to consume higher amounts and access some nutrients. However, extended blending can remove fiber and degrade vitamins.

Blending briefly until smooth strikes a good balance. But try to still eat whole oranges often for maximum fiber, bulk, and nutrient retention.

Overall, incorporating some blended orange smoothies and juices into a balanced diet can be healthy, as long as you’re mindful of portions and preparation methods.

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