Calcium In Oranges Vs Milk


In this article I will look at oranges vs milk and calcium. Then I will examine the benefits of calcium in our bodies and then finally consider the most common myths about calcium. Many foods contain calcium, and you’ve probably been told your whole life that milk is the best place to get your daily dose. But what about everything else? Oranges have over double the amount of calcium as a serving of milk, but most people don’t think twice about the calcium in oranges. This article will discuss the benefits of each and help you determine which one is better for you.

Calcium In Oranges Vs Milk

Oranges growing on tree
Image Credit: TongRo Images/TongRo Images/Getty Images

An orange is a fruit of various citrus species in the family Rutaceae (see list of plants known as orange); it primarily refers to Citrus × sinensis, which is also called sweet orange, to distinguish it from the related Citrus × aurantium, referred to as bitter orange. The sweet orange reproduces asexually (apomixis through nucellar embryony); varieties of sweet orange arise through mutations.

The orange is a hybrid between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata). The chloroplast genome, and therefore the maternal line, is that of pomelo. The sweet orange has had its full genome sequenced.

The orange originated in a region encompassing Southern China, Northeast India, and Myanmar,[8][9] and the earliest mention of the sweet orange was in Chinese literature in 314 BC. As of 1987, orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Orange trees are widely grown in tropical and subtropical climates for their sweet fruit. The fruit of the orange tree can be eaten fresh, or processed for its juice or fragrant peel. As of 2012, sweet oranges accounted for approximately 70% of citrus production.

If you’re looking for non-dairy sources of calcium due to lactose intolerance, dietary restrictions or personal preferences, you can find this essential mineral in many plant-based foods. Dark green vegetables, calcium-fortified tofu, wheat bread and corn or flour tortillas offer calcium, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, or ODS. Although whole oranges offer fiber, vitamin C and potassium, they aren’t particularly high in calcium. If you enjoy the taste of oranges, you can meet or exceed your daily requirements for calcium with fortified orange juice.


Oranges, whose flavor may vary from sweet to sour, are commonly peeled and eaten fresh or squeezed for juice. The thick bitter rind is usually discarded, but can be processed into animal feed by desiccation, using pressure and heat. It also is used in certain recipes as a food flavoring or garnish. The outermost layer of the rind can be thinly grated with a zester to produce orange zest. Zest is popular in cooking because it contains oils and has a strong flavor similar to that of the orange pulp. The white part of the rind, including the pith, is a source of pectin and has nearly the same amount of vitamin C as the flesh and other nutrients.

Although not as juicy or tasty as the flesh, orange peel is edible and has significant contents of vitamin C, dietary fiber, total polyphenols, carotenoids, limonene and dietary minerals, such as potassium and magnesium.

Orange juice is obtained by squeezing the fruit on a special tool (a juicer or squeezer) and collecting the juice in a tray underneath. This can be made at home or, on a much larger scale, industrially. Brazil is the largest producer of orange juice in the world, followed by the United States, where it is one of the commodities traded on the New York Board of Trade. Frozen orange juice concentrate is made from freshly squeezed and filtered orange juice.

Sweet orange oil is a by-product of the juice industry produced by pressing the peel. It is used for flavoring food and drinks and also in the perfume industry and aromatherapy for its fragrance. Sweet orange oil consists of approximately 90% D-limonene, a solvent used in various household chemicals, such as wood conditioners for furniture and—along with other citrus oils—detergents and hand cleansers. It is an efficient cleaning agent with a pleasant smell, promoted for being environmentally friendly and therefore, preferable to petrochemicals. D-limonene is, however, classified as irritating to the skin and as very toxic to aquatic life in different countries.[85][86]

Marmalade preserves are traditionally made with Seville oranges, which are less sweet. All parts of the fruit are used: the pith and pips (separated and placed in a muslin bag) are boiled in a mixture of juice, slivered peel, sliced-up flesh, sugar, and water to extract their pectin, which helps the conserve to set.


Production of oranges – 2019
Country Production (millions of tonnes)
 Brazil 17.1
 China 10.4
 India 9.5
 United States 4.8
 Mexico 4.7
 Spain 3.2
 Egypt 3.2
World 78.7
Source: FAOSTAT of the United Nations[13]

In 2019, world production of oranges was 79 million tonnes, led by Brazil with 22% of the total, followed by China, India, the United States, and Mexico as other major producers (table).

In the United States, groves are located mainly in Florida, California, and Texas.[80] The majority of California’s crop is sold as fresh fruit, whereas Florida’s oranges are destined to juice products. The Indian River area of Florida is known for the high quality of its juice, which often is sold fresh in the United States and frequently blended with juice produced in other regions because Indian River trees yield very sweet oranges, but in relatively small quantities.[81]

Orange juice is traded internationally as frozen, concentrated orange juice to reduce the volume used so that storage and transportation costs are lower.[82]

Calcium Content

Calcium provides structural material for your bones and teeth. Your nerves, muscles and blood vessels require calcium to function normally. One cup of raw navel orange sections offers 71 mg of calcium, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA. This amount represents 7 percent of the daily value, or DV, for calcium, or the amount that a healthy person consuming a 2,000-calorie diet requires daily. Whole oranges fulfill only a small percentage of your daily requirement for this essential mineral. The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for calcium is 1,000 mg for males and females ages 19 through 50. The RDA for males over 50 is 1,000 mg per day, and the RDA for women over 50 increases to 1,200 mg per day.

Fortified Juice

According to the USDA, 1 cup of orange juice fortified with calcium provides 500 mg, or 50 percent of the DV. In a study published in the December 2002 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” authors Ligia Martini and Richard J. Wood compared the absorption of calcium from calcium-fortified orange juice, calcium carbonate supplements and milk in a group of elderly adults. Blood tests showed that the study participants absorbed as much calcium from fortified orange juice as they did from calcium supplements or milk.

Vitamin D

Some brands of orange juice are fortified with both calcium and vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that allows your body to absorb calcium. This combination of nutrients makes fortified orange juice a healthy alternative to milk or cheese fortified with vitamin D. According to the USDA, 1 cup of orange juice fortified with vitamin D offers 137 IU, or international units, of this vitamin, which is 34 percent of the DV.

Additional Nutrients

Both oranges and orange juice are naturally rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin that strengthens immunity and may counteract the cellular damage that can lead to premature aging or cancer. One cup of orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D also contains 84 mg of vitamin C, or 140 percent of the DV for this nutrient. One cup of fresh orange sections provides 98 mg of vitamin C, or 163 percent of the DV. Oranges and orange juice also provide potassium and vitamin A. Whole oranges are a good source of fiber, giving you 4 mg of fiber in each cup of raw orange segments, according to the USDA.

01/6Breakfast Blues: Orange Juice Or Milk?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is the time your body completely utilizes whatever food you consume and give you energy for the day. It also breaks your eight-hour fast (while you were sleeping) and hence your cells need fuel to recharge for the coming day. It is essential to eat nutrient-dense food in the morning. A dilemma we have all faced when it comes to breakfast is what drink should we begin our day with, vitamin C enriched orange juice or calcium loaded milk? Here is what science has to say

02/6​Orange Juice

ORANGE JUICE: Orange juice is an excellent source of antioxidants which helps our body stay disease-free. Packed with vitamin C, orange juice protects the body from issues like air pollution, harmful UV rays and dangerous environmental pollutants like lead. One glass every day can fulfil your entire day’s vitamin C requirement.


DISADVANTGES: Orange juice usually comes in packeted form. This means that even though it does not include hidden sugars, it is still old. If we talk about fresh orange juice, when we juice an orange, we deplete a major amount of nutrient layer from it. Therefore, even though we do have a freshly squeezed glass, it is mostly water. Thirdly, if you believe in buying orange off the shelf, chances are it may contain taste enhancers to get rid of the bitterness in natural orange juice. Studies have also shown that orange juice is bad for teeth enamel and can ruin it permanently.


MILK: Nature’s purest form of calcium is packed in milk. Numerous studies have confirmed its many benefits which include not only calcium but also protein, vitamin B 12, healthy fats to name a few. Traditionally milk has been considered equal to an entire meal due to its countless benefits which promote a healthy active body.


DISADVANTAGES: Milk contains saturated fats which can lead to cardiovascular diseases and even obesity. Other than this, injecting poultry animals with hormones to get more milk is a common practice now and indirectly enters our food chain as well. Until and unless you are sure of the quality of the milk you are consuming, overloading your day with milk can hurt you in the long run.

06/6​Orange Juice Vs Milk

ORANGE JUICE VS MILK: In this debate, milk wins. This is because firstly, milk is full of calcium and hence strengthen your teeth. Orange juice, as mentioned before, can ruin your enamel. Secondly, milk fills you up more than a glass orange juice due to the amount of satisfactory protein in it. A healthy protein can help you binge less on unhealthy snacks through the day. Thirdly, milk will help you break your eight-hour fast better than orange juice.

Having said that, orange juice is not a bad choice as long as you don’t solely depend on it. Having orange juice first thing in the morning followed by a healthy breakfast in an hours’ time which includes milk can help you have best of both worlds.

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