Apples and oranges are two of the most common fruits at grocery stores, but which one delivers the most nutrition? Let’s compare apples to oranges and find out which is healthier.
You’ve probably heard that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but did you know that old saying actually comes from an ad campaign? Before prohibition in the United States, apples were mainly used to make hard apple cider. When the cider market dried up during the 1920s, apple growers had to find another way to sell their fruit, so they marketed apples for their health benefits.
Oranges didn’t have to totally reinvent themselves like apples did, but there has definitely been a strong marketing push by orange growers to highlight them as a healthy way to start the day.
So, how healthy are apples and oranges? Let’s look at a one-cup serving of each and find out!
A cup of apples contains 65 calories and 13 grams of sugar. That’s a lot of sugar per serving, but like most fruits, apples balance out that high sugar content with a healthy dose of fiber, which helps your body process that sugar. That same cup of apples gives you 17 percent of your daily fiber needs.
Oranges get a lot of cred for having vitamin C, but you actually can get this antioxidant from other fruits and vegetables, including apples. A cup of apple slices gives you 10 percent of your daily vitamin C. It also contains five percent of your calcium. When it comes to other vitamins and minerals, like vitamin K, potassium and B vitamins, apples don’t contain much—between one and four percent.
You might be surprised to learn that apples also contain one percent of your daily protein.
A cup of orange sections gives you slightly more calories and sugar than that cup of apples: 85 calories and 17 grams of sugar. Like apples, the high sugar content is balanced out with fiber. Oranges come out ahead in the fiber department, giving you 17 percent of your fiber, compared to an apple’s 12 percent.
Vitamins and minerals are where oranges are the clear winner. In a one cup serving, oranges contain 160 percent of your vitamin C and seven percent of your calcium. They’ve also got almost twice as much potassium and riboflavin, 1.7 times more vitamin B6 and 14 times more folate.
If you were surprised that a cup of apple slices had protein, you’ll be even more shocked to learn that oranges give you three times more protein per cup. That single cup has three percent of your daily protein. That’s nothing to sneeze at!
APPLES VS. ORANGES
In this side-by-side, there is a clear winner: oranges beat apples by a mile. That doesn’t mean that apples can’t be part of a healthy diet. But if you’re grabbing a piece of fruit on the go and want it to pack the most nutritional punch, definitely reach for an orange.