Calcium Content in Citrus Fruits

Written by scott allan
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Calcium Content in Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits contain varying amounts of calcium. (American Images Inc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Citrus fruits typically have a sweet odour and sharp flavour due to their citric acid. Citrus can make a good snack, either raw or in juice form, and can complement a variety of dishes. Many citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, contain high levels of important dietary nutrients. Though citrus fruits do not have high levels of calcium relative to other foods, most have small to moderate amounts of the mineral.

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Calcium Benefits

Your body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth and to assist with basic muscle and nerve functioning. Sufficient calcium intake may also lower blood pressure. Not getting enough calcium over a period of several years can cause osteoporosis, a condition that causes weak and brittle bones. Most adults should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, while those older than 50 need about 1,200mg daily, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Citrus Types

Citrus fruits usually grow in warm climates. Florida produces about 65 percent of the citrus grown in the U.S., while California contributes another 31 percent, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Texas and Arizona produce most of the remaining 4 percent. The list of citrus fruits grown in the U.S. includes oranges, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines and tangelos. Other citrus fruits grown around the world include the lime, clementine, kumquat, citron and pomelo.

Oranges

Oranges rank as one of the most calcium-rich citrus fruits. Each fresh orange contains 52mg of calcium, or about 5 percent of the recommended daily intake for an adult, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Most canned and concentrated orange juices contain about 25mg of calcium per cup, but calcium-fortified orange juice can contain 300mg per 235ml (8 fluid ounces) serving, or 30 percent of your daily need.

Other Citrus

According to the USDA, one tangerine offers 31mg, while a clementine has 22mg. A full pink or red grapefruit contains 54mg of calcium while a white grapefruit offers 28mg, though an entire grapefruit represents double the standard serving size. A lime has 22mg and a lemon 15mg, while one cup of lime juice has 30mg and a cup of lemon juice has 27mg. The kumquat, a small fruit weighing just 19 grams, provides a large amount of calcium for its size, with 12mg.

Comparison

Few other fruits have as much calcium as an orange or grapefruit. A papaya exceeds both with 61mg while a cup of blackberries comes close with 42mg. A cup of strawberries ranks between a tangerine and a clementine with 27mg of calcium. Fruits with less calcium than most citrus fruits include a cup of blackberries with 9mg, an apple with 8mg and a banana with 6mg.

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