Oranges are one of the most nutritionally dense fruits that are available all year round. They’re highly versatile, as you can drink their juice, jam them up, or flavor pies, ice creams, cakes, and hundreds of desserts. Lastly, their peels have more uses than you’d ever think!
We’ve gathered below a bunch of interesting Orange facts for kids that will have you thinking differently about this delicious and healthy fruit. From their nutritional value to where they come from, there’s plenty to learn about this delicious fruit. So read on and find out more!
1. The fruit orange was named before the color
Have you ever wondered what was named first: orange the fruit or orange the color?
The fruit is the winner by a long shot, as it was named way back in the 1300s. On the other hand, the color orange was named in the early 1500s, after the fruit was largely available in the markets.
Before the 1500s, the color orange was simply called yellow-red.
2. The word orange has no true rhyme in the English language
Did you know that there’s literally no word in the English language that rhymes with the word orange? It’s true! Although words like lozenge and hinge are half-rhymes, there’s no word that rhymes with orange perfectly. But there’s no need to be too surprised: at least 80 words don’t have a perfect rhyme, like bulb, sixth, and nothing.
3. Oranges are a hybrid fruit!
If we were to tell you that the oranges you love have one dark secret, what would you guess it to be?
Whatever you’re guessing, the truth is much more surprising: oranges are not true fruits but hybrids of two different fruits!
Their genomic analysis shows that sweet oranges contain about 42% pomelo and 58% mandarin, two of the three primary citrus fruits.
4. Botanically, oranges are classified as a type of berry
Yes, you read that right. We know what you’re thinking: first bananas, now oranges? Looks like botany is poaching all our beloved fruits! We’re feeling just as indignant as you are, but it looks like botany is correct on this one.
Oranges are a subtype of berries, hesperidium. Like the berries of that family, all oranges have three fleshy layers, more than two seeds, and grow from a flower. We’d also like to add that just like berries, oranges are a great addition to cakes!
5. There are around 600 varieties of oranges worldwide
How many orange varieties are there in the world? We can’t tell for sure, but the number is surely more than 600!
There are mainly two types of oranges: sweet and sour. The oranges on your dining table are most probably Valencia, Navel, or Blood Oranges, which are all sweet.
Sour oranges are rarely eaten as fresh fruits. Instead, they’re used in marmalades, pies, flavorings, candied fruits, and certain liqueurs.
6. Oranges aren’t always orange
How ironic would it be if oranges weren’t orange in color?
Valencia oranges are commonly found in most countries and retain their green color even when fully ripe! Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean they are sour. If anything, they’re mostly sweeter than the bright orange oranges.
They’re green in color because Valencia oranges are the only oranges to grow during the warmer season. The extended exposure to direct sunlight triggers the production of chlorophyll, the green pigment in their peels to protect the inner fruit.
7. Oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the world!
Oranges are one of the world’s top 5 most popular fruits in terms of production and consumption. In the year 2020, the worldwide production of oranges was estimated to be just a little over 79 million metric tons! Although fresh consumption is highly recommended, orange juice and marmalade are also widely consumed worldwide.
8. Brazil is the leading producer of oranges around the world
You can say that Brazil is just one giant orange warehouse, as the country produced 16.52 million metric tons of oranges in 2022! That is more than 30% of the world’s total orange production.
Sao Paulo is located close to the Citric Belt region in Brazil and contributes about 78% of Brazil’s total orange production. Besides being the largest producer, Brazil is also the largest consumer of oranges worldwide. In 2021, the country’s orange consumption was almost 4.8 million metric tons!
9. Orange juice is the most popular juice in the world
Who knew our dear ol’ OJ was so popular? Orange juice is the most popular juice worldwide and is also a breakfast staple in millions of households.
There are many valid reasons behind their popularity. Oranges are easy to obtain, as different types are harvested every season. There are also more than a hundred alternative flavors to choose from in the market, so there’s something for everyone.
Last but not least, their vitamin C content makes them the ideal choice for a fulfilling breakfast.
10. California produces the most oranges in the United States
Florida seems to have lost its title of the Biggest Producer of Oranges in the United States, as it was dethroned by California. In 2021, California contributed about 54% of the total orange production in the United States, closely followed by Florida at 42%.
11. Oranges are highly beneficial for your health
Oranges can be unbelievably good for those fortunate enough to afford them. If you’re one of those people, remember always to utilize it.
For starters, oranges might reduce the risk of several types of cancers, including mouth, lung, stomach, neck, and head cancer. They also provide immunity against anemia and scurvy. They promote overall heart health and functioning and might support your immune health.
12. Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C
You might already know this, but oranges are rich in Vitamin C, an essential component of a healthy diet. It is especially important because humans cannot create this vitamin inside their bodies, so we’re dependent on external sources for it.
A medium-sized orange can significantly fulfill the Daily Recommended Intake, which is also why orange juice is an essential breakfast component in households around the world.
13. Orange juice is a great substitute for sports drinks
Hydration is extremely important for our bodily functions, especially if you have an active lifestyle. Hydrating fluids are essential for muscle growth, maintenance, digestion, and energy.
If you consume energy or sports drinks daily, you might be aware that their nutritional value is negligible; all they contain are electrolytes to compensate for energy loss.
If you want to switch to a healthier alternative, orange juice is right up your alley. It’s perfect for rehydration, as it’s made up of almost 80% water and contains other nutrients like protein and Vitamin C.
14. The fiber content of oranges is over the charts!
Do you know why most people prefer to eat cereal for breakfast? Yes, it’s a quick fix, but that’s not all. Breakfast cereals contain fiber, which aids digestion and helps control binge eating.
However, cereal is still highly processed, isn’t it? Well, guess which fiber-rich food isn’t: oranges. In fact, one medium-sized orange contains about the same amount of fiber as seven cups of cornflakes, so make your choice!
15. Oranges have pleasant psychological effects
Besides their nutritional value, oranges also have a pleasant effect on our minds.
Whenever we see the color red, it triggers alertness and sharpness in our brains, while the colors blue and green feel cold. However, orange makes our brains remember warmth, happiness, and brightness.
Citrus fruits also contain volatile essential oils, which alleviate stress and nervousness.
16. Orange trees remain evergreen throughout the year
It’s true; orange trees keep most of their leaves all year round without shedding, as they are evergreen shrubs.
However, this doesn’t mean you can expect oranges for the whole year. We know it’s a bit unfair, but oranges have their cultivation cycle to follow. If you want a citrus tree that gives you something all year round, you can go for lemon trees instead.
17. Most oranges are handpicked
Do you know that there’s a good chance someone has handpicked the oranges at your home?
Although machines like canopy shakers can get the work done much quicker, there is a risk of the delicate fruits or trees being harmed.
Moreover, many farmers believe it’s traditional to handpick the oranges they’ve grown with love and care.
18. Oranges are originally Asian fruits
Even though Brazil is the largest producer of oranges worldwide, it’s not where oranges originated.
In fact, it’s not even close; oranges first grew in south-eastern Asia, mainly China. From there, they spread to Malaysia and India, and the explorers from the Age of Discovery (16th -18th century) took it around the world on their travels.
19. Oranges were the best Christmas present in the 1920s!
You might be aware of The Great Economic Depression (1929-1939) in the United States. Hundreds of people were slowly heading towards starvation because of the large, seemingly endless economic instability, especially in the cold regions.
At that time, orange was not something one had to eat for good health; it was a luxury not many could afford. This is why people started gifting fresh fruits to each other; it was unique and special because of their rarity and purity.
This tradition is still prevalent in many homes in the US, where people put fruits in their families’ stockings to honor the hardships faced by their great-great-grandfathers.
20. Oranges were a sailor’s best friend in the 16th century
Oranges have uncountable health benefits, but did you know that they also give immunity from a disease called scurvy when consumed regularly? The sailors in the 1500s-1700s were plagued with this disease when they came across oranges in south Asia.
Not only did they take surplus oranges home with them, but they also planted orange trees along the common trade routes. This was one of the major factors that helped in the worldwide introduction of this fruit.
21. Oranges are really acidic
Although you might not feel it while eating oranges, they’re quite acidic. A single orange is about ten thousand times more acidic than the pH of human blood! However, it’s still not as acidic as lemon juice, so there’s that, right?
Don’t worry; you can still have your orange juice in the morning and a couple of segments later in the day without any problems.
22. Oranges grow from beautiful white flowers!
Like many other fruits, oranges grow from flowers called Orange Blooms. You might’ve seen these flowers; they start developing in the winter and fully bloom in April.
There are way more orange blooms than there are oranges, as 99% of them fall without setting fruit! So, next time you see this pretty white flower on an orange tree, don’t hesitate to pluck and show it to your friends; the tree has enough of them.
23. Orange blossoms are the state flowers of Florida
If you live in Florida, you must already know that orange blossoms are its state flowers.
Not only are these flowers highly fragrant, but they are also traditionally associated with good fortune. This is the reason why you might’ve seen them on wedding cakes and bridal wreaths.
Moreover, they are also quite apt as state flowers of Florida, seeing the history of orange growth and production in the state over the years.
24. Dried orange leaves and flowers are used in tea!
Every part of the orange has several purposes, which just goes on to show how sustainable the orange tree is. The peels of the Bergamot Oranges are dried and added to the black tea leaves of the famous Earl Gray tea as they add more flavor to it.
Orange blossoms are also believed to have a calming effect on our minds and body. You can make a simple herbal tea in the evenings by adding dried orange blossoms to a cup of boiling water for ten minutes. Filter the tea, and it’s ready to drink.
Don’t worry; dried orange flowers are always available at even the most basic herb shops.
25. Orange peels can give you a clearer and oil-free skin
If you’ve got oily skin and are tired of it, then oranges are the best all-natural solution!
Orange peels have cleansing and healing antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, which work quite well against acne and pimples. Moreover, they are also known to control sebum production, which reduces the excessive natural oils on your face.
Dried orange peels can also be used as a natural exfoliator! It will clear out blackheads and dead cells and can unclog your skin pores.
26. The peels of oranges are great pest-repellants
Besides using orange leaves and flowers in tea, you can also use their peels for more than a few purposes. For instance, they’re known to be great at repelling pests of all kinds; slugs, mosquitoes, ants, and stray cats. Just place the peels in the affected areas and see your problems disappear!
For the mosquitoes, rub a few fresh orange peels on your arms and legs. Don’t they smell better than Aeroguard?
27. Orange peels can work as fertilizers
If you throw away your orange peels, stop immediately because your garden loves them! Orange peels can work as great fertilizers and composting catalysts.
Place a few finely chopped orange peels at the base of your plants and watch the ants and pests scram. This is because the wax in the peels destroys the protective covering on the bodies of the said pests.
They also speed up the composting process, so remember to add a couple of orange peels into the pile next time.
28. Orange zest adds the perfect flavor to desserts
Have you ever eaten an orange peel as a child? If you have, you must know how unpalatable they are. And even if you haven’t, we don’t think it’s that difficult to imagine, is it?
It makes sense that an orange’s outer rind tastes that way since they’re supposed to protect the inner fruit. But the outer, thin, orange-colored peel contains essential oils and has a tangy taste. This is why it’s used in many recipes, mainly desserts, to add a bit of that tang as an aftertaste.
If you wish to use it, grab a washed orange and a grater and grate very lightly directly onto the dish, mixture, or batter.
29. Oranges can float in water, but not always!
If you’ve ever put an orange in a container filled with water, what did you see? Did it float or sink?
If you and your best friends have different answers to this question, don’t fight with them. You’re probably both telling the truth.
An unpeeled orange floats in water because the peels have tiny air pockets. These reduce the density of the fruit as compared to water, which is why it floats! On the other hand, a peeled orange doesn’t have similar cushioning, which is why it sinks.
30. Orange Juice Day is celebrated on 4th May
If you’re an orange juice lover, then we have excellent news for you. Did you know that National Orange Juice Day is celebrated on 4th May every year? The main motive behind this holiday is to increase public knowledge of oranges, promote the oranges, and promote the development of healthy behaviors.
All you need to do is join a public forum about this holiday to talk to other like-minded people!
In the end
And that’s it for this list of Orange facts for kids. We hope that you have enjoyed learning some new facts about orange fruit. We would like to encourage you to share this article with your friends, family, and anyone else you think would enjoy it. As we end this article, we hope to have convinced you to eat oranges regularly for better health and well-being.
Have a wonderful day!