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Clementines for a Diet

By Milo Dakota

If you’ve strolled through the produce section of your local grocery store and wondered whether clementines -- sometimes called cuties -- are good for you, here’s the answer: Yes! They contain fiber, vitamin C and complex carbohydrates. Clementines contain nutrients similar to oranges and tangerines with two important benefits: they are easier to peel than oranges and, unlike tangerines, usually contain no seeds.

Nutrition

Clementines pack a lot of nutrition into a tiny package. A clementine, a type of mandarin orange, contains 34 calories and 36 milligrams of vitamin C, more than half of your daily requirement. A clementine contains about the same amount of vitamin C as a serving of grapefruit juice and half as much vitamin C as an orange, A clementine also contains nearly 9 grams of carbohydrates, 1.3 grams of fiber and small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.

Fiber

Clementines contain soluble fiber, which help lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease and combat diabetes. Other fruits that contain soluble fiber include prunes, bananas, blackberries and apples. You can also get soluble fiber in whole grain cereal and seeds, legumes such as black-eyed peas and kidney beans and some vegetables, including carrots and broccoli.The American Dietetic Association recommends you get 25 grams of fiber daily and the American Diabetes Associations recommends that persons with diabetes consume 25 grams to 50 grams per day.

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Problems with Megadoses of Vitamin C

“New York Times” columnist Jane Brody warns against taking megadoses of vitamin C in an attempt to improve health. Although vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that leaves your body every day, taking more than you need could prove harmful. It is highly unlikely you could eat enough clementines to produce toxicity. The dangers, which include interfering with blood-thinning medications and increasing the toxicity of some metals, are most likely to affect persons taking high doses of vitamin C supplements. Too much fiber can cause, rather than relieve, constipation but such problems are also more likely to occur from taking supplements than from eating clementines or other food.

Vitamin C Studies

Vitamin C blocks a type of inflammation -- C-reactive protein -- associated with heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, according to Gladys Block, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily produced an anti-inflammatory effect in a study published in April 2004 in the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition." Vitamin C may also prevent gallstones, according to a study published in 2009 in “BMC Gastroenterology.”

Fiber Clinical Trial

Fiber proved effective in lowering blood sugar and triglycerides -- a property found in margarine and other trans-fats -- in a study conducted by Swedish researchers. Participants in the study ingested fiber from oats, rye, sugar beets or some combination of all three. Persons in the control group did not eat any fiber. Rye bran was found helpful in lowering glucose levels, especially in women, according to M. Ulmius, whose report was published in the “European Journal of Nutrition” in October 2009.

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