Scientific Name: Citrus clementina
The clementine (Citrus clementina) is a hybrid between the sweet orange and willowleaf mandarin orange. It is a flowering plant belonging to the Rutaceae (or citrus) family. Clementines are medium-sized, evergreen trees known for their pleasant tasting small fruit. The flesh of a clementine has a deep orange color and is soft, sweet, and less acidic in comparison to regular oranges. The clementine fruit is also easier to peel than an orange.
Clementines have high amounts of vitamin C (81% daily value [DV]). (However, oranges have higher amounts of vitamin C.) Vitamin C is known for being beneficial to the immune system and has antioxidant properties. This vitamin has the potential to sequester free radicals and reduce oxidative damage. Vitamin C is also involved in making collagen, a protein that keeps the skin and other connective tissues elastic.
Clementine provides moderate amounts of dietary fiber (7% DV). Dietary fiber helps lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL). It also plays a vital role in controlling blood sugar levels. Clementines are also a source of thiamin (6% DV) and folate (6% DV). These B-vitamins enable the body to work optimally by promoting healthy metabolism.