The Kinnow Fruit: An Orange Substitute or a Healthy Fruit Itself?

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Kinnow, a fruit that comes from the same citrus family as orange, is often mistaken as a substitute for orange. However, kinnow is not just another variety of orange, it is a separate fruit that offers a multitude of health benefits itself.

What is a Kinnow Fruit?

Also pronounced as kinu or kinoo, kinnow is a fruit, cultivated as a hybrid of citrus nobilis or ‘King’ and citrus deliciosa or ‘Willow Leaf’. In India, it is mostly cultivated in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Haryana. The growing demand for kinnow in the Indian subcontinent has made it one of the most cultivated fruits of all time. 

How are Oranges and Kinnows Different?

Since kinnows are often considered as a substitute for oranges, it is extremely important to understand what makes kinnows different from oranges. The following mentioned points highlight the key differences between the two fruits.

  • The most significant difference between kinnow and orange is in their origin. Oranges are a hybrid of citrus reticulate and citrus maxima, whereas kinnows are a hybrid of citrus deliciosa and citrus nobilis.
  • Oranges have a light and thin peel that is also prone to sunburns, whereas kinnows have a thicker and tighter peel.
  • Another remarkable difference between kinnows and oranges lies in their taste. Kinnows are known to have a sour taste, whereas oranges have a sweeter taste. Kinnows are also juicier than oranges.  

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Are Kinnows Healthy?

  • Kinnows have a higher content of calcium than most citrus fruits. Eating minnows can make your bones stronger. 
  • Kinnows are known to boost digestion in the body. Rich in fibre and minerals, it also helps to relieve acidity, chronic constipation and many other gastrointestinal problems. 
  • Kinnows are highly rich in antioxidants, making them one of the best fruits to prevent cancer. Antioxidants also help to fight free radicals and prevent many other diseases in the body. 
  • They are rich in vitamin C, which is not only important for the growth and development of body tissues but also for boosting the functioning of the immune system.
  • Kinnows are known to boost metabolism in the body, aiding in weight loss. They also help to reduce the level of bad cholesterol and improve the level of good cholesterol in the body, boosting the health of your heart. 
  • The minerals and vitamins present in kinnows are highly beneficial for skin health. Kinnows also have anti-ageing properties that further aid in making the skin look flawless. The peels of kinnows are often used as a home remedy for many skin problems.
  • The ample amounts of carbohydrates present in kinnows help to provide energy to the cells in the body and maintain their overall functioning.

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How to take Kinnows?

Kinnows, like oranges, can be taken as fresh fruits or in the form of freshly squeezed juice. If you have a weak stomach or suffer from indigestion, kinnow juice can be highly beneficial. 


Although kinnows and oranges share almost the same nutritional value, they are separate fruits and should be viewed the same way. Kinnows should not be considered as substitutes to oranges. They are highly rich in minerals and vitamins and offer a wide range of benefits to our bodies. Regular consumption of kinnows can help to boost the overall health of the body. 

This article is reviewed by Dr. Sunanda Ranade


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