Maintaining your phosphorous level helps keep your bones strong and is vital for every cell throughout your body. Because phosphorus is necessary for life, virtually every single food in your diet has some phosphorus, including oranges. Go ahead pack yourself an orange for a snack -- your body will thank you.
Phosphorus in Oranges
A large orange, weighing around 6.25 ounces, provides 25 milligrams of phosphorus. A smaller 4.5-ounce orange has slightly less than 20 milligrams. Don't forget about canned mandarin oranges if you're in a pinch. They offer 25 milligrams of phosphorus in a 1-cup serving. You'll also get phosphorus from orange juice, but juice shouldn't be your only fruit intake -- you'll miss out on beneficial fiber. By squeezing yourself a fresh glass of orange juice first thing in the morning, you'll wind up with a little more than 40 milligrams of phosphorus in an 8-ounce glass. Frozen orange juice from concentrate has nearly the same amount.
How Much You Need
Your phosphorus recommendation never changes once you reach the age of 19 and all throughout adulthood. You should be getting 700 milligrams of the mineral on a daily basis, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Even if you're pregnant or breast-feeding, your daily needs remain the same.
Why It's Important
Eighty-five percent of the phosphorus in your body is in your bones, keeping them in optimal health. The remaining amount gets sent all over your body. Some of it keeps your cells strong and healthy, allowing cells to make and store energy from the foods you eat. Any remaining phosphorus supports brain function, aids in hormone release, helps cells communicate and maintains your body's acid-base balance, known as the pH balance.
Since oranges aren't the best sources of phosphorus, you'll have to mix them with other foods to get everything you need. Dairy is one of the richest sources of the mineral. If you need a quick breakfast you can enjoy at your desk, dip orange wedges in plain nonfat yogurt. Four ounces of yogurt offer more than 190 milligrams of phosphorus. Make yourself a tossed chicken salad with fresh orange wedges or mandarin orange slices. You'll get a small amount of phosphorus from the oranges and veggies, as well as 155 milligrams from 3 ounces of grilled chicken. Nosh on nuts if you need a mid-afternoon healthy snack. One ounce of peanuts contains more than 105 milligrams, while the same amount of almonds offers about 135 milligrams of phosphorus.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.