Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant commonly known for its immune-boosting properties. It’s naturally present in fruits and vegetables but can also be found as a supplement. Let’s explore the 11 Best Sources of Vitamin C.
However, supplements can never be ideal food substitutes. Besides, they can be expensive for most people to afford. So why not go for the actual food?
This article takes a closer look at vitamin C and what sources are best to ensure you hit your daily requirements and improve your health. Also, see 10 Foods That Boost Your Immune System.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin needed for growth and development.
Water-soluble means it dissolves in water and cannot be stored in the body. Any extra vitamin C is usually washed out in the urine. That’s why vitamin C has to be consumed daily.
What are the benefits of vitamin C?
Vitamin C is essential in the body for different reasons like:
- Reducing your risk of chronic diseases
- Lowering high blood pressure
- Lowering your risk of gout
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Improving the absorption of iron, thus preventing anemia
- Improving your white blood cells’ functions helps boost immunity
- A key factor in the production of collagen
- Lowering bad cholesterol
- Protecting against cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease
- Improving mood
- Fighting free radical damage
- Enhancing cancer treatment
- Read More.
What are the effects of vitamin C deficiency?
Not consuming enough vitamin C-rich foods may result in different health issues, including:
- Dry and split hair
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Easy bruising
- Nose bleeding
- Digestive disorders like leaky gut
- Dry skin
- Joint pain
- Slow wound healing
- Rough, dry, and scaly skin
- Weakened immunity
A severe deficiency in vitamin C can put you at risk of a disease called scurvy, a condition characterized by fatigue, skin hemorrhages, muscle pains, and gum disease.
What are the recommended daily requirements for vitamin C?
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH)
- An adult woman 19 years and above – 75 milligrams per day
- An adult man 19 years and above – 90 milligrams per day
- Pregnant women – 85 milligrams per day
- Breastfeeding women – 120 mg per day
Best sources of vitamin C
The best and healthy way to meet your vitamin C requirements is by incorporating vitamin C-rich foods in every meal.
The best choices include:
Kale is a green leafy cruciferous vegetable that offers a wide range of health benefits.
A cup of raw chopped kale provides 80 milligrams of vitamin C, or 134 percent of your daily requirements, while a cup of cooked kale provides 53.3 milligrams of kale or 89 percent of your daily needs.
Kale is also high in fiber and other vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, K, and B6 and manganese, magnesium, potassium, and copper.
Broccoli is also a cruciferous vegetable high in nutritional benefits, including cholesterol reduction, cancer-fighting properties, reduced inflammation, antioxidant properties, anti-aging, and improved digestion.
Half a cup of chopped boiled broccoli contains 50.6 milligrams of vitamin C or 84 percent of your daily requirements.
Lemon is a popular citrus fruit used for its vitamin C immune-boosting properties. It’s also used to add flavor in foods and salads and as a morning detox, often taken as lemon water.
A single lemon with peels provides 83.2 milligrams of vitamin C or 139 percent of your daily requirement.
Kiwifruits are nutrient-dense with high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. They are great for your heart, digestive system, and general immunity. Check out Kiwi Nutrition And Benefits
A fresh raw medium kiwi without skin contains 70.5 milligrams of vitamin C or 117 percent of your daily requirements.
5. Bell pepper
Bell peppers are rich in iron and vitamin C, which boosts iron absorption. This combination renders green pepper a superfood to combat iron deficiency anemia.
A cup of fresh bell pepper contains 120 milligrams of vitamin C or 200 percent of your daily requirements.
6. Red peppers
Red peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C.
A cup of chopped raw red peppers contains 190 milligrams of vitamin C, or 317 percent of your daily requirements.
They are also rich in vitamin A, with a cup providing about 75 percent of your daily requirements.
Parsley is a common medicinal herb used in cooking in most households.
It’s known to support bone health, improve heart health, and offer antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
Parsley is also rich in vitamins A, C, and K.
A cup of raw parsley contains 79.8 milligrams of vitamin C, or 133 percent of your daily requirements.
8. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are vegetables in the shape of tiny buds that resemble baby cabbages.
They are low in calories but rich in essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C and K, and antioxidants.
Half a cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains 48 milligrams of vitamin C, or 81 percent of your daily requirements.
Like lemon, orange is another nutritious fruit high in vitamin C.
One large orange contains 98 milligrams of vitamin C, which is equivalent to 163 percent of your daily requirement.
Pineapple is a tropical fruit rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes.
It’s a powerful immune booster and digestive aider.
A cup of raw pineapple chunks contains 79 milligrams of vitamin C, 131 percent of your daily requirements.
Strawberry is one of the most prevalent nutrient-dense fruit in the world.
Studies have shown that regular consumption of strawberries can help fight against cancer, prevent heart disease, improve blood pressure, protect against stroke, prevent constipation, and help improve diabetes.
A cup of fresh strawberries can give you 89 milligrams of vitamin C or 149 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin essential for different health functions, from promoting healthy skin to boosting immunity. It simply works to improve your health from the inside out.
Incorporating these fruits and vegetables into your every meal will be sufficient to ensure you meet your requirements and avoid health issues associated with its deficiency.
Also, Check Out These Related Articles
- Incredible Health Benefits Of Almonds
- 13 Proven Benefits Of Olive Oil
- Benefits Of Noni
- Benefits Of Blueberries And Raspberries
- Cucumber Nutrition
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