10 Foods That Add Some Much Needed Vitamin C to Your Diet

We all hear about vitamin C from an early age, and while it might not be the cure for a common cold as rumored (although it certainly helps prevent symptoms from getting worse), it does offer a huge wealth of health benefits. For this reason, it's important to make sure you get plenty of vitamin C from your diet. This guide will help you do just that!
Vitamin C foods

What Does Vitamin C Do?

Vitamin C is a much discussed nutrient for a good reason. Research studies suggest that higher levels of vitamin C in the blood can be a very good indicator of overall health and nutrition. As a nutrient, it offers a diverse range of benefits that effectively safeguard your overall health in a vast number of ways. It is a powerful antioxidant that also helps reduce oxidative stress inside the body, and increases your defenses against certain types of cancer. It also helps your immune system to function, promotes the absorption of iron into the bloodstream and helps care for your eyes. It really is a multi-purpose super vitamin!

Nutritionists and health experts recommend that the average adult gets between 75-90mg of vitamin C a day from their diet, and this is surprisingly easy to achieve. There are a number of natural, common fruits and vegetables that can provide 100% of your RDA in a single serving, and there is a lot to be said by taking in much more than 90mg of vitamin C a day. The more, the better!


The Best Vitamin C Rich Foods

There are a number of foods that can help ensure that your body is kept topped up with vitamin C, and they are easily available in grocery stores and supermarkets. Here are the top 10 vitamin C foods you should add to your regular diet immediately:

1. Papaya


Papaya is not only a delicious, exotic fruit; it also provides 62mg of vitamin C per 100g (3.5oz) serving, which is 75% of the recommended daily intake for an average adult. It is also a great source of other nutrients including calcium and vitamin A, so it's not difficult to understand why it is often called the 'fruit of angels'. You can add ripe papaya slices to a salad or juice up a whole papaya and use it as part of a delicious fruit smoothie. However, please note that you should avoid papaya if you are pregnant, because it contains a substance that can cause contractions of the uterus.


2. Red Bell Peppers

Don't make the mistake of thinking that vitamin C is only sourced from fruits, because bell peppers contain a whole lot of this super nutrient. A 100g (3.5oz) serving of red bell pepper provides 80mg of vitamin C, which is a whopping 97% of the recommended daily amount for an adult. Green and yellow bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C, and all varieties contain a huge range of other nutrients. Given that it's such a versatile dish that can be steamed, roasted, or served raw in salads and sandwiches, it's easy to include some bell peppers in your regular diet.


3. Oranges


Oranges are probably the first food people think of when they consider vitamin C, and with good reason. One medium sized orange contains around 67mg of vitamin C, or 75% of your daily recommended amount, so although they might not be the very best source of vitamin C, there is still good reason to add freshly squeezed orange juice to your regular diet!


4. Broccoli

Another vegetable absolutely brimming with vitamin C is broccoli. An average sized serving of this incredibly healthy cruciferous vegetable provides around 132mg of vitamin C for just 30 calories. Given that some research has also suggested that broccoli has cancer preventing properties, as well as being one of the best foods for regulating blood pressure and improving heart health (amongst many other benefits), it's clear that broccoli should form an important part of any food plan. Try to eat 1 cup of broccoli 2 or 3 times a week for great results.


5. Strawberries


I personally don't need much excuse to add delicious strawberries to my smoothies or snack box, but I have another reason to do so now. One cup of strawberries contains around 85mg of vitamin C - which is basically all the recommended daily amount. Eat a handful of ripe strawberries a few times a week, or mix them with your other favorite fruits for a delicious, healthy smoothie or milkshake.


6. Kiwi Fruit

The kiwi is scrumptious fruit that also offers a host of health benefits. Kiwi fruits are rich in vitamin C, offering 92.7mg per 100g (3.5oz), which is more than 100% of your daily allowance. You can add kiwis to fruits, salads and juices, but the best way to enjoy them is slice them in half and spoon the delicious fruit center directly into your mouth.


7. Kale


More and more people are becoming aware of the superb health benefits of kale, and for good reason. Not only is it an excellent source of nutrients like iron, fiber, natural protein, potassium and many more, but it is also rich in vitamin C. A one cup serving of kale provides around 80.4mg of vitamin C so try and add it to your diet three or four times a week. steaming or stir frying it will preserve the goodness much better than boiling, but you can add it to your green smoothies too.

8. Pineapple

Just like Papaya, pineapple is a tropical fruit that can add a huge amout of vitamin C to your diet. One pineapple contains around 80mg of vitamin C, while a standard serving of around 100g (3.5oz) provides 50mg, or 60% of your recommended daily amount. Fresh pineapple chunks make for a great healthy snack, and the fruit also makes for a terrific juice. You can even add it to pizza of course, so there's plenty of ways to gain the benefits!


9. Chili Peppers


This vitamin C source will please lovers of spice. A half cup of diced or chopped chili peppers contains around 107.8mg of vitamin C, over 100% of your recommended daily amount. That might be a bit too much spice for most people, but adding some heat to your favorite dishes, while also including some of the other foods in this list in your daily and weekly diet, is a great of way of making sure you keep providing your body with plenty of vitamin C.


10. Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts have a bit of an unfair reputation, and not many people list them towards the top of their tastiest vegetable lists. However, they are brimming with goodness and one 100g (3.5oz) serving contains around 85mg of the daily recommended allowance - or 102%. They offer plenty of other benefits too, and although we are not suggesting that you eat them everyday, try to include them with other vegetables if you have a roast dinner. Remember steaming is better than boiling.


Sources: top10homeremedies and health.com

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