Raise your hand if you start going hard on the orange juice the second you get the sniffles. Yep, same. If oranges aren’t your jam, there are plenty of other foods high in vitamin C in the produce aisle.
Can they singlehandedly wipe out a cold, though? Probably not so much. (Don’t shoot the messenger!) Vitamin C is still “one of the most important nutrients in our body for overall health,” says nutritionist Liz Weinandy, from The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
Vitamin C’s benefits include a stronger immune system and lower levels of damaging free radicals in your body, which make the antioxidant important for disease prevention, says Weinandy.
Vitamin C may play a vital role in reducing your risk of heart disease — and even improve the quality of life for cancer patients, suggests research from the National Institutes of Health.
Another interesting perk of eating vitamin C is: It helps you maximize your absorption of plant-based iron to ward off conditions like anemia. So, make sure to pair those lentils, spinach, or tofu with vitamin C, plant-based eaters.
To reap the benefits of vitamin C, you should get at least 75 milligrams of the good stuff daily, ideally from foods, says Weinandy. While supplements are okay, they’re not ideal.
Lucky for you, getting your daily dose of vitamin C is pretty easy to do. Just nosh on the following high-vitamin C foods throughout the day.
The fragrant, tropical aroma of these bite-sized fruits is enough reason to add them to your diet. They just so happen to be loaded with vitamin C (136 milligrams per cup, to be exact), too.
2. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels look like tiny brains, and their super-high vitamin C content (75 milligrams per serving). This might actually help boost brain health. Roast them in the oven or shred them into a salad for a surprising crunch
If you love the refreshing sharp taste of blackberries, swap them out for blackcurrants. At 203 milligrams per serving, contain nearly seven times more vitamin C.
Conveniently, some of the sweetest fruits out there not only transport you right back to your favourite beach vacay, but also happen to be super nutritious. One mango, for example, contains 75 milligrams of vitamin C.
5. Green Bell Pepper
If you’re not into the sweeter taste of red bell pepper, its green counterpart is another immunity-boosting bet. Green bell peppers contain 120 milligrams of vitamin C per serving.
Whether you dip florets in ranch or rice cauliflower up in a stir-fry, one small head packs a whopping 128 milligrams of vitamin C. Plus, it’s a good source of filling fibre.
There’s a reason your mind jumps to oranges when you think of vitamin C. Just one medium-sized fruit contains an impressive 70 milligrams of the antioxidant. Their high flavonoid content has also been linked to reduced instances of macular degeneration and heart disease.
Got orange fatigue? Grapefruits are an even more potent, disease-fighting choice. With 88 milligrams of vitamin C per medium fruit, this zesty, tangy type of citrus is a great way to switch it up.
9. Tomato Juice
Just one cup of 100-percent tomato juice contains a whopping 174 milligrams of vitamin C. Permission to slurp down Bloody Mary mix? Granted. (Just opt for the low-sodium variety to do your blood pressure a solid.)
With its pretty colour and fruit salad vibes, refreshing melon is a surprisingly solid source of vitamin C. Melons provide 48 milligrams of the antioxidant per serving.
11. Red Bell Pepper
These veggies are colourful, crunchy, and incredibly low-cal — and a half-cup of chopped peppers packs 95 milligrams of vitamin C.
Each cup of papaya provides an impressive 88 milligrams of vitamin C. As an added bonus, the fruit’s also a good source of vitamin A and fibre.
Nothing says summer like a tropical fruit – and this one packs an incredible 377 milligrams of vitamin C per cup. That’s five times your recommended daily intake!
Make this your go-to green not just because of the C content (81 milligrams per cup of chopped broccoli), but because it’s also a surprising source of protein (nearly three grams!).
One cup of sliced strawberries has 98 milligrams of C. (So, strawberry shortcake is totally helping boost my immune system, right?)
16. Yellow Kiwi
Grab SunGolds when you see them in the store. These beauts contain 130 milligrams of vitamin C per fruit. That’s two times the amount found in the traditional (and more familiar) green-fleshed fruit.
17. Hot Green Chili Peppers
You know what they say; if you can’t take the heat… Just one pepper packs a whopping 109 milligrams of vitamin C. Plus, research shows that spicing up your foods can turn up your metabolism.
Tropical fruit wins again. One cup of pineapple chunks has 79 milligrams of vitamin C. It is also an excellent source of the mineral manganese.