How does vitamin C help your body?
Vitamin C is probably the most known micronutrient. For good reason. Vitamin C has powerful health benefits. Try to consume lots of foods rich in vitamin C, as vitamin C is:
- required for the biosynthesis of collagen and wound healing.
- a powerful antioxidant which protects the eye health.
- able to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including vitamin E.
- necessary for weight loss.
- limiting the damaging effects of free radicals. For this reason, vitamin C might help prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases in which oxidative stress plays a causal role (1).
- required in the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters.
- improves the absorption of nonheme iron. That’s especially important for vegans, as nonheme iron is the form of iron present in plants.
- involved in protein metabolism and amino acid L-carnitine. Athletes who need to build muscle mass can benefit the most.
What’s the recommended daily vitamin C intake?
According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, for the majority of people is about 75 – 90 mg (1). Analytically:
|0–6 months||40 mg||40 mg|
|7–12 months||50 mg||50 mg|
|1–3 years||15 mg||15 mg|
|4–8 years||25 mg||25 mg|
|9–13 years||45 mg||45 mg|
|14–18 years||75 mg||65 mg|
|19+ years||90 mg||75 mg|
Furthermore, smokers should consume higher amounts of vitamin C per day. At least 35 mg of vitamin C more. Due to their increased oxidative stress.
Also, women in pregnancy require at least 85 mg of vitamin C. Moreover, women in lactation require at least 120 mg. Always consult your health care provider…
What foods are rich in vitamin C?
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. Certainly, a whole food plant-based diet can cover your daily needs. You won’t need vitamin C supplementation, if you eat lots of vegetables and fruits high in vitamin C.
Certainly, they are many common foods high in vitamin C. There is no need to eat exotic fruits or take supplements.
Eat daily at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. Eating foods high in vitamin C can easily provide more than 200 mg of vitamin C. As a bonus, common foods high in vitamin C are also good sources of many other vitamins and minerals.
Moreover, avoid cooking vegetables which are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is very sensitive to heat. Fortunately, most foods high in vitamin C are eaten raw.
What vegetables are good sources of vitamin C?
Peppers, broccoli, cauliflower are common vegetables rich in vitamin C.
Hot chili peppers
100 gr of red chili peppers contain 193.1 mg of vitamin C. Peppers are also low in calories. 100g contain only 40 calories.
Yellow sweet peppers
100g of yellow hot chili peppers contain the extraordinary amount of 183.5 mg of vitamin C. Furthermore, it has only 27 calories.
Just 1 yellow pepper contains up to 341 mg of vitamin C (2). That’s 378% of DV (Daily Value).
So, adding fresh pepper in salad is the easiest way to boost your daily vitamin C intake. Just remember… heat destroys vitamin C. Don’t cook peppers. Avoid pickled peppers, as well. Pickled vegetables may be bad for your health.
Red Sweet Peppers
100g of red sweet peppers contain 127.7 mg of vitamin C. Just one medium red sweet pepper contains about 152 mg of vitamin C.
Green Sweet Peppers
100g of green sweet peppers contain 80.4 mg of vitamin C.
Kale is a leafy green particularly rich in vitamin C
100g of kale contains 93.4 mg of vitamin C. Kale is a dark leafy green that has gained popularity recently.
Kale is a good source of vitamin K. Additionally eating kale seems to be beneficial for your eyes. It’s high in important carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
Broccoli and Cauliflower are high in vitamin C
100g of raw broccoli contains 89.2 mg of vitamin C. 100g of raw cauliflower contains 48.2 mg of vitamin C.
100g of Brussels sprouts contain 85 mg of vitamin C. A small cup contains about 75 mg of vitamin C.
Garlic has decent amounts of vitamin C
Certainly, garlic is a superfood. 100g of garlic contains 31.2 mg of vitamin C. On the other hand, onions contain only 7.4 mg of vitamin C per 100 gr.
Cabbage is good for a salad rich in vitamin C
100g of red cabbage contains 57 mg of vitamin C. Additionally, green cabbage contains 36.6 mg of vitamin C per 100g.
Moreover, red cabbage contains more carotenoids. Carotenoids are good for your eye health.
Even potatoes contain vitamin C
100g of potatoes contain 19.7 mg of vitamin C. Additionally, sweet potatoes contain 18.7 mg of vitamin C.
Eat a tomato salad regularly
100g of tomatoes contain 13.7 mg of vitamin C. Furthermore, a large tomato can provide you with 24.9 mg of vitamin C.
100g of green peas contain 40 mg of vitamin C.
Carrot greens are high in vitamin C
Did you know that carrot greens are edible? They have extraordinary nutritional value. For instance, 100g of carrot leaves have more than 200 mg of vitamin C! You can read about the many health benefits of eating carrot greens here.
What fruits should we eat for vitamin C?
Above all, eating lots of fruits is the easiest way to boost your daily intake of vitamin C.
100g of rose hips contain 426 mg of vitamin C. They are the king of vitamin C.
Rose hips are used for in herbal teas, jams, jellies, syrups, or beverages.
Vitamin C supplements from rose hips are considered of the best quality.
100g of guava contains 228.3 mg of vitamin C (253% DV). Guava is the richest fruit in vitamin C you can eat.
100g of strawberries contain 58.8 mg of vitamin C.
100g of kiwi contains 92.7 mg of vitamin C. A whole kiwi contains about 64 mg of vitamin C.
Kiwis are great in smoothies. Just 2 kiwis can provide you with the daily value of vitamin C
Oranges and orange juice
100g of orange contains 53.2 mg of vitamin C. Moreover, 100g of orange juice contains 33.6 mg of vitamin C. A 12-oz glass of orange juice has more than 120 mg of vitamin C. That’s 130% DV.
Just 2 oranges can provide you with the daily value of vitamin C.
Lemon and lemon juice
100g of lemon contains 53 mg of vitamin C. Furthermore, 100g of freshly squeezed lemon juice contains 38.7 mg of vitamin C.
It’s a wonderful idea to drink hot water with some lemon juice, first thing in the morning. It will slowly awake your metabolism. Also, it’ll enhance the effectiveness of the digestion system. You can try to put some ginger in your lemon juice.
100g of grapefruit contains 34.4 mg of vitamin C. One large grapefruit can provide up to 114 mg of vitamin C (126% DV).
As grapefruits can be sour, you can mix grapefruit with orange juice. Moreover, you can try a citrus mix of juice. Orange, lemon, and grapefruit juice with some stevia and ginger is the perfect rejuvenating juice.
Certainly, grapefruit at breakfast is good for you. It boosts your daily intake of vitamin C and can help you lose weight. But, the best time to eat grapefruit for weight loss is before a calorie-dense meal.
100g of papaya contains 60.9 mg of vitamin C.
100g of mango contains 36.4 mg of vitamin C.
100g of pineapple contains 47.8 mg of vitamin C.
100g of blackberries contains 21 mg of vitamin C.
Another common berry rich in vitamin C is cranberry. Cranberries contain about 14 mg of vitamin C per 100g.
Herbs are also rich in vitamin C.
Try to consume herbs regularly. Herbs are among the healthiest foods you can eat. They’re particularly nutrient-dense foods. For instance, just 100g of fresh:
- thyme contains 160.1 mg of vitamin C. On the contrary, dried thyme contains only 50 mg of vitamin C.
- parsley contains 133 mg of vitamin C. Start putting fresh cut parsley in your salads. It will boost the micronutrients of your meal.
- basil contains 18 mg of vitamin C. Eat your pesto pasta.
- cilantro contains 27 mg of vitamin C.