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12 Best Foods Rich In Vitamin C

| Reviewed By Dr. Karthika Thirugnanam

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin required in an individual's daily diet. It is important because then vitamin is not only necessary to strengthen your immune system but also necessary for the proper functioning of your body. The vitamin is a potent antioxidant and promotes cellular growth as well as the function of the circulatory system [1] .

It is also beneficial in preventing cancers, lowering the risks of heart disease, slowing down the ageing process and aids the absorption of iron and calcium and help boost your immune system and reduces your stress levels [2] .

Unlike other nutrients, our body cannot produce vitamin C. Hence, the only source of it is the food that we consume. Due to this, vitamin C deficiency is a commonly viewed condition which can cause hair loss and brittle nails, bruises, swollen gums, dry skin, body pain, fatigue, cardiovascular diseases, mood swings, infections and nose bleeding [3] .

In order to combat the aforementioned signs and symptoms, incorporate plenty (controlled) of vitamin C into your daily diet.

Read on to know the best sources of vitamin C.

Foods Rich In Vitamin C

1. Guava

As per the experts, guava is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. Just one guava is enriched with more than 200 mg of vitamin C. Various studies have been conducted on understanding the impact of guava on one's vitamin C level and was asserted that regular consumption of the fruit can help lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels [4] .

2. Bell pepper

Optimal sources of vitamin C, bell peppers can suffice for your daily vitamin C requirement. Yellow bell peppers, which has a sweet flavour contains 341 mg of vitamin C. Consuming these can help boost your immunity levels as well [5] . Along with that, red bell peppers are also a good source of vitamin C and has a direct impact on your immunity levels[6] .

3. Parsley

Containing a generous amount of vitamin C, this herb is excellent for your health. Containing 10 mg of vitamin C in two tablespoons of parsley, the herb help increase your iron levels and boosts your immunity levels as well [7] .

4. Kiwi

Experts often recommend this fruit to people who are suffering from vitamin C deficiency. Including this fruit in your daily diet can not just fix this deficiency, but it can also boost your immunity and help you fight off the infections [8] . 1 piece of kiwi fruit contains 273 mg of the daily recommended value of vitamin C.

Side Effects Of The Overdose Of Vitamin C

5. Broccoli

This green vegetable is often considered an all-star food, as it is replete with essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin C. Just 100 grams of broccoli are known to contain a whopping 89.2 mg of vitamin C. Just have 2-3 broccoli every day to get rid of this deficiency [9] .

6. Lychee

Consuming lychee can help improve collagen synthesis and blood vessel health. 100 grams of lychee contains 71.5 mg of vitamin C and these are also rich in potassium and healthy fats [10] .

Vitamin C: Health Benefits, Dosage And Side Effects

7. Papaya

Eating one cup of papaya provides 87 mg of vitamin C, making the fruit a good source of the vitamin. Raw papayas are also a great source of vitamin C, as well as, vitamin A, folate, dietary fibre, calcium, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids [7] .

8. Strawberry

Regarded as being the super-fruit for fixing vitamin C deficiency, strawberries are high in vitamin C and 1 cup of strawberries contains 149 per cent of vitamin C. That is, one cup of strawberry halves (152 grams) provides 89 mg of vitamin C. Strawberries are also a good source of protein and dietary fibre as well[11] .

9. Orange

The ultimate source of vitamin C, consuming oranges is one of the easiest ways to gain the required amount of the vitamin into your body. Consuming one medium-sized orange every day can provide for the required dietary vitamin C intake[12] . One medium-sized orange provides 70 mg of vitamin C

10. Chilli peppers

Containing a minimum of 65 mg vitamin C in one single chilli pepper, these can help in preventing the onset of vitamin C deficiency. As a plus point, consuming chilli peppers can help reduce inflammation and pain as well [13] .

11. Lemon

Lime and lemons are both citrus fruits, rich in vitamin C. 100 grams of lemon contain 53 mg of vitamin C and 100 grams of lime contains 29.1 mg of vitamin C. In the 1700s, lemons were consumed as a preventive measure against scurvy [14] .

12. Cauliflower

This cruciferous vegetable is rich in vitamin C and regular consumption help prevent the onset of vitamin C deficiency[15] . 1 cup of raw cauliflower contains 20 mg of vitamin C.

Some of the other foods rich in vitamin C are spinach, carrot, tomato, mint, cauliflower etc.

Healthy Vitamin C Recipes

1. Super 7 stress reliever

Ingredients [16]

  • 1 cup carrot cubes, unpeeled
  • 1 cup tomato cubes
  • 1 cup beetroot cubes
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped celery
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
  • crushed ice for serving

Directions

  • Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 2 minutes.
  • Strain the juice.
  • Add the crushed ice and enjoy!

2. Sprouts lunch salad

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coloured capsicum cubes
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow zucchini
  • ½ cup mushroom cubes
  • ½ cup red pumpkin
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup sprouted and boiled whole green gram
  • ½ cup soaked and cooked whole red lentil
  • ½ cup lettuce, torn into pieces
  • ½ cup baby spinach, torn into pieces

For dressing

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp mustard paste
  • salt to taste

Directions

  • Heat the oil and add the capsicum, zucchini, mushroom and red pumpkin, salt and pepper and sauté on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minute.
  • Let it cool.
  • For the dressing, mix all the ingredients well and add to the salad.
View Article References
  1. [1] Park, S., Ham, J. O., & Lee, B. K. (2015). Effects of total vitamin A, vitamin C, and fruit intake on risk for metabolic syndrome in Korean women and men.Nutrition,31(1), 111-118.
  2. [2] Suleiman, M. S., Olajide, J. E., Omale, J. A., Abbah, O. C., & Ejembi, D. O. (2018). Proximate composition, mineral and some vitamin contents of tigernut (Cyperus esculentus).Clinical Investigation,8(4), 161-165.
  3. [3] Berendsen, A. A., van Lieshout, L. E., van den Heuvel, E. G., Matthys, C., Péter, S., & de Groot, L. C. (2016). Conventional foods, followed by dietary supplements and fortified foods, are the key sources of vitamin D, vitamin B6, and selenium intake in Dutch participants of the NU-AGE study.Nutrition Research,36(10), 1171-1181.
  4. [4] Suhag, Y., & Nanda, V. (2015). Optimisation of process parameters to develop nutritionally rich spray‐dried honey powder with vitamin C content and antioxidant properties.International Journal of Food Science & Technology,50(8), 1771-1777.
  5. [5] Kent, K., Charlton, K., Roodenrys, S., Batterham, M., Potter, J., Traynor, V., ... & Richards, R. (2017). Consumption of anthocyanin-rich cherry juice for 12 weeks improves memory and cognition in older adults with mild-to-moderate dementia.European journal of nutrition,56(1), 333-341.
  6. [6] Block, G. (1991). Vitamin C and cancer prevention: the epidemiologic evidence.The American journal of clinical nutrition,53(1), 270S-282S.
  7. [7] Ramirez-Tortosa, C., Andersen, Ø. M., Gardner, P. T., Morrice, P. C., Wood, S. G., Duthie, S. J., ... & Duthie, G. G. (2001). Anthocyanin-rich extract decreases indices of lipid peroxidation and DNA damage in vitamin E-depleted rats.Free Radical Biology and Medicine,31(9), 1033-1037.
  8. [8] Hemila, H., Kaprio, J., Pietinen, P., Albanes, D., & Helnonen, O. P. (1999). Vitamin C and other compounds in vitamin C rich food in relation to risk of tuberculosis in male smokers.American journal of epidemiology,150(6), 632-641.
  9. [9] Padayatty, S. J., Sun, H., Wang, Y., Riordan, H. D., Hewitt, S. M., Katz, A., ... & Levine, M. (2004). Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use.Annals of internal medicine,140(7), 533-537.
  10. [10] Bondonno, N. P., Lewis, J. R., Blekkenhorst, L. C., Bondonno, C. P., Shin, J. H., Croft, K. D., ... & Flood, V. M. (2019). Association of flavonoids and flavonoid-rich foods with all-cause mortality: The Blue Mountains Eye Study.Clinical Nutrition.
  11. [11] Liu, C., Zhong, C., Chen, R., Zhou, X., Wu, J., Han, J., ... & Hu, X. (2019). Higher dietary vitamin C intake is associated with a lower risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: A longitudinal cohort study.Clinical Nutrition.
  12. [12] Card, D. J. (2019). Methods for assessment of vitamin C. InLaboratory Assessment of Vitamin Status(pp. 301-316). Academic Press.
  13. [13] Deyhim, F., Strong, K., Deyhim, N., Vandyousefi, S., Stamatikos, A., & Faraji, B. (2019). Vitamin C reverses bone loss in an osteopenic rat model of osteoporosis.International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research.
  14. [14] Ashor, A. W., Shannon, O. M., Werner, A. D., Scialo, F., Gilliard, C. N., Cassel, K. S., ... & Siervo, M. (2019). Effects of inorganic nitrate and vitamin C co-supplementation on blood pressure and vascular function in younger and older healthy adults: A randomised double-blind crossover trial.Clinical Nutrition.
  15. [15] Ferraro, P. M., Curhan, G. C., Gambaro, G., & Taylor, E. N. (2016). Total, dietary, and supplemental vitamin C intake and risk of incident kidney stones.American Journal of Kidney Diseases,67(3), 400-407.
  16. [16] Tarladalal. (2019, May 28). 98 Vitamin C Rich recipes [Blog post]. Retrieved from, https://www.tarladalal.com/recipes-for-Vitamin-C-Rich-Indian-Recipes-804
Karthika ThirugnanamClinical Nutritionist and Dietitian
MS, RDN (USA)
Karthika Thirugnanam

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