When we think of vitamin C foods, lemon is mostly on the top of that list.
And that is true, the green and yellow fruit is one of the foods with the highest dose of vitamin C.
But that doesn’t mean you can and should consume only lemons if you want to up your vitamin C 1.
There are other foods rich in vitamin C that will help you.
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Why we need vitamin C?
We often hear that vitamin C is the most important vitamin for our body.
But rarely someone tells you who.
What is so crucial about vitamin C?
Well, for starters, the vitamin is responsible for growth and maintenance of the tissues of your body, including collagen2.
Vitamin C also helps your bones and teeth grow and stay strong.
But most importantly, vitamin C is sort of the fuel for your immune system.
No vitamin C, and your immune system has a hard time-fighting infection, viruses, and bacteria.
We need to mention that your body does not store vitamin C.
The vitamin is a water-soluble, meaning you need to replace your vitamin C stores on a daily basis.
According to most studies, you need between 75-90 milligrams of vitamin C per day.
If you consume enough fruits and vegetables, you get that dose easily.
What are symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency?
If your body is not getting enough Vitamin C, it will let you know.
You can be sure of that.
There are a number of ways that your body sends signals it is not getting enough vitamin C3.
Let’s start with the less serious signs of vitamin C deficiency:
- Easy bruising
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Slow wound healing
- Inflammation of the gums
- Dry and splitting hair
- Dry red spots on your skin
- Rough and dry skin
- Scaly skin
- Weakened immune system
- Digestive problems
- Swollen and painful joints
If you ignore these early signs of vitamin C deficiency, and you are not upping your dosage, you are facing some serious issues.
Health problems related to low vitamin C include high blood pressure, cancer, atherosclerosis, gallbladder diseases, and eventually stroke 4 .
With that in mind, the best way to get vitamin C is through your diet.
Let’s see which are some of the best vitamin c rich foods.
Foods high in vitamin C
You can consume raw oranges, or juice them in a glass of orange juice.
There is not much difference.
Oranges contain 124 milligrams of vitamin C in one glass.
Therefore, you need just one glass of orange juice per day to get your vitamin C.
In addition, oranges bring potassium, vitamin C, lutein, and folate to the table.
And if you suffer from digestive problems, oranges are rich in fiber.
However, most of the fiber is lost when you juice oranges.
If you thought lemon is the king of vitamin C, think again.
Grapefruit is probably the best thing you can get if you need to up your consumption.
Unlike oranges, grapefruit is low on sugar, making it even more healthy option.
Just half a grapefruit delivers 45 milligrams of vitamin C, as well as potassium, vitamin A, and lots of fiber.
Being low in calories, grapefruit is great for those trying to lose weight, but also stay healthy in the process.
The only downside is grapefruit can be fairly sour.
If you are looking for a sweet fruit, look another way.
3. Green peppers
Just one medium-sized green bell pepper has 95 milligrams of vitamin C.
That is more than enough for your daily dose of the immune-boosting vitamin.
Same as most other fruits and veggies on this list, green peppers are high in potassium and vitamin A.
And they are low in calories, making them great for your diet.
You can slice them or chop them, and then add them to your favorite veggie salad.
Or you can eat them whole. It is up to you.
4. Red sweet peppers
If you like peppers, you are in for a treat.
Red sweet peppers are also high in vitamin C, but they have a milder flavor compared to green peppers.
One raw red sweet pepper delivers more than 150 milligrams of vitamin C.
Loaded with fiber, vitamin B, vitamin A, and potassium, red sweet peppers are truly nutrient-dense veggie packing just 37 calories.
Chop them and add to salads, or use them as a seasonal vegetable side dish.
The best part is, red sweet peppers maintain most of their vitamin C even after cooking.
That means you can easily add them to sauces and stews.
If you are a fan of fruits, here comes the best part.
Strawberries are not only delicious but extremely healthy as well.
These sweet and juicy fruits are loaded with vitamin C.
Eat one cup per day, and you get almost 100 milligrams of vitamin C.
They are also rich in minerals like potassium and magnesium.
There are few other snacks that are as healthy as strawberries.
You can even add them to your morning oatmeal, cereal, or smoothie.
This cruciferous vegetable does not get as much as recognition as it should.
Underrated as a vitamin C rich food, broccoli packs 81mg of the vitamin in one cup.
While that is not as much as orange juice, it is still enough to satisfy your daily needs.
The downside is cooking reduces the vitamin C dosage as you get around 50mg in one cup of cooked broccoli.
But the veggie is also an excellent source of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin K, fiber, and all that in just 30 calories.
When you have a green fruit or vegetable, you know you are getting something packed in vitamin C.
Kiwifruit is no different.
Just one little kiwifruit packs more than 60mg of vitamin C.
And it comes with only 40 calories.
Tasty on its own, kiwifruit is best when mixed with other fresh fruits in a salad.
You can add some nuts for protein, and you have a great snack or light meal.
Cabbage is a unique vegetable. It is one of the few vegetables that contain more vitamin C when cooked than raw.
One cup of cooked cabbage has more vitamin C than one cup of raw cabbage.
And the veggie does not lose many of the essential nutrients like vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants during the cooking.
This fresh tropical fruit is known for its richness in bromelain.
The enzyme is found only in pineapple, and it has many health benefits.
But pineapple also delivers a ton of vitamin C. To be exact, 79mg of vitamin C in one cup.
Speaking of tropical and exotic fruits, one cannot avoid the mango.
Packing excellent amount of vitamin C, more than 120mg per fruit, mango is also a great source of antioxidants.
And the best part is, frozen mango is almost as good as fresh mango.