12 Foods That Can Help Naturally Boost Your Intake of Vitamin C
If you're looking for a nutrient that supports your immune system, fights inflammation, and even helps your skin age more gracefully, then you must get your hands on some vitamin C. Yes, the vitamin that is the shining star of citrus fruits can do wonders when it comes to supporting your overall health. And while the vitamin C you get from popping a pill appears to be utilized and absorbed in the human body just as well as the natural form found in food, getting your daily dose of C from your diet instead of a supplement is often preferred in the medical community.
Why? A supplement only delivers that one nutrient. Eating a whole food (like an orange) not only gives you a boost of vitamin C, but it also fuels your body with other vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, and beneficial compounds that play a larger role in keeping you healthy. Furthermore, food-derived vitamin C is associated with decreased incidence of numerous chronic diseases. And perhaps most importantly, isn't biting into a juicy orange much more enjoyable than swallowing a horse pill every day? Here are 12 foods, including those yummy citrus fruits, that can help you get your fill of vitamin C.
The SunGold kiwifruit has a tropical-sweet taste and an Instagram-worthy hue that is unexpected — but definitely welcome. But the most surprising feature is its vitamin C content; two SunGold kiwis (one serving) contain two times the recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamin C. That's three times more vitamin C than an orange! And while the classic green kiwi varieties are also packed with this important nutrient, the SunGold simply outshines them.
Between the smell, the taste, and the convenience, nothing beats a fresh navel orange. Let's talk about the nutrition, too. One of these beauties provides 90 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, making it a perfect addition to any meal or snack. Because vitamin C is water soluble, eat this fruit fresh to retain as much of the nutrient as possible.
Red Bell Peppers
Tossing some red bell peppers onto your salad or using slices of this veggie as a vessel for dips like hummus can help you meet your vitamin C needs in a snap. One medium-sized red bell pepper provides 169 percent of the reference daily intake (RDI) for vitamin C, and it's supereasy to add to stir-fry, eggs, and more.
These little blue fruits are nutrition powerhouses for so many reasons, one being their natural content of vitamin C. One cup of blueberries provides 16 percent of the RDI of the nutrient, and while blueberry season is unfortunately not year-round, frozen berries are always available and are just as good for you as fresh.
Starting your morning with a cup of OJ is a refreshing and convenient way to get a boost of vitamin C into your day. You'll also get a healthy dose of carotenoids — including beta and alpha carotene — which can help support immune function as well. Choosing a juice that is fortified with vitamin D and extra vitamin C can give you even more bang for your immunity-supporting buck.
Popping just eight strawberries will give you more than 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin C. Along with other nutrients like folate and potassium, strawberries are a perfect food to include in your diet when trying to support your immune health, skin health, and more.
Also known as West Indies cherries, acerola cherries are jam-packed with vitamin C. In fact, just one of these fruits contains 81 milligrams of vitamin C — pretty darn close to the 90 milligrams that are recommended.
Eating one lemon will supply roughly half of the RDI of vitamin C. While many people don't jump at the opportunity to eat a lemon solo, this citrus fruit can be a great addition to a salad dressing, marinade, or even water for a refreshing drink. And eating lemons can offer more health benefits beyond the vitamin C boost. For example, if you suffer from kidney stones, drinking lemonade (made with real lemons) may offer some relief!
Just a cup of these trendy veggies gives you more than 100 percent of the RDI of vitamin C. Toss them in a pan with some olive oil and garlic at dinnertime for a satisfying side with a vitamin boost. And if you want an extra boost, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top for even more vitamin C at mealtime.
Did you know that the tart, red cranberry does so much more than enhance your Thanksgiving dishes? Not only are these little berries naturally packed with vitamin C, but eating them in certain quantities can have a beneficial effect on urinary tract health.