Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an important water-soluble vitamin that is essential for various bodily functions. This super vitamin is found in many foods but is most abundant in fruits and vegetables.
The body doesn't store vitamin C. After every intake, any excess leaves your body via urine. Therefore you need to consume this nutrient daily to access its benefits. Read on as we reveal 7 powerful fruits and vegetables that can help increase your body's supply of ascorbic acid.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning that it protects your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that cause cell changes, leading to serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and cataracts.
In addition, vitamin C is a vital part of your immune system, supporting the fight against viruses, bacteria, and other disease-causing pathogens. Multiple studies indicate that vitamin C deficiency may lead to problems with the immune system and other illnesses.
Also, the body needs vitamin C to make collagen, an essential protein that helps you build and repair the following:
Therefore, low levels of this vitamin may lead to:
Recommended vitamin C intake varies across gender and conditions. The ODS recommendation can be seen below:
Here are some of the best vitamin C fruits and vegetables:
Orange, one of the most common citrus fruits, is a great source of vitamin C. This nutrient-packed tangy fruit comes with up to 53 grams of vitamin C per serving. You can have oranges for breakfast or as a snack at any other time of the day.
Oranges are widely available in the market, particularly at the onset of the winter months. You can enjoy this yummy fruit as you prefer. Peel it and eat it whole or squeeze out the juice and make yourself a drink.
Popular cruciferous vegetable, kale can also boost your vitamin C intake. A 100-gram portion of this super leafy green provides 93 mg of vitamin C, meeting the average person's recommended daily intake. What's more, kale offers other beneficial nutrients such as vitamin K and carotenoids.
The best way to access the ascorbic acid content of kale is to make it into juice, as cooking the vegetable reduces its vitamin C levels. You can also use kale as a replacement for basil in your pesto sauce.
A medium-sized kiwi contains up to 56 mg of vitamin C, 62% of the daily value in an adult male. No wonder research has linked kiwi consumption to an improved immune system and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.
You might want to peel the fruit before serving as its skin is brown and fuzzy. However, beyond the off-putting external appearance, kiwi tastes great alone and with strawberries.
Broccoli is another cruciferous vegetable that you can add to your diet to scale up its vitamin C content. A half cup of cooked broccoli offers 51 mg of vitamin C, similar to one serving of orange.
Observational studies have revealed that there may be a relationship between increased consumption of vitamin-C-rich cruciferous vegetables and lower cancer risk. Consider eating your broccoli raw for its full nutrients, or make it a part of your salad.
Since the 1700s, lemons have been given to people to prevent scurvy (swelling gums), one of the main repercussions of ascorbic acid deficiency. The vitamin C in lemon also acts as an antioxidant as you'll notice that it prevents other fruits from browning.
An average-sized raw lemon provides 45 mg of vitamin C. This refreshing fruit isn't usually eaten whole but as a garnish or flavoring. You can also make lemon into lemonade or lemon cake.
Half a cup of Brussels sprouts provides 49 mg of vitamin C, about 56% of the daily value in an average person. Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts are also loaded with fiber, vitamin K and A.
A 2019 study found that vitamin C and K in vegetables are essential for your bone health. Brussels sprouts can be eaten raw or included in a vegetable salad recipe.
One cup of papaya contains 88 mg of vitamin C, more than you'll get from a full orange. A study found that people with mild Alzheimer's showed decreased inflammation after consuming concentrated papaya powder for 6 months.
Papaya is a tasty fruit, so it's easy to eat after peeling for its full vitamin C content. You can also squeeze some lime juice on top of the fruit to make it more enjoyable.
Not getting enough vitamin C can have various catastrophic effects on your health. By eating some of the fruits and vegetables suggested above, your daily needs for this essential vitamin should be covered.