10 Surprising Vitamin C Sources to Support Your Immune System

10 Surprising Vitamin C Sources to Support Your Immune System

| By RB Schiff Vitamins

You already know that citrus fruits like oranges and lemons contain lots of vitamin C. But if you’re looking to increase your intake, you might be surprised to learn there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables that contain the nutrient. In fact, many other food sources of vitamin C contain much more than an orange. In this article, we look at some lesser known vitamin C rich foods, with some helpful tips on how to get more of them into your diet.

How much vitamin C do you need each day?

Before we dive in, a quick reminder. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, helping to support the immune system and overall health . Adults are recommended to get around 90mg of vitamin C each day, and not to exceed 2,000mg. As it is not stored in the body, it’s unlikely that exceeding this dose will cause too much harm. However, taking extreme doses may cause issues such as an upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Megadoses of vitamin C may also contribute to headaches . Still, you need to ensure you get at least the minimum amount; it’s about finding the right balance. So, how do you get enough C? Let’s take a look at some foods with a high vitamin C content.

Which foods are high in vitamin C?

Ever wonder how to get more vitamin C? A healthy diet is crucial, but knowing the right foods to eat isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Here are ten foods you may not realize are rich in vitamin C.

1. Red and green peppers

Sweet and crunchy bell peppers are a fantastic source of vitamin C; one portion can contain as much as double that of a large Florida orange (which contains around 68mg) .

How much vitamin C do they contain? One cup of chopped green peppers contains around 120mg of vitamin C , with the same serving of red peppers providing about 190mg . How to get the maximum benefit: Throw sliced peppers into a salad or a stir-fry for an easy way to up your intake. For a more adventurous recipe, try stuffing halved peppers with rice or couscous and roasting in an oven. Or try our delicious roasted red pepper dip; a perfect accompaniment to sticks of veg for a healthy snack.

2. Potatoes

Despite being a starchy vegetable, potatoes are actually a great source of vitamin C. Because they’re a carbohydrate, many people think too many potatoes are bad for them. But when cooked in a healthy way and eaten as part of a balanced diet, they can provide a great boost to your vitamin C levels. How much vitamin C do they contain? One large potato has about 72mg of vitamin C . How to get the maximum benefit: Boiling or frying has been shown to result in a loss of much of the nutritional content. Baking a potato with the skin on is seen as the best way to retain the vitamins within . Serve with a healthy topping of your choice, such as a hearty chili con carne.

3. Sweet potato

A sweet potato has long been a healthy alternative to unhealthy fried potato products. And it turns out that these vegetables are also a good source of vitamin C. How much vitamin C do they contain? One large baked sweet potato can contain around 35mg of vitamin C . How to get the maximum benefit: Bake the sweet potato in its skin and serve with meat or fish and vegetables of your choice.

4. Cantaloupe melon

Melons are a tasty and nutritious fruit group, but cantaloupes are the most beneficial in terms of providing you with a vitamin C intake.

How much vitamin C do they contain? One large wedge of cantaloupe melon can provide you with around 37mg . How to get the maximum benefit: Simply slice a large cantaloupe into wedges and enjoy for breakfast, or as a tasty snack that’s great for all the family.

5. Cabbage

Another type of vegetable that packs a good punch of vitamin C is cabbage. How much vitamin C does it contain? One cup of raw shredded red cabbage provides around 40mg of vitamin C , while the same quantity of shredded savoy cabbage contains about 21mg . How to get the maximum benefit: Serve steamed (rather than boiled) cabbage as an accompaniment to evening meals. Steaming retains the nutrients better than boiling , so try to steam vegetables where possible. Or eat raw shredded cabbage in a slaw that can be added to salads or served as a side dish.

6. Broccoli

Like cabbage, broccoli provides a healthy boost of vitamin C, making it a great option for almost any meal. How much vitamin C does it contain? Just one cup of chopped broccoli contains around 80mg , while one stalk of the vegetable will provide about 134mg. How to get the maximum benefit: Steam the broccoli to retain the vitamin C as possible12, and serve as an accompaniment to meals. Or throw spears of broccoli into a stir-fry for some additional crunch.

7. Kiwifruit

While citrus fruits are the most commonly known vitamin C sources, kiwifruit provides more than the likes of oranges or lemons. How much vitamin C do they contain? One kiwi provides around a 64mg , over two thirds of your recommended daily value. How to get the maximum benefit: Slice off the top and scoop out the flesh as a tasty snack, or peel off the skin and slice the kiwi before adding to a fruit salad for a healthy dessert.

8. Chili peppers

Earlier, we mentioned the healthy vitamin C content of bell peppers. If you like a bit of spice, you’ll be pleased to learn that chili peppers also contain a good amount of C. How much vitamin C do they contain? One red chili pepper will provide you with about 65mg . How to get the maximum benefit: Add sliced chili peppers to curries, stir-fries or soups for a kick of spicy heat.

9. Guava

Guava is another fruit that offers a high vitamin C content, making it a great alternative to oranges and other citrus fruits. How much vitamin C do they contain? One guava (excluding refuse) contains around 125mg . How to get the maximum benefit: Pretty much all the guava can be eaten, including the skin. Slice up and enjoy as a snack. If you prefer, you can also remove the skin and just eat the flesh within.

10. Brussels sprouts

Traditionally seen gracing the table on the holiday season, Brussels sprouts are more than just an accompaniment to Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners. They also happen to be an excellent source of vitamin C. How much vitamin C do they contain? A cup of raw Brussels sprouts will provide you with just under 75mg of vitamin C – more than three quarters of your daily value. How to get the maximum benefit: Steam the sprouts and serve with roast meat, or for an alternative texture, try pan frying or roasting in a little oil. They make a great accompaniment to a Thanksgiving meal, too!

Give your body additional immune support

Diet is essential for ensuring that your immune system is in check. Make sure you eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C on a regular basis to reap the benefits. You can also take a vitamin C supplement to get your required amount.

Try Airborne® Zesty Orange Effervescent Tablets to give yourself peace of mind that you’re getting an adequate daily intake*.

References: 

[1] Zelman, Kathleen M. “The Benefits of Vitamin C”. WebMD, 7 January 2010, https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c#1

[2] Zeratsky, Katherine. “Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?”. Mayo Clinic, 8 February 2018, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vitamin-c/faq-20058030

[3] “Basic Report:  09203, Oranges, raw, Florida”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show?ndbno=09203&fg=9&man=&lfacet=&format=Abridged&count=&max=25&offset=50&sort=c&qlookup=&rptfrm=nl&nutrient1=401&nutrient2=&nutrient3=&subset=0&totCount=330&measureby=m

[4] “Basic Report: 11333, Peppers, sweet, green, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3069?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=peppers&ds=Standard+Reference&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

[5] “Basic Report: 11821, Peppers, sweet, red, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3438?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=peppers&ds=Standard+Reference&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

[6] “Basic Report:  11352, Potatoes, flesh and skin, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/301973?manu=&fgcd=&ds=SR

[7] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Information Network on Post-Harvest Operations. “Roots, tubers, plantains and bananas in human nutrition”. FAO, 1990, http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0207e/T0207E07.htm#6.%20Effect%20of%20processing%20on%20nutritional%20value

[8] “Basic Report:  11508, Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, flesh, without salt”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/302100?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=sweet+potato&ds=SR&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

[9] “Basic Report:  09181, Melons, cantaloupe, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/301173?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=cantaloupe&ds=SR&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

[10] “Basic Report:  11112, Cabbage, red, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/301783?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=cabbage&ds=SR&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

[11] “Basic Report:  11114, Cabbage, savoy, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/301785?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=cabbage&ds=SR&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

[12] “How to Keep Nutrients in Vegetables”. WebMD, 2011, https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/video/how-to-keep-nutrients-in-vegetables

[13] “Basic Report:  11090, Broccoli, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/11090?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=broccoli&ds=SR&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

[14] “Basic Report:  09148, Kiwifruit, green, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/301153?manu=&fgcd=&ds=SR

[15] “Basic Report:  11819, Peppers, hot chili, red, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/302324?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=red+chili+pepper&ds=SR&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

[16] “Basic Report:  09139, Guavas, common, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/301146?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=guava&ds=SR&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

[17] “Basic Report:  11098, Brussels sprouts, raw”. United States Department of Agriculture, April 2018, https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show?ndbno=11098&fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=Abridged&count=&max=25&offset=0&sort=c&qlookup=&rptfrm=nl&nutrient1=401&nutrient2=&nutrient3=&subset=1&totCount=842&measureby=m

 

*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT DISEASE.