With cold and flu season upon us, it’s the perfect time to increase your daily intake of vitamin C to help boost your immune system and fight off illness. Beyond taking vitamins and drinking OJ, here are the top foods – from chili peppers to red bell peppers and thyme to peas – that are loaded with vitamin C.
Only one serving of kiwi will give you nearly 140 milligrams of vitamin C. In addition, the fuzzy fruit will add a tropical zing to anything from salads to granola to smoothies. Find more healthy (and tasty!) smoothie recipes.
Red Bell Peppers
Although most people chug a glass of orange juice for a healthy dose of vitamin C, an even better idea would be to bite into crunchy red peppers. In fact, a cup of chopped red pepper contains nearly three times more vitamin C than an orange. Bonus: sweet bell peppers are also high in vitamin A, which helps promote eye health. If you’re feeling under the weather, try one of these healing ginger recipes.
It’s about thyme you introduce more of this healthy herb into your diet, especially if you’re looking to boost your levels of vitamin C. Whether fresh or dried, sprinkling it over your favourite dish can boost your immune system and even help you fend off a cold.
The tiny, humble pea is a vitamin C powerhouse: packed with potassium, folate and vitamin K, it’s a worthy addition to your already healthy meal. A word of warning, though; canned and frozen peas contain less vitamin C then fresh peas, while boiling them will result in a loss of about one quarter of their vitamin C total. So, where possible, go with fresh, uncooked peas for maximum vitamin C benefits.
Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes and other citrus fruits are the most commonly associated with vitamin C, and with good reason – a medium-sized orange alone contains about 70 milligrams of vitamin C. As a bonus, citrus fruits are also jam-packed with other essential nutrients, including potassium, calcium, thiamine, niacin, folate, vitamin B6 and magnesium. If you feel a cold coming on, these are the best foods that will help soothe your sore throat.
Great news for those who prefer a spicy kick in their dishes: a half-cup of chopped or diced chili peppers serves up a whopping 107.8 milligrams of vitamin C. As a bonus, they also help relieve joint and muscle pain, making it one of the best foods to eat after a workout.
Berries in general (but strawberries in particular) are loaded with vitamin C, with the average-sized strawberry containing about 20 milligrams of the in-demand vitamin. So simply enjoying a handful of this sweet, delicious fruit can give you an entire day’s worth of vitamin C, and keep the sniffles at bay. You can also try one of these healthy 10-minute meals when you’re feeling lazy.
You can’t go wrong with this healthy superfood, which boasts a high concentration of vitamin C among its many health-boosting attributes. One thing to keep in mind, though: broccoli’s vitamin C content begins to degrade as soon as it’s been sliced and diced, so it’s a good idea to eat it soon afterward. Didn’t use all those broccoli stems? Check out these tasty uses for leftover food scraps.
This breakfast staple has earned its reputation as a bona fide superfood due to its high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants. Did you know that eating half of a cantaloupe adds nearly 100 milligrams of vitamin C to your diet? For more inspiration, check out the best foods (and worst) for your mental health.
If you’re like most people, you probably hated eating soggy, boiled Brussels sprouts as a kid. But the much-maligned veggie has made a comeback in recent years, and is commonly shredded in salads or baked as a savoury side dish. However you decide to prepare your sprouts, a 100-gram serving will provide about 85 milligrams of vitamin C. Find more tasty and creative ways to eat more Brussels sprouts.
Guava is one of the most oft-overlooked fruits, but it belongs in your grocery cart beside those oranges. Just make sure you don’t peel off the skin – much like apples, guava skin contains higher concentrations of vitamin C than the sweet, juicy flesh.