Vitamin C is an important, naturally occurring nutrient. From preventing cold and flu to rebuilding tissue, bones and blood vessels and boosting the body’s ability to synthesize calcium, vitamin C is something we all need on a daily basis.
Studies have confirmed the need for vitamin C to support brain function, heal from injuries, and recover from illness. A potent antioxidant for neutralizing free radicals, a diet lacking vitamin C may lead to health problems over time. In fact, the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends that we all eat foods rich in vitamin C on a daily basis.
The following foods offer more vitamin C than oranges and will super-charge your diet with a major serving of this essential nutrient.
- Yellow Bell Peppers – a half-cup of these colorful veggies packs 155 mg of vitamin C. They’re also rich in beta-carotene. These colorful veggies have been studied for their heart health benefits, and have been shown to prevent cataracts, blood clots, and may even reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. All bell peppers are high in vitamin C, but yellow has the most and red peppers come in second.
- Kiwi – Just two of these tiny super fruits contain 128 mg of vitamin C. Research also shows that kiwis can help you fall asleep more quickly and improve sleep quality, due to their high levels of serotonin, a hormone that plays a role in initiating sleep onset. They are also high in flavonoids and have as much potassium as a banana.
- Guava – with 377 mg per cup, you can’t beat the vitamin C content. That’s five times the RDA! They are also rich in dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese, making guavas one of the best super foods to add to your diet.
- Kale – each two-cup serving of Kale carries 150 mg of vitamin C and a whopping 684 mg of potassium and nearly seven grams of fiber. Kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, watercress, chard, and spinach (as well as most other leafy greens) are all great vitamin C foods to add to your diet. While they all provide different amounts of this essential nutrient, kale contains the most vitamin C per serving.
- Strawberries – a cup of sliced strawberries contains 98 mg of vitamin C and they’re one of the tastiest sources of this vital nutrient. Strawberries are also high in fiber and antioxidants, which are responsible for reducing oxidative stress and protecting the heart from bad cholesterol.