Top 10 Vitamin C-Rich Foods You Should Include In Your Diet

October 7 2017

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is arguably the best-known immune-boosting vitamin and critical for the normal functioning of the body. It is a powerful antioxidant which helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals that could contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, cancers, and other diseases.

As it’s a water-soluble vitamin, our bodies, unfortunately, doesn’t have the ability to make their own vitamin C or store it; therefore, we need to fuel up with this essential vitamin every day to ensure that we don’t have a deficit.

If you smoke or are exposed to pollution, drink caffeine in any form, are under stress, are recovering from illness or surgery, take aspirin regularly or are over the age of 55, you’re more likely to suffer from vitamin C deficiency. If you bruise easily, are susceptible to infections and colds, lack energy, have gums that bleed easily and have nosebleeds regularly, it’s likely that you need more vitamin C.

The recommended dietary intake (RDI) of vitamin C is 45 mg/day and it is best to take the vitamin naturally from food sources such as the following:

1) Guava

This sub-tropical super fruit contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. It’s also rich in vitamins A, folic acid and the minerals potassium, copper and manganese. A great diet food, it is high in fibre and low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. The vitamin C content of guava is 200mg per 100g.


2) Blackcurrants

They also contain 200mg of vitamin C per 100g. These berries are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids and help to relieve inflammation as well as urinary tract infections. They are also a good source of potassium.


3) Capsicum

Red capsicums, in particular, are among the best sources of dietary vitamin C and are high in antioxidant levels. Red capsicums are the sweeter and riper versions of green capsicum and contain almost double the vitamin C content of green capsicum. Raw red capsicums boast a whopping 140mg of Vitamin C/100g, whereas raw green capsicums contain a very respectable 80mg of vitamin C/100g. When cooked, the vitamin C level is slightly lower. Also known as sweet peppers, capsicums are low in kilojoules and a good source of vitamin B6, iron and potassium.


4) Broccoli

Broccoli has been hailed as a superfood that boosts the immune system and helps to fight cancer. It is packed with vitamin C (89mg of vitamin C per 100g), and is also rich in beta-carotene, carotenoids, B vitamins (including folate), calcium, zinc, and fibre. Broccoli should only be boiled or steamed very briefly; otherwise, it can lose a major portion of its beneficial components.


5) Strawberry

Strawberries are full of fibre and antioxidants with 80mg of vitamin C per 100g. Strawberries should be eaten when fresh, as their antioxidant values, as well as their vitamin C content, drops the longer they are kept.


6) Kiwi

The small kiwifruit is one of the world’s most nutritious fruit and contains very high levels of vitamin C (70mg/100g), potassium, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Kiwifruit should be eaten as soon as they are ripe, and sliced just before being eaten, as leaving them standing could decrease their vitamin C levels.


7) Papaya

The papaya provides 62mg of vitamin C per 100g serving. It is also a great source of other antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes and flavonoids; and vitamin A and folate. Papaya is thought to bring about a reduced risk of colon and cervical cancer. This tropical fruit also contains the enzyme, papain, which is an excellent aid to digestion and can assist our body’s enzyme to extract the maximum nutritional value from the foods we eat.


8) Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts contain beneficial phytochemicals, have anti-cancer effects and are a good source of folate, iron and vitamin C (60mg/100g). It is best to steam or briefly boil Brussel Sprouts in order to preserve both the folate and the vitamin C.


9) Orange

Oranges, together with other citrus fruit, is probably the best-known source of vitamin C. It is a great weapon against winter colds and flu. The orange’s vitamin C content is 50mg/100g and is known to boost the immune system and thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Citrus fruits like orange, can also improve blood circulation and lower blood cholesterol levels. Keep in mind that it’s more beneficial to eat the fruit than to drink the juice.


10) Cauliflower

Cauliflower belongs to the same family as broccoli and Brussel sprouts and has a vitamin C content of 46mg/100g (raw). It contains several anti-cancer phytochemicals, B vitamins (including folate) and vitamin K. It is best to steam or boil it very briefly, as cooking greatly reduces its nutritional properties.