Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) strengthens our immune system, promotes wound healing, aids in the absorption of iron, and is a potent antioxidant. It is a water-soluble vitamin that the body cannot store. Therefore, it must be regularly consumed through diet.
- Vegetables high in vitamin C
- Herbs and spices high in vitamin C
- Vitamin C in legumes
- Juices and beverages high in vitamin C
- Nuts and seeds with vitamin C
Vitamin C Fruits
Fruit provides a great way to supply the body with vitamin C. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and mandarins are known for their high vitamin C content. Medium-sized oranges and grapefruits contain about 80 mg of vitamin C, which is almost the daily vitamin C requirement for an adult. They are also rich in folate and antioxidants such as lycopene. You can also drink freshly squeezed juices from citrus fruits to increase your vitamin C intake. Make sure to consume the juice immediately after squeezing to preserve the vitamin C content, as vitamin C is sensitive to light and oxygen. Before consuming citrus fruits, you can roll or gently press them. Rolling or pressing releases the juice inside the fruit and breaks down the fibers, making it easier to extract the juice and achieve higher juice yield.
Berry fruits such as sea buckthorn, strawberries (technically a nut fruit), gooseberries, raspberries, blueberries, and black currants contain a significant amount of vitamin C according to the table. One cup of black currants can contain about 100 mg of vitamin C, while red currants provide about 60 mg per cup. Berries are also rich in antioxidants, fiber, and anthocyanins, which possess anti-inflammatory properties. They can be eaten raw, added to yogurt or cereal, or processed into smoothies. Processing them into juice, jelly, compote, or desserts is also possible.
Other fruits with a notable vitamin C content include:
- A medium-sized kiwi can contain up to 80 mg of vitamin C. They are also rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin K1, and vitamin E. They can be enjoyed fresh or added to desserts, fruit salads, and smoothies.
- The exotic papaya is not only rich in enzymes and fiber but also an excellent source of vitamin C. A medium-sized papaya can contain up to 120 mg of vitamin C. Papayas are sweet and juicy. They can be eaten fresh or processed into juices and smoothies.
- The refreshing pineapple is a tropical fruit that should not be overlooked, as it also contains a good amount of vitamin C. One cup of fresh pineapple chunks can provide about 80 mg of vitamin C. It also contains bromelain, an enzyme that can aid digestion. Enjoy the pineapple chunks fresh or in fruit salads. Pineapple juice and cocktails can also be prepared from it.
- Mangos are also a good source of vitamin C. A medium-sized mango can contain about 50 mg of vitamin C. They are also rich in vitamin A and antioxidants. Mangos can be enjoyed fresh, added to smoothies and fruit salads, or used in exotic dishes.
- Passion fruits, also known as maracuja, are exotic fruits with a high content of vitamin C. A medium-sized passion fruit can contain about 30 mg of vitamin C. They are also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin A. Passion fruits can be eaten fresh, added to juice, or used in desserts.
- Pomegranates are known for their numerous health benefits. With about 10 mg of vitamin C per medium-sized fruit, they are also considered vitamin C-rich fruits. Pomegranates are also rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. The juicy seeds can be eaten raw or processed into juice, smoothies, salads, or desserts.
- Although rose hips are not a typical fruit, they should not go unnoticed due to their extremely high vitamin C content. Rose hips are the fruits of wild roses. A handful of rose hips can provide about 600 to 1,800 mg of vitamin C. They are often processed into tea, jams, or syrup.
Vitamin C Improves Iron Absorption
The absorption of plant-based iron from food is enhanced with the help of vitamin C. Iron from plant sources (non-heme iron) such as legumes, spinach, or whole grains is generally not absorbed as well as iron from animal sources. By combining iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich fruits, iron absorption can be improved. This tip is particularly important for individuals suffering from iron deficiency.
Incorporating Vitamin C-Rich Fruits In Your Diet
The following list demonstrates how you can incorporate fruits high in vitamin C into your diet:
- Fruity Smoothie: Blend oranges, strawberries, and pineapple together.
- Lemon Water: Drink a glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice every morning.
- Berry Quinoa Salad: Combine quinoa with berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
- Papaya Salsa: Dice papaya, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro for a delicious salsa.
- Kiwi Spinach Salad: Mix fresh kiwi slices with spinach, walnuts, and a lime dressing.
- Mango Avocado Smoothie: Blend mango, avocado, and orange juice into a creamy smoothie.
- Pineapple Coconut Smoothie: Combine pineapple, coconut milk, and banana for a tropical smoothie.
- Strawberry Spinach Smoothie: Blend strawberries, spinach, and oat milk for a healthy smoothie.
- Orange Broccoli Salad: Mix orange pieces with cooked broccoli and add a light vinaigrette.
- Wild Berry Oatmeal: Cook oats with berries like raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
- Mango Avocado Salad: Dice mango and avocado into cubes and serve them on arugula.
- Kiwi Chia Seed Pudding: Blend kiwi with chia seeds and plant-based milk and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight.
- Fruit Skewers: Thread various fruit pieces like strawberries, pineapple, and kiwi onto skewers for a colorful snack.
- Mango Banana Sorbet: Puree frozen mango pieces and bananas into a refreshing sorbet.