Vitamin C is the most popular supplement in the world and for good reason – it’s essential for human nutrition. While most other animals can manufacture their own vitamin C, the human body does not have that luxury. For most of us, citrus is our go-to source of vitamin C. Oranges in particular contain, on average, 85mg of vitamin C. But there are a number of other plant-based foods that are richer sources of this essential nutrient.
Here are my top 6:
1tsp of Camu berry powder has an astonishing 480mg of vitamin C. One mouthful of this super food is the equivalent to eating 5-6 oranges. It’s also an excellent source of antioxidants.
Best served: mixed into smoothies or a little fruit juice or water.
There are 376mg of vitamin C per cup. In addition to Vitamin C, this fruit is a good source of calcium, vitamin A, B vitamins and fiber.
Best served: As is, or poached, served with yogurt for a delicious breakfast or snack.
Red bell pepper
1 cup of bell peppers contains 117mg of vitamin C. They are also a great source of vitamin A, vitamin E and B vitamins (with the exception of B12).
Best served: Raw to retain antioxidants. Add to salad/sandwiches or serve as a crudité. If cooking: lightly sauté or roast.
Try this recipe Pasta with Grilled Peppers and Chili
Have a look at Bell peppers, which are on the dirty dozen list.
Eat 2 kiwi’s and you’ll get up to 137mg of vitamin C. This fruit also contains a large amount of vitamin K and is rich in fiber. It is also a good source of vitamin E, potassium, folate and manganese.
Best served: Enjoy as is or added to fruit salads, smoothies or sliced on top of yogurt and granola.
*Kiwifruits contain enzymes that act as a food tenderizer. They have the ability to tenderize other foods and the kiwi fruit itself. If you are adding kiwifruit to fruit salad, you should do so at the last minute to prevent the other fruits from becoming too soggy.
Try this recipe Tropical Fruit Salad with Thai Ginger dressing and replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar for a healthier option.
1 small head of cauliflower offers 128mg of Vitamin C. This vegetable is packed with the antioxidant sulforaphane which can help protect the stomach lining by preventing bacterial overgrowth.
Best served: Enjoy cooked cauliflower as a side or add as a healthy addition to mashed potatoes.
*Cauliflower contains phytonutrients that release odorous sulfur compounds when heated and become stronger with increased cooking time. To minimize odor and reduce nutrient loss, lightly steam or sauté the cauliflower for a short time.
96mg of vitamin C can be found in 1 cup of papaya. They are also a rich source of antioxidant nutrients, B vitamins, folate, minerals and fiber and contain enzymes which are great for digestion.
I would like to share this quick , easy Breakfast packed with Vitamin C. Poached Guavas with Papaya and Kiwi fruit. (recipe at the end of the post)
It is best to consume vitamin C as it is found in nature. This is shown to have a synergistic influence on the functions of vitamin C.
Ascorbic acid, the form of vitamin C found in most supplements – is synthesized in a laboratory and new research is showing that it doesn’t provide all the health benefits that a food based vitamin C provides.
If you require additional vitamin C – look to taking a food based supplement.
I also recommend consuming organic produce wherever possible to limit your exposure to harmful pesticides. Their negative impact on health is well documented.
- 6 guavas halved
- 4 star anise
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 Kiwi fruit
- 1 small papaya
- 3 Tblsp coconut sugar (if not available use soft brown )
- Peel and halve the ripe guavas.
- Place in a saucepan, and enough water to cover the guavas.
- Add coconut sugar, star anise and cinnamon stick.
- Simmer gently on a medium heat for 10 minutes of until tender.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Slice papaya and kiwi.
- Serve all the fruit in a bowl and top with the juice of the guavas.
- Serve with Natural Yoghurt