Good morning! Today we are talking about Vitamin-C rich foods, which may be especially helpful with cold and flu season. Typically if you are feeling down or just looking to get in a dose of vitamin C, people may tell you to drink your OJ or eat some oranges. Now, oranges are a great fruit, but did you know that there are actually several other fruits and vegetables that are higher in vitamin C? That doesn’t mean that you should stop eating oranges if you enjoy them, but you can certainly try adding in the other fruits and vegetables for your daily dose of vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and nutrients.
For your frame of reference, one orange has about 51 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, and the recommended daily amount is roughly 200mg. Now, many fruits and vegetables have around 50mg of vitamin C, so you can easily eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day to meet your needs. However, it can be fun to change it up with the foods listed below:
We’ll start with one of our favorite fruits – Papaya! Just one small papaya has around 96mg of Vitamin C. However, one large papaya has about 235mg. If you eat a large one though, don’t worry. Your body is pretty incredible and can regulate how much vitamin C it absorbs, so it will absorb only what is needed. A great way to add papaya to your diet (and our favorite way to eat one) is to simply buy a small papaya and eat it as a snack! We also love to top it on our oatmeal or throw some into a smoothie.
Strawberries are another vitamin-C rich food. One cup of strawberries has roughly 85mg of vitamin C. Strawberries are also filled with fiber, potassium, and antioxidants, making them a pretty great fruit to eat! We love eating strawberries on their own, in smoothies, chopped up over oatmeal or in a salad, and we especially love eating them with the nut cheese recipe from your nutrition plan.
Shopping tip: Strawberries taste how they look. So if they are rich in color, they should taste great! If you see ones that are not as red or looking not as fresh, opt for some frozen strawberries until the fresh ones are in season.
Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie recipe here
You may not have been a fan of Brussels sprouts as a kid, but there is plenty of reason to love them now! Just one cup of Brussels has roughly 75mg of vitamin C. They also provide a high amount of vitamins K, A, and many B vitamins. Try roasting these plain or with your favorite herbs. A simple combo that we love to do is a little pepper and nutritional yeast (see what nutritional yeast is and the benefits here) sprinkled over Brussels sprouts and then roasting them in the oven until they start to get slightly crispy. If you are not a huge fan of Brussels but still want to try them out, you can shred and toss them into a salad or other side dish so they mix in with other ingredients.
Pineapple is probably our favorite fruit to eat in the summer! We eat it plain, baked in healthy cakes and muffins, chopped up in salads, smoothies, and grilled as a side dish. It’s a good thing too, because one cup of chopped pineapple has about 79 mg of vitamin C! Pineapples are also powerhouses and provide many other vitamins and nutrients, such as Vitamin B, A, magnesium, iron, and fiber!
Pro Tip: Have you noticed when you cut a fresh pineapple that certain slices are juicer than others? When your pineapple is ripe and ready to cut, slice just the stem off the top and flip the pineapple upside down. Let it sit this way for several hours or overnight. Then slice! Flipping your pineapple allows the juices from the bottom of the pineapple to more evenly distribute throughout the rest of the pineapple. Of course, pre-chopped or frozen pineapple is always an option too!
One kiwi has 64 mg of vitamin C, and if you have ever had just one kiwi (in fact, I am eating one as I type), you know how easily and quickly they can go down! Kiwi is great on it’s own, or in smoothie bowls like the ones in your nutrition plan. It can also be a great addition to any breakfast or brunch. In fact, if you want to get fancy while being healthy, you can serve your kiwi as “flowers.” See the how-to video below:
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are a must for any diet. They provide a powerful punch of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, have been linked to fighting against cancers, and they can even help protect our bodies against harmful pathogens and pollutants (studies here). Luckily eating just one cup of chopped broccoli can provide your body with many of these benefits! One cup contains roughly 81mg of vitamin C, in addition to providing you with vitamin K, calcium and iron. An easy way to get in this one cup is to simply have a cup of broccoli dipped in hummus or some avocado as a snack. You can also roast it or toss some into this Teriyaki Bowl Recipe.
Cauliflower – another tasty cruciferous vegetable, and this one if probably our personal favorite. One whole, small, head of cauliflower contains roughly 128mg of vitamin C. And at a whopping 66 calories for the whole head, it can be pretty easy to devour! We have some great cauliflower roast recipes coming to nutrition plan members soon, but in the meantime, you can slice up a head of cauliflower, season with your favorite herbs, and then roast at 400-425 degrees F until the cauliflower is fork tender.