Vitamin C is something we all seem to be familiar with. It was the reason my mother tried to force me to eat all my fruits and vegetables as a child. Eventually, after multiple attempts, my mother caved and got me those sweet vitamin gummies that I ate every morning without complaint. Either way, it is a key aspect of our diets. We know it is good for us, so how can we get more?
Why Do We Need Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is needed for the growth, repair and development of all body tissues. It also aids the body in many processes. This vitamin helps our bodies form collagen and absorb iron. It also keeps our immune system functioning properly and helps wounds heal as well as maintaining cartilage, bones and teeth. It is also an important antioxidant. This is why it is often referred to as the most effective nutrient. We need vitamin C for our bodies to function healthily.
How Much Vitamin C Do We Need?
Doctors recommend that the average adult should have around 500mg every day (Although, the daily amount that adults need is only 65-90 milligrams). However, this figure is incredibly hard to reach by eating fruits and vegetables alone and often doctors recommend that we take a vitamin C supplement every day. They say that there are no harmful effects of having a lot of it, but 2000milligrams is the upper limit on the recommended amount. Nausea and diarrhoea are mild side effects that come with exceeding this upper limit.
How Can We Get More Vitamin C In Our Diet?
The answer to this question is simply by eating more foods that have a high vitamin C content. However, sometimes the fruits and vegetables with high content are not the ones you were expecting. Either way, you need to eat more fruits and vegetables.
There are many fruits that you can snack on throughout the day to get a high intake of vitamin C. Don’t worry I am not about to tell you to eat fifty oranges, because there are many different fruits with an even higher content than oranges.
- Guava – A guava has almost twice the vitamin C content of an orange. One guava can have up to 200mg in it. Therefore, by snacking on guava in the afternoon you can drastically increase your intake without having to try very hard.
- Pineapple – This fruit isn’t part of the citrus family, but its sweet yet tangy taste is a trademark for high vitamin C content. One pineapple can be chopped up and used as a snack that will last you a couple of days. It also goes great in fruit salads and smoothies.
- Strawberries – They are known for their anti-oxidant properties, but they are also very high in vitamin C. This bite-sized fruit is a perfect snack for when you are on the go or outdoors. Chocolate covered strawberries make a delicious dessert that also gives us an added vitamin boost.
- Kiwi – The kiwi fruit is a great way of adding some green to your snack, while also getting a great intake. The kiwi fruit has up to 84mg in only one small fruit.
- Papaya – Half a papaya provides a significantly higher amount than an orange. Papayas can be eaten plain, in a salad or made into a smoothie bowl. They aren’t as sweet as other fruits and therefore make a great fruit salad base.
- Mangoes – Everybody loves mangoes. They’re delicious and my go-to fruit. These fruits provide a huge dosage of vitamin c, however, it is important to note that the greener mangoes have more than yellow ones. So chop them up and enjoy them as a sweet treat, or turn them into a spicy salsa for something savoury.
- Citrus – It is in all citrus fruits, not only oranges. Eating half a grapefruit for breakfast or squeezing lemon juice into your water or black tea can incorporate a lot of it into your diet. It is as easy as that.
When thinking of this vitamin many people think of fruits only, but vegetables can have a higher vitamin C content than fruits. however, the cooking process can strip vegetables of nutrients so eating them raw can often give us higher levels of vitamin c.
- Red Chillies – There is an incredibly high amount of vitamin c in red chillies, about 143.7 mg per 100 grams. using red chillies to spice up your dinner could be very beneficial to your health.
- Bell Peppers – Bell peppers contain some of the highest levels of vitamin c. Red bell peppers contain higher levels than green bell peppers, but all of them have relatively high levels. Snacking on some cut up bell peppers with hummus during the day could greatly increase your daily intake.
- Kale – One cup of chopped kale provides 80mg. having something as simple as a salad with some chopped kale can increase your intake throughout the day. However, it is important to remember that raw kale provides more vitamin c than cooked.
- Broccoli – One cup of cooked broccoli can provide 51mg. Having some broccoli for dinner can increase you instake as week as giving you a host of other health benefits.
- Tomato – Make sauces, bakes, salads or guacamole using tomatoes to easily get an extra vitamin boost.
Although doctors may recommend taking a vitamin C supplement. Sometimes it isn’t necessary if your diet incorporates foods like the ones listed above. By eating the above fruits and vegetables daily, you can consume optimum levels of vitamin c. Cook with herbs such as thyme or parsley which have high levels of the vitamin. This will ensure that you never go a day without meeting the recommended amount.