Raise your hand if you start mainlining oranges the second you get the sniffles. Yep, same. After all, vitamin C is life!
So I will be that buzzkill and say that the vitamin C in oranges and other foods can’t cure a cold. (Sorry!) But it still is “one of the most important nutrients in our body for overall health,” says dietitian Liz Weinandy, R.D., at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Vitamin C benefits include a stronger immune system and lower levels of damaging free radicals in the body—making the antioxidant important for disease prevention, Weinandy says.
You should be getting 75 milligrams of of vitamin C daily, ideally from foods (supplements are okay too but not ideal), says Weinandy.
So go ahead and eat the orange—one medium-sized fruit contains an impressive 70 milligrams of vitamin C, according to the USDA. But tbh, you can do better with any of these foods:
1. Red bell pepper
These veggies are colorful, crunchy, and incredibly low-cal—and a half-cup of chopped peppers packs 95 milligrams of vitamin C.
Per half cup, chopped: 19 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 3 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrates, 3 g of sugar, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Each cup of papaya pieces provides an impressive 88 milligrams of vitamin C. As an added bonus, the fruit’s also a good source of vitamin A and fiber.
Per cup of papaya pieces: 62 calories, 0.4 g fat (0 g sat fat), 12 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrates, 11 g of sugar, 3 g fiber, 0.7 g protein.
Nothing says summer like a tropical fruit–and this one packs an incredible 377 milligrams of vitamin C per cup. That’s five times your recommended daily intake!
Per one cup serving: 112 calories, 2 g fat (0 g sat fat), 3 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrates, 15 g of sugar, 9 g fiber, 4 g protein.
Make this your go-to green not just because of the C content (81 milligrams per cup of chopped broccoli), but because it’s also a surprising source of protein (nearly three grams!).
Per one cup serving, chopped: 31 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 30 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g of sugar, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.
One cup of sliced strawberries has 98 milligrams of C. (So, strawberry shortcake is totally helping boost my immune system, right?)
Per one cup serving, sliced: 53 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g sat fat), 2 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrates, 8 g of sugar, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein.
6. Yellow kiwi
Grab SunGolds when you see them in the store. These beauts contain 130 milligrams of vitamin C per fruit—that’s two times the amount found in the traditional (and more familiar) green-fleshed fruit.
Per fruit: 51 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 2 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrates, 10 g of sugar, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.
7. Hot green chili peppers
You know what they say, if you can’t take the heat…just one pepper packs a whopping 109 milligrams of vitamin C. Plus, research shows that spicing up your foods can turn up your metabolism.
Per pepper: 18 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 3 mg sodium, 4 g carbohydrates, 2 g of sugar, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Not familiar with this veg? It’s a cabbage, though the texture is crisp and crunchy like jicama (not leafy). Slice it raw, add a sprinkle of salt and you’re gtg. One cup has 84 milligrams of vitamin C.
Per one-cup serving: 36 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 27 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrates, 4 g of sugar, 5 g fiber, 2 g protein.
9. Mustard greens
Dietitians are always preaching to eat a wide range of foods to get a variety of nutrients, so it’s time to step up and experiment with zippy-tasting mustard greens if you haven’t cooked them up before. Two cups (which easily wilt down into a manageable portion once sautéed) offer 78 milligrams of vitamin C.
Per two cups, chopped: 30 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 22 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g of sugar, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein.
Tropical fruit wins again. One cup of pineapple chunks has 79 milligrams of vitamin C. It’s also an excellent source of manganese, a mineral that helps build bones and promotes a healthy metabolism.
Per cup serving, chunks: 82 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 2 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 16 g of sugar, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Source: Read Full Article