As we know, vitamin C supports numerous physiological functions. It plays a role in maintaining the immune and nervous systems, in forming collagen and in helping to combat fatigue, etc. (1-2) Let’s now take a look at which foods contain the highest levels.
Guava is a sweet-tasting exotic fruit which contains high levels of vitamin C: 228mg per 100g. Its close relatives, papaya, mango and star fruit, also contain vitamin C amongst other nutritional benefits.
With a content of 184mg per 100g, yellow peppers are chock-full of vitamin C. Whatever their colour, peppers are an excellent vitamin C source: if well-digested, they’re best eaten raw, as ascorbic acid is quickly destroyed by heat .
Part of the same family as peppers, chilis are similarly rich in vitamin C! They are likewise best eaten raw. Choose hot or mild chilis depending on your taste.
Parsley offers a substantial amount of vitamin C: 177mg per 100g. A good reason to add freshly-chopped raw parsley to your salads and cooked dishes. Thyme, dill, and all aromatic herbs offer the same nutritional advantage so make good use of bouquets garnis in your cooking.
This little black berry packs a massive vitamin C punch, with 180mg per 100g. Not too sweet, blackcurrants are excellent for our health. They can be combined with other red fruits (strawberries, cherries) to make a delicious summer dessert or a vitamin-packed smoothie.
Horseradish is part of the brassica family which includes cabbage and the mustard plant. Used for spicing up dishes, it should be grated just before serving in order to retain its vitamin C content. The fiery wasabi, familiar to fans of Japanese cuisine, is part of the same plant family and has similar characteristics.
Like its ‘cousins’, red cabbage, broccoli and green cabbage, kale is an excellent source of vitamin C. If you like its bitter taste, you can eat it raw, chopped into a salad, for example. If not, try eating it steamed, as this method of cooking will minimise any loss of vitamins and minerals.
Oranges are well-known as a source of vitamin C, and with good cause! In fact, all citrus fruits contain this vitamin. Eat oranges or grapefruit raw or juiced, and lemons too (use the pulp or the zest – the whole fruit offers benefits). Quick vitamin tip: sprinkle lemon juice on salads and guacamole, or add it to your daily bottle of water.
Seaweed of various kinds is increasingly used in Western cuisine. It offers excellent nutritional benefits along with a salty flavour that will enhance your cooking. Nori, the black seaweed used to wrap maki (sushi rolls), dulse and kelp are the best choices for vitamin C.
Breakfast cereals are often fortified with vitamins and minerals to provide the energy you need for the day ahead. Beware, however, of added sugar and salt in muesli. Instead, choose cereals with honey or fruit, for example.
Supplementation is an easy way of increasing your intake of vitamin C: try, for example the vitamin C supplements Asc2P, Triple C or Ester C™. While all forms of ascorbic acid are beneficial, the liposomal form is especially well-absorbed by the body and offers a particularly valuable helping hand (Liposomal Vitamin C).
So there you have it: there are many options available for ensuring you get enough vitamin C each day. First and foremost, eat a varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, raw or steamed, and be sure to take a regular high-quality supplement!
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