We've all had it drilled into us: citrus fruits are the source for vitamin C. But citrus fruits aren't the only source. They aren't even the best source! The amount of vitamin C in one serving of papaya, strawberries, pineapple, bell pepper, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts exceeds the amount of vitamin C in a medium orange.
Many fruits are high in vitamin C. Here is a list from The World's Healthiest Foods of the fruits and vegetables with 50% or more of the daily requirement of vitamin C in each serving.
Fruits Highest in Vitamin C
Papaya (one medium) - 224% (Papaya seeds can be dried and used like black pepper; makes great enzyme supplement)
Strawberries (one cup) - 113%
Pineapple (one cup) - 105%
Oranges (one medium) - 93%
Kiwi - (1 - 2 in) 85% (Eat the peels!)
Cantaloupe (1 cup) - 78%
Grapefruit (1/2) - 59%
What is surprising is the number of vegetables that meet the criteria.
Vegetables highest in vitamin C
Bell Peppers (1 cup red or yellow) - 157% (green peppers are unripe peppers)
Broccoli (1 cup) - 135%
Brussels sprouts (1 cup) - 129%
Cauliflower (1 cup) - 73%
Kale (1 cup) - 71%
Cabbage (1 cup) - 69%
Bok Choy (1 cup) - 59%
Parsley (1 cup) - 54%
Turnip greens (1 cup) - 53%
Sweet potato (1 cup) - 52%
Vitamin C is needed for the immune system, but that is not its only claim to fame. Vitamin C is needed for many physiological functions. It is an anti-oxidant. It is a co-factor for eight enzymes, thereby aiding in developing and maintaining scar tissue, blood vessels, cartilage, hormonal stability, biosynthesis of neurotransmitters, and transport of fatty acids into mitochondria.
So how can you mix and match some of the veggies and fruits above to deliver a power dose of vitamin C to your diet? A fruit salad? Yeah, that's an easy way. But let's look at a more creative recipe.
Beautiful and delicious kale salad
1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 tart apple
handful of walnuts
handful of raisins
honey to taste
Tear the kale into edible pieces, saving the stems for another recipe or thinly slicing them for this salad.
Sprinkle olive oil over the leaves (use a little more or a little less as needed) and massage the oil into the leaves with both hands until the leaves become soft and pliant.
Add sliced red pepper, chopped apples, raisins, and walnuts.
Juice one lime. Add honey to taste and whisk. Pour over salad and mix well.
Thanks for reading,