Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in various physiological functions within the body. It is an essential nutrient, meaning that the body cannot produce it on its own and must obtain it through dietary sources. Vitamin C is known for its powerful antioxidant properties, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals (unstable molecules that can contribute to aging and various diseases).1 2 Additionally, vitamin C is vital for collagen synthesis and can promote wound healing and skin health. 3 4 Consuming an adequate amount of vitamin C-rich foods is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. Here are three foods that are high in vitamin C and easy to add to your diet on a regular basis.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin C. A 100-gram serving of raw kale offers an impressive 93 mg of vitamin C, a substantial 103% of the recommended daily value (DV). 5 This leafy green is also a good source of vitamin K, which is vital for blood clotting. 6 Additionally, it contains carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health. Because of kale’s high vitamin C content and a host of other essential nutrients, incorporating it into your diet can contribute to overall well-being and support immune function, making it a nutritious choice for those looking to make more wholesome food choices.
Simple Ways to Add Kale to Your Diet:
- Add it raw or lightly steamed to salads
- Sauté it in a little olive oil with a drizzle of lemon juice and serve as a side dish
- Add it to soups, stews, and pasta sauces
- Blend a few raw kale leaves into your favorite pesto recipe
- Snack on roasted kale chips (AANMC staff’s personal favorite)
- Toss some in to your smoothie
This beloved summer berry is also a nutritional powerhouse that is particularly rich in vitamin C. A one-cup serving of sliced raw strawberries, totaling 166 grams, delivers an impressive 97 mg of vitamin C, 108% of the recommended daily value. Strawberries boast a diverse array of essential nutrients including manganese, flavonoids, folate, and various other beneficial antioxidants.7 Scientific studies suggest that the regular consumption of strawberries, with their high nutrient density and plant compounds, may contribute to reducing the risk of several health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. 8 Adding these berries to your diet not only increases your vitamin C intake, but also provides a flavorful and health-promoting boost to support overall health.
Simple Ways to Add Strawberries to Your Diet:
- Enjoy them fresh as a snack on their own
- Add fresh or frozen strawberries to your morning smoothie
- Top oatmeal, chia pudding, or yogurt with fresh strawberry slices
- Simmer fresh or frozen strawberries on the stove (add sweetener to taste if desired) until they cook down into a compote. Use it to top pancakes, waffles, desserts, or yogurt.
One medium-sized kiwi provides a substantial 74.7 mg of vitamin C, equivalent to 62% of the daily value. 9 In addition to its impressive vitamin C content, studies show that kiwis may exert an inhibitory effect on blood platelets, potentially lowering the risk of blood clots and strokes. 10 This suggests that incorporating kiwis into your diet could contribute to improved cardiovascular health as well as a strengthened immune system. Kiwis also help the body produce serotonin and can contribute to sleep regulation. 11
Simple Ways to Add Kiwis to Your Diet:
- Add fresh or frozen to your morning smoothie
- Snack on fresh kiwi slices
- Make a vitamin-C-rich fruit salad with slices of kiwi, strawberry, and other fruit of your preference. Add a drizzle of lime juice for a refreshing zip.
- Top oatmeal, chia pudding, or yogurt with fresh kiwi slices
For individualized advice on how to get the right amount of vitamin C in your diet, speak to a naturopathic doctor. They will work with you to create a lifestyle and dietary plan tailored to your specific needs.
The information presented on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.