A Dietician Says—Eat These 15 Vitamin C Meals to Increase Immunity

Dietary supplements are a scorching subject within the well being world, and specialists nonetheless disagree about their efficacy. Regardless of the unknowns, one vitamin specifically, tends to make it on each checklist of sought-after dietary supplements on account of its scientifically confirmed results on the physique. Whether or not it’s used to battle a cussed chilly or brighten your complexion, vitamin C is beloved by many for its quite a few well being advantages. Since our our bodies can’t produce this vitamin, assembly the really helpful each day dosage could be tough. Happily, vitamin C could be present in lots of our on a regular basis meals, making upping your consumption only a bit simpler.

We referred to as in registered dietician Might Zhu to interrupt down every thing you have to learn about this highly effective vitamin. Zhu says that it’s best to fulfill the RDA of vitamin C by meals, however supplementation is on the market. Learn on for solutions on every thing you is likely to be questioning about vitamin C and 15 meals that you’ll find it in!

What Are the Advantages of Vitamin C?

Vitamin C doesn’t simply cowl one space of well being. Zhu says that this vitamin can strengthen immunity, which could be notably useful throughout chilly and flu season. vitamin C may enhance iron absorption, as this course of determines how effectively our physique makes use of power. Stimulation of collagen manufacturing is one other profit that vitamin C reaps, which may improve general pores and skin well being.

Ought to we be taking vitamin C dietary supplements, or getting it from complete meals sources?

Zhu says, “In terms of vitamin consumption, we all the time advocate a food-first strategy earlier than supplementation. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which implies our our bodies don’t retailer it in massive quantities, so after the physique absorbs what it wants, something in extra will get flushed out.” Due to this fact it isn’t a good suggestion to over-supplement this vitamin. Zhu additionally shared that the present Tolerable Higher Consumption Stage (aka the max each day consumption unlikely to trigger dangerous results on well being) for vitamin C is 2000 mg a day. She notes that the RDA for adults 19 years outdated is 90 mg (males) / 75 mg (girls). For being pregnant, the quantity improve from 85mg to 120 mg each day. 

Zhu says that a neater means, nevertheless, to ensure vitamin C necessities are met and never exceeded is to frequently eat it by meals, ideally by vegatables and fruits. She says that consuming 1-2 fruit and greens in each meal will help preserve vitamin C ranges within the physique. Nevertheless, dietary supplements can all the time be thought-about when you’ve got a food regimen that’s inadequate in vitamin C or discover it tougher to eat vegatables and fruits frequently.

What Are Signs That You’re Deficient in Vitamin C?

Although rare, vitamin C deficiencies can occur, typically in less developed countries. However, there are warning signs of a deficiency. These may include:

  • Slow healing wounds
  • Bruising on skin 
  • Bleeding (red) gums/tooth loss
  • Weak immunity 
  • Scurvy 
  • Iron-deficiency anemia

15 Vitamin C Foods To Give You A Boost (Plus Recipes!)

As Zhu mentioned, the best way to meet the ideal RDA of vitamin C without going overboard is through food. This list consists of a variety of healthy and tasty options that are high in vitamin C and easy to incorporate into your weekly menu.


1 medium orange contains 83 mg of vitamin C, meaning you can easily meet your daily amount with a quick snack. Oranges can also be added as a garnish or pressed into juice if eating them raw isn’t quite your style.

Recipe: Chaat Masala Citrus Salad

Why We Love It: This citrus salad doesn’t stop at just oranges, it also includes a variety of fresh fruits like grapefruit and avocado that are jam-packed with nutrients of their own.

Bell Peppers

One red bell pepper or 1/2 cup of slices contains 95 mg of vitamin C, making it a great ingredient to include in your weeknight dinners.

Recipe: Samosa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Why We Love It: Stuffed bell peppers are a versatile way to incorporate a healthy ingredient that pairs well with flavors from virtually any cuisine.


You can get up to 30 mg of vitamin C from 1/2 cup of lemon juice. While that may seem like a whole lot of lemon, this fruit is used more often than you may realize when baking and cooking.

Recipe: Feta Salad with White Beans and Lemon Relish

Why We Love It: This recipe appreciates all of the lemon, including its juice, to create a tangy relish.


One medium papaya contains 95 mg of vitamin C. Slice it up or add it as a garnish, but papaya never disappoints with its buttery and sweet flavor.

Recipe: Sarah Copeland’s Millet and Amaranth Porridge with Figs and Papaya

Why We Love It: We’ve never seen a more stunning take on porridge than the one Sarah Copeland shared with us. Whereas this recipe requires 1/2 papaya, extra might be added to extend your vitamin C consumption.


Did you know kale is a type of cabbage? Even if you did, I doubt you knew that 1/2 cup of this gorgeous green contains 53 mg of vitamin C.

Recipe: Kale Citrus Salad

Why We Love It: There are so many health benefits that kale has to offer. This salad will help you on your way to meeting that RDA through whole foods. With a salad this delicious, it isn’t a challenge to incorporate plenty of vitamins into your weekly menu.


It only takes 1 small grapefruit for up to 69 mg of vitamin C, just about reaching that RDA.

Recipe: Radish & Fennel Citrus Salad

Why We Love It: This stunning salad is the perfect bowl of healthy ingredients we’re bringing to the table this spring. Chef Seamus Mullen says that supreming your citrus fruit is the right means to make use of the fruits’ juices to create a superbly balanced and tart vinegarette.


To protect its vitamins, together with vitamin C, we advocate steaming, sauteeing, or baking broccoli, as boiling can have an effect on the vitamins preserved after cooking. 1/2 cup of this ingredient comprises 50 mg of vitamin C. That’s an ideal quantity for a scrumptious facet or snack.

Recipe: Spicy Chili Lime Miso Broccoli

Why We Love It: You would possibly end up consuming this broccoli straight off the pan after tasting these scrumptious flavors. Spicy flavors are tamed by the lime acidity and complemented by the selfmade miso dressing.

Brussel sprouts

I’m a agency believer that if you happen to nonetheless have a vendetta in opposition to Brussels sprouts as an grownup, you haven’t cooked them correctly. A 1/2 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts has 48 mg of vitamin C (however we predict you’ll eat extra).

Recipe: Cacio E Pepe Brussels Sprouts

Why We Love It: This recipe avoids these soggy steamed Brussels sprouts of your nightmares by shredding and cooking them as a substitute. The core elements of Cacio E Pepe — butter, parmesan, and lemon — carry a little bit of brightness to this underrated veggie.


Whereas one cup of uncooked cabbage is simply 33 mg of vitamin C, we’re positive that you just’ll end up consuming extra of this veggie when it’s paired with daring flavors and hearty protein.

Recipe: Hoisin Rooster Cabbage Tacos

Why We Love It: I’m all the time on the lookout for methods to include fruits and veggies to interchange pointless carbs in my meals (however under no circumstances am I a carb-hater). In the event you’re skeptical about cabbage leaves changing a standard tortilla on this recipe, the filling will win you over, consisting of hoisin sauce, shredded rooster, and a wide range of scrumptious toppings.


One cup of uncooked cauliflower is 52 mg of vitamin C, however let’s be trustworthy, who can solely eat one cup of this veggie?

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

Why We Love It: This vegan and gluten-free recipe is a superbly plant-based approach to incorporate nutrient-filled elements right into a meatless food regimen.

Strawberries (1 cup): 98mg 

Strawberries are surprisingly excessive in vitamin C, containing 98 mg in just one cup. This fruit makes it simple to fulfill your RDA, as it may be integrated into each meal of the day.

Recipe: Strawberry & Arugula Salad with Spring Herbs & Goat Cheese

Why We Love It: This strawberry and arugula salad couldn’t be extra picture-perfect. In the event you’re on the lookout for a easy approach to meet that RDA of vitamin C, just remember to slice up one cup of this recent fruit in your summery salad.

Kiwis (2 kiwis): 137 mg

Two kiwis include 137 mg of vitamin C, making for a simple snack that meets your RDA!

Recipe: Raspberry & Chia Seed Superfood Parfait

Why We Love It: This superfood parfait is the breakfast I wish to get up to each day. It’ll depart you full and energized to begin your day on the fitting foot.


Guava is one other vitamin C superfood. 1 medium Guava comprises 165 mg of vitamin C, making it an ideal ingredient used to assist stability out blood sugar ranges and increase coronary heart well being.

Recipe: Child Greens with Beet Leaves, Mushy Boiled Egg, and Sizzling Guava Dressing

Why We Love It: This salad screams spring and doesn’t skimp on daring flavors — an ideal complement to recent greens. This scorching guava dressing can be utilized on every thing from proteins to sandwiches.


Whereas 1 cup of cantaloupe is simply 17 mg of vitamin C, if you happen to’re like me, you’ll eat much more of this fruit in a single sitting. It’s the right snack I crave on scorching summer season days or in a greek yogurt bowl within the mornings.

Recipe: Prosciutto Wrapped Melon

Why We Love It: These prosciutto-wrapped melon slices use beautiful radicchio leaves to garnish this savory and candy snack.

Parsley (1 cup): 133 mg

One cup of parsley is a fool-proof approach to incorporate meals excessive in vitamin C into your meal. With 133 mg per cup, your dishes gained’t be missing in taste or vitamin.

Recipe: Chimichurri Fish Tacos

Why We Love It: This recipe’s chimichurri makes use of 1/2 bunch of recent parsley, stem included. Pair with fish of your alternative (we selected halibut), and also you’ll be blown away with the flavour.