By Isadora Baum
When it comes to vitamin C, your go-to source might be an orange or a glass of orange juice — and, yes oranges are known for being high in this essential vitamin. But they’re not actually the best source, according to Maggie Michalczyk, MS, RD. Of course, there’s no reason to stop eating oranges, but why not expand your list of vitamin C-rich foods and incorporate a wider selection of fruits and veggies in your routine?
Here are 10 foods with more vitamin C than an orange — and they’re delicious too.
Just one kiwi contains more than 100% of your recommended daily value, according to Michalczyk. They’re refreshing on their own, paired with yogurt or cottage cheese, or blended into a smoothie. And don’t forget to eat the skin: that’s where all that great fiber is.
“Guava contains nearly 2 times the amount of vitamin C of an orange,” says Michalczyk. Plus, she adds, “This tropical fruit also contains manganese, and potassium,” which makes it great for balancing electrolytes post-workout and keeping you hydrated. Add to a post-workout shake or throw on top of a salad.
“Pineapples contain 131% of the RDI for vitamin C and also have an enzyme called bromelain, which helps to break down protein,” Michalczyk says. That means it also eases digestion, too. “Pineapple is another great fruit to include in smoothie or snack on,” she says. You can even make a great salsa for a taco or guacamole topping..
You might know that this cruciferous veggie is high in protein, fiber, calcium, and iron — and it’s also rich in vitamin C. “A 1/2 cup serving of broccoli contains 70% of your daily value of vitamin C,” according to Michalczyk. Our favorite way to eat broccoli? Roast it in the oven for big, bold flavor, without the cheese.
Yet another reason to keep eating those kale salads? Kale contains nearly 140% of your daily requirement of vitamin C, as well as vitamin K, fiber and healthy antioxidants, which can protect your heart and bones and boost satiety. Here are three of our favorite ways to make kale taste delicious (and not like dirt).
“Papaya contains nearly 110% of the daily requirement of vitamin C,”Michalczyk says. “It also contains potassium, magnesium and calcium making it great for muscle repair and strengthening bones post-workout, as well as rebalancing electrolytes.” Add it to a smoothie, yogurt bowl, or your morning oatmeal.
“Mangoes contain upwards of 60% of your daily value for vitamin C, as well as other nutrients like folate, fiber and copper,” Michalczyk says. We often don’t think of copper, but it’s an important mineral and mango can help you get your requirements, she adds. Make a salsa or jam , create a glaze or dressing for fresh greens or chicken, or grill it and serve with yogurt, ricotta or ice cream.
“A serving of 8 strawberries contains a full day’s worth of vitamin C,” Michalczyk says. They’re delicious for sweet and savory recipes: Add them to smoothies or salads, make a sweet marinade and dressing, or pair with cheese and balsamic vinegar for a savory approach.
9. Bell Peppers
These colorful veggies are bursting with vitamin C. “They provide over 150% percent of your daily value for vitamin C, which is definitely one of the most among all vegetables,” Michalczyk says. She loves stuffing peppers with avocado, cottage cheese, beans or legumes, and diced chicken — or filling with your favorite dips to dunk more veggies and crackers into.
10. Brussels Sprouts
“These mini cabbages contain 80% of the RDI for vitamin C and are an excellent source of vitamin K,” says Michalczyk. Roast them or sauté them and pair with your favorite ingredients, like garlic, almonds, or Parmesan. Vegan? Go with nutritional yeast. And you can also shave them and make a raw salad, too.