Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins, not only for the health but also for beauty. It is an antioxidant that protects the cells from the effects of free radicals and thus stops various diseases and cancers. Vitamin C is water soluble and hence should be consumed daily. People who do not take enough vitamin C daily face problems such are poor wound healing, colds, infections and lung-related problems.
FOODS THAT ARE PARTICULARLY RICH IN VITAMIN C
Vitamin C can be found in various fruits and vegetables. However, some of them are richer in vitamin C than others. Here is a list of those fruits and vegetables that contain the largest amounts of vitamin C:
- Red and green hot chili peppers. Hot chili peppers, especially green ones, provide the most vitamin C. For those who like hot and spicy food, hot chili peppers are great as ingredients of soups, sauces and dishes. A single green chili pepper has more than 100 mg of vitamin C.
- Bell peppers. The amount of vitamin C in bell peppers depends on their color. Those that are yellow provide the most vitamin C. Bell peppers can be a part of various salads and dishes. One cup of raw bell peppers contains more than 115 mg of vitamin C.
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes are common ingredients in many dishes and salads. Sun-dried tomatoes are also rich in vitamin C. One hundred grams of tomatoes has more than 100 mg of vitamin C.
- Dark leafy greens. They are rich in many vitamins and minerals. The dark leafy greens that have the most vitamin C are kale and mustard greens. One cup of cooked kale has more than 50 mg of vitamin C, while one cup of cooked mustard greens contains more than 35 mg of vitamin C.
- Broccoli and cauliflower. Vegetables such are broccoli and cauliflower are rich sources of many vitamins, including vitamin C. They can be eaten like garnish on various dishes or in salads. One cup of raw broccoli has more than 80 mg of vitamin C, while one cup of raw cauliflower contains more than 50 mg of vitamin C.
- Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are one of the best vitamin C foods and are also rich in vitamins K and A, as well as in folate, potassium and manganese. One cup of raw Brussels sprouts contains almost 75 mg of vitamin C.
- Thyme and parsley. These dried herbs are used in soups, salads and stews. A teaspoon of thyme has 1.6 mg of vitamin C and therefore it is the richest herb when we talk about vitamin C.
- Strawberries. Strawberries are considered to be one of the most delicious fruits and are a rich source of antioxidants. One cup of strawberries has almost 85 mg of vitamin C.
- Papayas. Papayas are rich in both vitamin A and C. One medium papaya holds more than 185 mg of vitamin C.
- Citrus fruits. Oranges, tangerines and other citrus fruits are also rich in vitamin C. They are extremely popular in the production of juices but are also good when consumed raw. Citrus fruits provide from 30 to 70 mg of vitamin C.
Other foods rich in vitamin C are cabbage, spinach, green beans, fennel, romaine lettuce, turnip greens, asparagus, cantaloupes, summer and winter squash, sweet potatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peas, garlic, carrots, yams, apples, pears, grapes, kiwifruit, raspberries, cranberries, watermelons and plums.
HOW TO RETAIN VITAMIN C WHEN PREPARING FOOD?
It is known that vitamin C is highly sensitive to temperature, air and water. It is best to eat both fruits and vegetables raw if possible. Moreover, it is always better to steam certain vegetables than to cook them, as cooked vegetables as well as fruits tend to lose more than half of the total vitamin C content. Canned fruits and vegetables also lose some of their vitamin C content.