As soon as you start coming down with a cold, you likely have a chorus of friends or family members telling you to drink your orange juice or take a vitamin C supplement. While this is not exactly the most welcomed advice when you’re in the midst of a seasonal cold or flu outbreak, this suggestion is based in scientifically proven fact
However, believing vitamin C is only beneficial to fight common illnesses is only acknowledging a portion of its potential. An even greater misconception regarding this essential water-soluble vitamin is the belief that it’s only found in fruits. In fact, vitamin C is found in a wide array of vegetables. The following six vegetables were chosen for their high vitamin C concentrations.
How The Following Vegetables Were Chosen
The following list of vegetables were chosen based upon their overall nutrient content; not just its vitamin C density. Take your time reviewing these vegetables to learn how each adds value and health to your life.
How to Interpret the List
The daily value percentage is found beneath each nutrient. Use this list as a general guide to increase your intake of vitamin C from non-traditional food sources. The daily value percentages are based upon a standard 90 milligrams per day.
How Much Should I Take?
The daily intake recommendations varies based upon your gender, age and lifestyle. As a general rule of thumb, men over 18 years of age should consume 90 milligrams while women should consume 75 milligrams per day. Because cigarette smoking depletes vitamin C within the human body, smokers should increase their intake by 35 milligrams per day.
TOP 6 VEGETABLES HIGH IN VITAMIN C
1. Sweet Yellow Peppers
Sweet Yellow Pepper
Vitamin C – 341.3 milligrams per 100 g
Daily Value – 198%
Health Benefits of Sweet Yellow Peppers
Also referred to as Capsicum annuum, sweet yellow peppers belongs to the bell pepper family. These tangy peppers are an excellent addition to a wide array of culinary dishes; however, its nutrient content and potential health benefits are truly what separates these peppers from other vitamin C-rich foods. Perhaps one of the most celebrated health benefits of yellow peppers is its ability to calm pain receptors. The primary active compound within this family of peppers is known as capsaicin, which actually binds to nerve cell receptors to alter the way pain is perceived. Along with this benefit, yellow peppers is host to some of the most active and researched plant-based antioxidants, known as phytonutrients, such as: three flavonoids, five carotenoids and two hydroxycinnamic acids. Each of these compounds actively works to combat the destructive effects of free radicals within your body. Therefore, yellow peppers have the potential to correct a host of acute and chronic conditions while simultaneously supporting whole body health.
2. Pokeberry Shoots
Vitamin C – 136 milligrams per 100 g
Daily Value – 226%
Health Benefits of Pokeberry Shoots
While there are many uses of pokeberry shoots, due to its high nutrient value, some of the most intense benefits of this vegetable are due to its unique compound known as PAP, or pokeweed antiviral protein. The American Cancer Society states this potent protein strain literally combats a wide array of viruses, such as HIV and herpes. Along with its potential as an anti-viral, other studied benefits of this vegetable include treating tonsillitis, swollen glands, bronchitis, constipation, chronic excess mucus, joint inflammation, hemorrhoids and fungal infections.
3. Green Peppers
Vitamin C – 80 milligrams per 100 g
Daily Value – 134%
Health Benefits of Green Peppers
Also referred to as Capsicum annuum, green peppers belong to the bell pepper family. These tangy peppers are an excellent addition to a wide array of culinary dishes; however, its nutrient content and potential health benefits are truly what separates these peppers from other vitamin C-rich foods. Perhaps one of the most celebrated health benefits of green peppers is its ability to calm pain receptors. The primary active compound within this family of peppers is known as capsaicin, which actually binds to nerve cell receptors to alter the way pain is perceived. Along with this benefit, green peppers is host to some of the most active and researched plant-based antioxidants, known as phytonutrients, such as: three flavonoids, five carotenoids and two hydroxycinnamic acids. Each of these compounds actively works to combat the destructive effects of free radicals within your body. Therefore, green peppers have the potential to correct a host of acute and chronic conditions while simultaneously supporting whole body health.
4. Jalapeno Peppers
Vitamin C – 118 milligrams per 100 g
Daily Value – 198%
Health Benefits of Jalapeno Peppers
Known for its delicious spicy flavor, jalapeno peppers are much more than a culinary ingredient. These potent vegetables feature a wide array of health benefits. While some are still under investigation by the scientific community, many have been proven through various health organizations. Some of the most celebrated – and scientifically backed benefits of jalapeno peppers – include:
Weight Loss – Its primary active compound, capsaicin, significantly boosts your metabolism, which supports natural weight loss without the stimulating effects of synthetic metabolism boosters.
Arthritis – When capsaicin is introduced into your body, it immediately binds to pain receptors, which alters the way your brain perceives pain. When combined with its anti-inflammatory properties, jalapeno peppers effectively reduces swelling in joints and inhibits the transmission of pain signals for immediate relief.
Other Benefits – According to a vast array of research, jalapeno peppers have been shown to treat and prevent: cancer, headaches, nasal congestion, ulcers, high blood pressure, fluid loss and heart attacks caused by the compound fibrin.
Vitamin C – 133 milligrams per 100 g
Daily Value – 221%
Health Benefits of Parsley
Parsley is a common culinary ingredient; however, did you know it’s one of the most powerful vegetables when it comes to natural healing? All parts of this herb may be used to make medicine. Its potent nutrient content, offers a wide array of health benefits. While some of its uses require further research to determine its true potential, the following benefits are proven by preliminary research. The active compounds within parsley are believed to help treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones, intestinal gas, asthma, diabetes, prostate swelling and high blood pressure. Although consuming parsley is the most common way to utilize its medicinal benefits, you may apply parsley directly to the skin to treat insect bites, heal bruises and even stimulate hair growth.
6. Brussels Sprouts
Vitamin C – 85 milligrams per 100 g
Daily Value – 141%
Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
If you’re searching for a food source that’s filled with essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients without a significant amount of calories, then you’ll want to add brussels sprouts to your weekly meal plan. While its vitamin C content is significant, this vegetable is filled with a host of lesser-known antioxidants, such as isorhamnetin, caffeic, ferulic acids, kaempferol and D3T. These antioxidants are known to combat a variety of acute and chronic diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as cancer. Other benefits of brussels sprouts include whole body Phase 1 and Phase 2 whole body detoxification and cardiovascular health.
The Key to a Strong Immune System and Body
Because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, you must consume a minimum of 60 milligrams per day in order to sustain proper levels within your body. While you may believe the best sources of vitamin C are derived from fruit sources, this antioxidant is abundantly found in a variety of vegetable sources. The aforementioned vegetables feature some of the highest concentrations of vitamin C; however, it’s also found in a smaller concentrations in almost every vegetable. But what exactly is vitamin C used for?
Your body requires vitamin C for a wide array of purposes, such as to repair and grow new tissue. This essential vitamin is also called upon to make collagen, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and proteins involved in the development of new skin cell. If you are deficient in vitamin C, your body is unable to swiftly and accurately heal from wounds and your bones and teeth can weaken.
Although it’s rare to be deficient in vitamin C because of its prevalence in the majority of food sources, there is preliminary evidence certain groups of people may feature lower-than-normal vitamin C levels. For example, research has found cigarettes significantly lower the amount of circulating vitamin C. Therefore, health experts suggest many smokers are at a higher-than-normal risk for developing a vitamin C deficiency.
While the signs of vitamin C deficiency can vary, some of the most common symptoms include: gum inflammation (gingivitis), rough/dry skin, bleeding gums, easy bruising and a decreased ability to fight off infections. A severe deficiency of vitamin C is known as scurvy. Along with the aforementioned symptoms, those with low vitamin C levels are at a statistically higher risk of developing peripheral artery disease, heart attack and stroke, according to data gathered by the University of Maryland Medical Center.
It is possible to achieve the necessary concentrations of vitamin C through supplementation, many health experts suggest consuming vitamin C through dietary sources, such as in fruits and vegetables. Along with supporting healthy bodily functions, research has found vitamin C to be beneficial for:
Lowering High Blood Pressure – Vitamin C directly influences the health of your entire cardiovascular system. Consuming foods rich in vitamin C has been shown to reverse the effects of high blood pressure and prevent hypertension from progressing. In fact, increasing your consumption of vitamin C-rich foods is part of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet – commonly known as the DASH Diet.
Cancer Prevention – The potent antioxidant power of vitamin C is believed to directly inhibit the development of free radicals, which result in a variety of cancer. More specifically, preliminary research found populations which consume higher-than-normal vitamin C food sources have a lower rate of skin cancer, cervical dysplasia and breast cancer.
Osteoarthritis – In order to make healthy collagen, your body requires vitamin C. AS osteoporosis begins to develop, cartilage is destroyed, which increases the pressure (and pain) placed within your joints. Preliminary research suggests the progression of cartilage loss is due to a high concentration of free radicals. Since vitamin C directly combats the effects of free radicals, researchers believe consuming ample amounts of vitamin C can directly reduce the cartilage damage while supporting the regeneration of collagen and cartilage.
Other Benefits of Vitamin C – Along with the aforementioned, preliminary research suggests vitamin C either directly or indirectly boosts your immune system, supports oral health, improves vision, reduces allergy-related symptoms, alleviates dry mouth, supports fast wound healing, decreases blood sugar in diabetic patients and reduces the severity of various viral conditions, such as mononucleosis.