Natural Sources of Vitamin C

Last week, I talked about the many wonderful benefits of natural vitamin C. I also covered why ascorbic acid isn’t the best source of vitamin C, even though it’s the most common vitamin C supplement on the shelves. If you’re ready to jump into boosting your vitamin C intake with natural sources, you might be surprised at how easy and tasty it’s going to be!

Food Sources of Vitamin C

The US recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 90 milligrams per day for a grown man and 75 milligrams per day for a grown woman. That means that women need at least 75 milligrams (“mg”) a day and men need at least 90. It is so easy to get more than this from a decently healthy diet!

  • 1 papaya= 185mg (more than double what we need!)
  • 1 mango= 122mg
  • 1 cup raw bell pepper= 115mg
  • 1 cup strawberries= 85mg
  • 1 cup raw broccoli= 80mg
  • 1 cup pineapple= 78mg
  • 1 kiwi= 72mg
  • 1 orange= 70mg
  • 1 cups cantalope= 58mg
  • 1 cup cooked kale= 53mg
  • 1 cup raw cauliflower= 51mg
  • 1/2 grapefruit= 44mg
  • 1 cup cooked greens= about 35mg
  • 1 cup raspberries= 32mg
  • 1 cup cooked swiss chard= 31mg
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice= 28mg

See how easy it is?? We often each have a kiwi in the afternoon. We do chocolate-dipped strawberries once or twice a week, while they’re in season. Just the other day, my girls scarfed down a mango. We love cooked greens and we enjoy pineapples and raspberries, when they’re in season. (Wondering when fruits and veggies are in season? Subscribe to my e-mails and you’ll find a link to a free printable that lists fruits and veggies by month!)

Now, let’s say that you’d like an extra boost in your vitamin C intake. Maybe you have a chronic illness or you want something special on-hand for cold season. Let’s pull out the herbs!

Herbal Sources of Vitamin C

There are so many wonderful herbs to choose from, but I’ll list a few tried and true herbs high in vitamin C.

  • Camu-Camu: This is a small fruit from the rainforest. It’s similar to a cherry and is eaten as a food, though it’s very tart. Camu-camu powder can be put in capsules (learn how to make your own herbal capsules!) or added to smoothies, to help cover the taste. Along with it’s unparalled vitamin C content, these berries appear to have some strong anti-viral properties, which would make this a good choice during a cold.
  • Indian Gooseberry: Another fruit that can be dried, powdered and either encapsulated or mixed with foods and drinks, this is a healthy and easy way to boost vitamin C. We often add indian gooseberry powder to our smoothies.
  • Acerola Berries: Yet another berry that is cram-packed full of vitamin C. Again, this is an easy one to use in capsules or add to food and drink.
  • Rose Hips: Fresh rose hips are very high in vitamin C, but be careful about buying rose hip supplements. Much of the vitamin C can be lost during processing and companies often add synthetic vitamin C to replace it.

All of these herbs (fruits, actually) are a fantastic way to boost your vitamin C, on top of a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and veggies!

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