A Better Way to Get Vitamin C (Besides Orange Juice!)


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  65 comments   :  86,870 Views

With cold and flu season in full swing, most of us are trying to do all we can to avoid catching one of the nasty viruses floating around. Some swear by vitamin C-rich orange juice for warding off disease. Although the evidence about vitamin C's illness-fighting powers is conflicting, there's no doubt that it's still a good nutrient to consume. Since the body does not produce vitamin C, you must obtain it from outside sources to create and repair skin cells and fight off the effects of damaging free radicals. If you eat your veggies, though, it's not hard to reach your daily quota, since all fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C to some degree. That's right; orange juice isn't your only option for getting this important nutrient! Which type of produce will deliver the highest amount of vitamin C per serving: Red bell peppers, broccoli, kiwi, or oranges?
The Winner: Red Bell Pepper!

One serving of red bell pepper delivers a whopping 190 mg of vitamin C! Broccoli contains 132 mg, kiwi boasts 137 mg, and oranges come in last with 83 mg. According to the National Institutes of Health, the daily recommended value for vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women, so one serving of red bell pepper will more than cover your needs. The next time you feel a cold coming on, munch on some peppers instead of reaching for the orange juice! (In case you're wondering, 8 ounces of orange juice has 137 mg of vitamin C—but you're better off choosing a whole fruit, veggie, or mean green juice instead for more fiber and less sugar.)

What's your favorite way to get vitamin C? How to you ward off illness in the winter?

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  • 65
    Snap peas and Halos/Cuties are my favorites for vitamin C. - 2/16/2018   11:04:18 PM
    Interesting - 1/23/2018   12:45:41 PM
  • 63
    Barley tea has 100% mdr of vitamin c according to the label. - 12/27/2017   10:44:36 PM
    Good info - 12/25/2017   8:20:27 PM
  • 61
    Great info! - 11/17/2017   9:44:48 PM
  • 60
    Food for thought! - 9/26/2017   7:49:01 PM
  • 59
    Good to know - 9/26/2017   8:50:39 AM
  • 58
    Melinda I love your blogs - 9/26/2017   7:48:22 AM
  • 57
    Great! - 9/1/2017   6:47:53 AM
  • 56
    GOOD TO KNOW - 7/25/2017   11:35:44 AM
  • 55
    Great information! - 6/2/2017   10:15:21 AM
  • 54
    i like them in fajitas - 4/8/2017   4:29:44 AM
  • 53
    Reminder get to the store I need my fruits & veggies. - 3/26/2017   4:01:33 PM
  • 52
    1 cup of Brussels Sprouts has 125% of a daily Vitamin C requirement. Just don't boil them; vit. C is water soluble. Red peppers may sound expensive, but a serving is just 2 or 3 ounces to get all vitamin C or A. I wish the article pointed out that cost per serving is actually pretty low. - 11/20/2016   4:04:43 PM
  • CLAY10237
    Watermelon is an excellent source of C - 7/28/2015   12:00:39 AM
  • 50
    love love red pepper had no idea they are high in vitamin c... - 4/28/2014   2:35:37 PM
    Vegetables with vitaminC really important
    - 4/28/2013   1:42:00 PM
  • 48
    Yum, I have broccoli everyday!! - 3/4/2013   11:05:07 AM
  • 47
    Raw, they are surprisingly sweet. My personal favorite way to cook them is to slice them thin and quickly saute them in a little butter until they are crisp-tender and maybe browning a bit at their edges, Then I sprinkle on a bit of salt and only a half packet of sweetener and into a serving bowl they go! - 2/21/2013   11:20:08 PM
  • 46
    I love red bell peppers! - 2/17/2013   7:55:37 PM
    I don't like vegetables as a source of vitamin c - 2/12/2013   3:36:36 PM
  • 44
    Oranges, tangerines, tangelos....I could eat a bag a day....
    Do not like peppers of any kind. - 1/23/2013   12:49:01 AM
  • 43
    Geeze! I never knew red peppers contained vitamin C. I'll be eating more of them! - 1/22/2013   3:35:13 PM
    Actually, I think Zinc and Vit D are more important in warding off illness, and keeping a good probiotic in your system. For Vit C I happen to love raw red peppers (and green) so that is nice to know.
    What's the breakdown in Vit C between green and red peppers I wonder? Red are about twice the price :/ - 1/22/2013   11:11:40 AM
  • 41
    I'd love to have more info on kiwi, which is also high in C. I too cannot eat peppers, no matter what color or how prepared. - 1/22/2013   9:59:46 AM
  • 40
    Carrot juice is my favorite! - 1/22/2013   4:38:49 AM
  • 39
    Wow, that is great to know! I tend to be sensitive to citrus so alternatives to OJ for my vitamin C is good to know. - 1/21/2013   6:58:13 PM
  • 38
    All kinds of natural eaters are commenting, but I'm a sucker for Emergen-C. I take it a couple times a day when people around me are sick, or whenever I start to feel sick, and stick to natural sources the rest of the time. - 1/21/2013   5:08:08 PM
    Like Archimedesii, I love red peppers and love to eat my vegetables. I had no idea red peppers were so packed with vitamin C. Good to know! - 1/21/2013   10:32:12 AM
  • 36
    Love RED PEPPERS!!! Much sweeter than GREEN.
    So this is GREAT NEWS!!!! - 1/21/2013   8:29:04 AM
  • 35
    This is good to know! Oranges and orange juice don't really agree with me and I love red peppers! I've been buying the small ones and adding them to my salad. - 1/21/2013   6:41:53 AM
  • 34
    Peppers are so so bitter no matter what color. I even pick out the little bits (normally red) in all foods. They are annoyingly put in most prepared foods and I can't stand them. For frozen meals, it must be a mandatory item, yuck!

    I just bought deviled egg potato salad, and those annoying red bits are spoiling that salad for me.

    I especially hate the seasoning black pepper, that really spoils food. Today my friend made homemade salsa and I was really looking forward to it. Well, she covered the mix with black pepper. I ate one chip and had to stop, such a bad flavor. I really wish the flavor wasn't so offensive. - 1/21/2013   3:23:01 AM
  • 33
    Love those foods, but when I feel the first tickle of a cold I hit the bottle...of vitamin C 1000 mg! 2 or 3 every few hours, and trail off when the tickle is gone. Works every time. Well...almost every time! Depends on how run down I am. - 1/21/2013   2:25:42 AM
  • 32
    I would have thought orange juice. I don't care for red peppers by themselves but I can certainly add them to some dishes. Good to know! - 1/21/2013   1:05:19 AM
  • 31
    Wow! This is nice to know!
    I put peppers in many of the dishes I prepare. But I must say I still love my
    oj and oranges. - 1/21/2013   12:32:10 AM
  • BATOOL899
    good to know this :) - 1/21/2013   12:00:56 AM
  • WRENDY28
    I love all peppers but.... i feel like o.j. completes me. I only drink 4 oz. for breakfast because of the sugar and carbs. I will remember to add more red peppers to my steak stir fry!!! - 1/20/2013   10:16:38 PM
  • 28
    Of all those, I'd still rather have the orange. Maybe I'd just have 2 instead of 1 or something else with Vitamin C. I just can't stand sweet peppers. - 1/20/2013   9:32:55 PM
  • 27
    I like to watch what I'm preparing, one day on another.
    But there are very different problems for folk preparing food from fresh than for folk who eat out or who use fast foods.
    The latter can still work out a feasible meal.
    The former have to work out their timing a bit more closely because they have the shopping, the preparation and the cooking. But all that gives more activity, too.
    We all have flexibility, in that we can decide what to have, when, and how. - 1/20/2013   5:13:11 PM
    I love peppers of all colors, but red are my favorites. We eat peppers in everything. I also love my oj and grapefruit! - 1/20/2013   5:02:14 PM
  • 25
    I just like to make sure that I have a really good variety over the days - fruit & veg, colour, type of veg, etc - 1/20/2013   4:58:34 PM
  • 24
    doesn't heat destroy vitamin C? wouldn't it be better to eat bell peppers raw? - 1/20/2013   3:10:21 PM
  • 23
    Red and yellow peppers are a great late day snack! - 1/20/2013   1:45:07 PM
  • 22
    Red peppers are so great. I love them in fajitas or chopped in salads! - 1/20/2013   1:21:04 PM
  • 21
    Eating a variety of vegetables and a little fruit is what I do. I only eat organic peppers as the pesticide count in them is very high - part of the "Dirty Dozen". - 1/20/2013   10:48:03 AM
  • 20
    Wish I liked red bell peppers that wren't totally cooked :( I'll just stick with my EmergenC - 1/20/2013   10:20:42 AM
  • MARTY32M
    Next question: which food delivers the most vitamin C per dollar? I nominate reconstituted orange juice. Can you beat that?

    Later: I was wrong. Red bell peppers are much more expensive per serving than orange juice, but they have so much more vitamin C that they give you more vitamin C than orange juice, not only per serving, but per dollar. - 1/20/2013   9:31:53 AM
  • 18
    I take 2 Flintstone Chewables daily. - 1/20/2013   9:31:12 AM
  • 17
    I love grapefruit and used to eat them every day but they interfere with my heart medicines so I have to find alternatives. I appreciated this reminder. - 1/20/2013   9:31:08 AM
  • JMB369
    Favorite way to get vitamin C is to eat a variety of deeply colored fruits and veggies -- oranges, grapefruit, papaya, tomatoes, broccoli, and yes, red pepper strips. My recipe to ward off colds and flu -- nothing new -- a diet with lots of dark green and red/orange veggies and fruit, plenty of sleep, moderate exercise, hand washing, and as one other person mentioned, avoiding sugary snacks and foods. - 1/20/2013   6:46:36 AM

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