Figuring out how to begin making or maintaining healthy lifestyle choices is tough for even the most disciplined person. So when buzzwords like superfoods, all-natural, vitamins, and probiotics are enough to make your head spin, it’s understandable if a little assistance keeping it all straight is needed. One of the biggies to concentrate on is vitamin C, especially now with winter nearly upon us. Check out this guide about why vitamin C foods should be part of your diet and what some of the top vitamin C foods are. It’s not just about oranges anymore.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE EATING VITAMIN C-RICH FOODS
You already know that vitamin C is good for you, but there are so many more reasons why getting enough is important, besides just boosting your immune system. These are just a sampling of vitamin C’s many benefits.
3 Can’t-Live-Without Beauty Benefits
Who wouldn’t kill for gorgeous locks? Vitamin C can help you get there. Or if maintaining a perfect mani is on your to-do list, vitamin C may be exactly what you need to prevent hangnails. There are even studies out there showing that a diet rich in vitamin C can slow down signs of aging. And that’s just the beginning!
Besides just being great for your overall well-being, vitamin C is a stress reducer. That may come in handy on days when you’re overwhelmed at work or the kids are driving you crazy!
MORE THAN JUST ORANGES: THESE ARE THE SUPERHEROES OF VITAMIN C FOODS
There are tons of vitamin C foods out there that could put oranges to shame. That’s not to say you shouldn’t eat oranges, but you can get a lot more bang for the buck with these fruits and veggies instead.
It’s more on the exotic side and probably not something most people would think of as a good vitamin C source, but guavas are pretty darn impressive. Just one has over 600% of your daily requirement, and that’s only the beginning. Consider stocking up especially during that time of the month, because studies show that guava leaf extract can kick those stomach cramps to the curb. Some women in the study even reported it as being more powerful than painkillers!
This is one vitamin C food that is super versatile at lunch or dinner (check out the recipe below for a little inspiration.) Just 10 little strips will fulfill your daily needs, but eating an entire yellow bell pepper gives you almost 570% more than what’s necessary each day. A diet rich in bell peppers may even save you some moolah on regular facials because they can do all sorts of things for your skin like reverse signs of premature aging, clear blemishes, and build collagen. Plus yellow bell peppers are better than extractions any day. So boost your intake and save the spa for massages.
This ain’t your average cherry. As it gets colder, you’ll want to take notice of these because acerola cherries are a serious immune booster. One cup packs a whopping 1,600 milligrams of vitamin C. Heads up: acerola cherries (also known as Barbados or West Indian cherries) perish fast, which means you’re more likely to find them in juice.
Black currants have four times the amount of vitamin c as oranges and twice the amount of antioxidants as blueberries. One of the easiest ways to get it is in jam form, but you don’t need much. Just spread it on an english muffin or a slice of whole wheat toast and you’re good to go. (You can also check out these quick morning meal ideas for inspiration. Black currants can easily be incorporated into some of them.)
Piña coladas anyone? If you’re looking for a good excuse to order one at happy hour (just don’t make it an all-the-time thing), then you definitely want to know about the benefits of pineapple. In addition to packing in a tad under 80 milligrams of vitamin C per cup, it can help reduce bloating. So it’s another good one to add to the list for that time of the month at the very least. But just in case that’s not enough to pique your interest, pineapple is also an energy booster. And what adult ever said they don’t need more of that? Um, no one. Ever.
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and 1/2 inch diced
- 1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup small diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons of minced jalapeno peppers, seeded (2 peppers)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 ripe avocados, seeded, peeled, and 1/2 inch diced
- Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl
- Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper together
- Pour the mixture over the vegetables and toss well
- Fold the avocados into the salad right before serving
*Source: Food Network