Immune System Need a Boost? 15 Foods a Dietitian Wants You to Prioritize
Supplements are a hot topic in the health world, and experts still disagree well-nigh their efficacy. Despite the unknowns, one vitamin in particular tends to make it on every list of sought-after supplements due to its scientifically proven effects on the body. Whether it’s used to fight a stubborn unprepossessed or brighten your complexion, vitamin C is loved by many for its numerous health benefits. Since our persons can’t produce this vitamin, meeting the recommended daily spoonful can be tricky. Fortunately, vitamin C can be found in many of our everyday foods, making upping your intake a bit easier.
We tabbed in registered dietician May Zhu to unravel lanugo everything you need to know well-nigh this powerful vitamin. And while she says it’s easiest to meet the RDA of vitamin C through food, supplementation is available. Ahead, discover everything to know well-nigh vitamin C foods and the weightier options to get your daily dose.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C doesn’t just imbricate one zone of health. Zhu says this vitamin can strengthen immunity, which can be particularly salubrious during unprepossessed and flu season. Vitamin C can moreover modernize iron absorption, as this process determines how efficiently our soul uses energy. Stimulation of collagen production is flipside goody that vitamin C reaps, which can enhance overall skin health.
Supplements vs. Vitamin C Foods
Zhu says, “When it comes to vitamin intake, we unchangingly recommend a food-first tideway surpassing supplementation. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which ways our persons do not store it in large amounts, so without the soul absorbs what it needs, anything in glut gets flushed out.” Therefore it isn’t a good idea to over-supplement this vitamin. Zhu moreover shared that the current Tolerable Upper Intake Level (aka the max daily intake unlikely to rationalization harmful effects on health) for vitamin C is 2000 mg a day. She notes that the RDA for adults 19 years old is 90 mg (men) / 75 mg (women). For pregnancy, the value increase from 85mg to 120 mg daily.
However, Zhu says that an easier way to make sure vitamin C requirements are met and not exceeded is to regularly slosh it through food, ideally through fruits and vegetables. She says that consuming 1-2 fruit and vegetables in every meal can help maintain vitamin C levels in the body. However, supplements can unchangingly be considered if you have a nutrition insufficient in vitamin C or find it harder to slosh fruits and vegetables regularly.
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
Although rare, vitamin C deficiencies can occur, typically in less ripened countries. However, there are warning signs of a deficiency. These may include:
- Slow healing wounds
- Bruising on skin
- Bleeding (red) gums/tooth loss
- Weak immunity
- Iron-deficiency anemia
15 Vitamin C Foods to Give Your Immune System a Boost
As Zhu mentioned, the weightier way to meet the platonic RDA of vitamin C without going overboard is through food. This list consists of a variety of healthy and tasty options that are upper in vitamin C and easy to incorporate into your weekly menu.
1 medium orange contains 83 mg of vitamin C, meaning you can hands meet your daily value with a quick snack. Oranges can moreover be widow as a garnish or pressed into juice if eating them raw isn’t quite your style.
If you’re well-acquainted with the afternoon slump, it’s time to get familiar with the adrenal cocktail. Fresh orange juice, coconut water, and sea salt all help replenish electrolytes and alimony you hydrated.
One red tintinnabulate pepper or 1/2 cup of slices contains 95 mg of vitamin C, making it a unconfined ingredient to include in your weeknight dinners or to snack on with hummus in the afternoon.
Red tintinnabulate peppers are a versatile way to incorporate a healthy ingredient that pairs well with flavors from virtually any cuisine. This pasta is creamy, nutritious, and delicious. Score!
You can get up to 30 mg of vitamin C from 1/2 cup of lemon juice. While that may seem like a whole lot of lemon, this fruit is used increasingly often than you may realize in sultry and cooking.
This recipe appreciates all of the lemon, including its juice, to create a tangy relish.
One medium papaya contains 95 mg of vitamin C. Slice it up or add it as a garnish, but papaya never disappoints with its velvety and sweet flavor.
We’ve never seen a increasingly stunning take on porridge than the one Sarah Copeland shared with us. While this recipe calls for 1/2 papaya, increasingly could be widow to increase your vitamin C intake.
Did you know kale is a type of cabbage? Even if you did, I doubt you knew that 1/2 cup of this gorgeous untried contains 53 mg of vitamin C.
Kale offers myriad health benefits. This salad will help you on your way to meeting your RDA through whole foods. With a salad this delicious, it isn’t a rencontre to incorporate plenty of vitamins into your weekly menu.
It only takes one small grapefruit to unhook up to 69 mg of vitamin C, just well-nigh reaching that RDA.
This stunning salad is the perfect trencher of healthy ingredients that we’re unchangingly happy to bring to the table. With sprigs of dill, slices of avocado, and a unexceptionable Yuzu-spiked vinaigrette, it’s the perfect palate refresher between heavier courses.
To preserve its nutrients, including vitamin C, we recommend steaming, sauteeing, or sultry broccoli, as humid can stupefy the nutrients preserved without cooking. 1/2 cup of this ingredient contains 50 mg of vitamin C. That’s a perfect value for a succulent side or snack.
You might find yourself eating this broccoli straight off the pan without tasting these succulent flavors. Spicy flavors are tamed by the lime’s venom and complemented by the homemade miso dressing.
I’m a firm parishioner that if you still have a vendetta versus Brussels sprouts as an adult, you haven’t cooked them properly. A 1/2 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts has 48 mg of vitamin C (but we think you’ll eat more).
This recipe avoids those soggy steamed Brussels sprouts of your nightmares by shredding and cooking them instead. The cadre ingredients of cacio e pepe—butter, parmesan, and lemon—bring a bit of splendor to this underrated veggie.
While one cup of raw cabbage is only 33 mg of vitamin C, we’re confident you’ll find yourself eating increasingly of this veggie when it’s paired with unvigilant flavors and hearty protein.
I’m unchangingly looking for ways to incorporate fruits and veggies to replace unnecessary carbs in my meals (but by no ways am I a carb-hater). If you’re skeptical well-nigh cabbage leaves replacing a traditional tortilla in this recipe, the filling will win you over, consisting of hoisin sauce, shredded chicken, and a variety of succulent toppings.
One cup of raw cauliflower is 52 mg of vitamin C. But let’s be honest, who can only eat one cup of this veggie?
In this recipe, the cauliflower soaks up all the succulent flavors and spices. And considering it comes together in a flash, it’s a perfect option to uplift your vitamin C intake.
Strawberries are surprisingly upper in vitamin C, containing 98 mg in only 1 cup. This fruit makes it easy to meet your RDA, as it can be incorporated into every meal of the day.
This strawberry and arugula salad couldn’t be increasingly picture-perfect. If you’re looking for a simple way to meet that RDA of vitamin C, make sure that you slice up one cup of this fresh fruit for your salad.
Two kiwis contain 137 mg of vitamin C, making for an easy snack that meets your RDA.
I want to wake up to this fruit-filled breakfast workbench every morning—and it’s so easy to put together that I could. It’s perfect for a unstudied breakfast or brunch gathering served slantingly plenty of coffee. (And OJ for an widow vitamin C boost!)
Guava is flipside vitamin C superfood. 1 medium Guava contains 165 mg of vitamin C, making it a unconfined ingredient to help wastefulness thoroughbred sugar levels and uplift heart health.
This fresh salad doesn’t skimp on unvigilant flavors—a perfect complement to well-done greens. The hot guava dressing can be used on everything from proteins to sandwiches, too. We make uneaten just in case.
While 1 cup of cantaloupe is only 17 mg of vitamin C, if you’re like me, you’ll eat far increasingly of this fruit in one sitting. It’s the perfect snack I require on hot summer days or in a Greek yogurt trencher for breakfast.
For a sweet-and-savory titbit or snack, this spicy melon ricotta toast satisfies. I love the variety of savor at play and the stimulating is vastitude gorgeous.
One cup of parsley is a fool-proof way to incorporate foods upper in vitamin C into your meal. With 133 mg per cup, your dishes won’t be lacking in savor or nutrition.
Truly—all the herbs. This beyond-flavorful yellow features a zesty marinated that packs in a whole half-bunch of parsley. Consider your vitamin C needs satisfied.
This post was originally published on March 26, 2023, and has since been updated.
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