Health & Wellness
12 Vitamin C-Packed Foods (That Aren’t Oranges)
Oranges are the poster child for food with vitamin C, but there are plenty of surprising options at grocery stores and farmers markets.
Shutterstock / Alina Demidenko
Getting through the tough rinds of butternut, acorn and spaghetti squashes awards strong-wristed cooks with creamy, nutty flavor and a hearty texture that withstands high heat. They’re also a good source of vitamin C, which can help bolster the immune system during cold weather. Check out our top 10 squash recipes to keep things interesting throughout fall and winter.
Psst: If a cold has gotten the best of you, here are some foods that could help you feel better faster.
Small, sweet and oh-so juicy, this beloved fruit can be tossed into smoothies and salads or eaten fresh for a healthy helping of vitamin C with almost no effort. Our huge list of strawberry recipes is loaded with dozens of options for any meal of the day.
Strawberries aren’t the only immunity-boosting berry. Find out how to make elderberry syrup here.
Shutterstock / Pixomentum Photography
This exotic fruit—also known as the Chinese gooseberry—comes in a furry little package for easy transport to school or the office. Back at home, it’s surprisingly versatile. Take a refreshing sip of sparkling kiwi lemonade after a day in the garden or add some flair to dinnertime with a honey-pecan kiwi salad.
Shutterstock / Valerii__Dex
From mouthwatering mango salsas to hearty chutney chicken curry, this tropical staple adds island-like flair to countless dishes. The sweet fruit, however, is protected by a tough and pesky skin—learn how to peel a mango like a pro.
Shutterstock / eugenegurkov
In all its forms, this household staple provides a decent amount of vitamin C. Raw green tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes give the most bang for your buck, but even tomato juice and canned tomatoes will contribute toward your daily vitamin needs.
Shutterstock / AlexeiLogvinovich
Just one cup of green bell pepper can contain more than twice the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. The riper red bell pepper has even more, along with the eye health-friendly vitamin A. Whip up this sweet onion and red bell pepper topping to punch up everything from hot dogs to cream cheese.
Shutterstock / Chayasit Fangem
Along with giving dishes a mouth-tingling zest, chili peppers—both red and green varieties—load dishes up with vitamin C. They’re not just used in Mexican dishes, either. Check out our collection of chili pepper recipes to expand your spicy horizons.
Shutterstock / Anna Shepulova
When eaten raw, one cup of these mini cabbage cousins can provide an entire day’s worth of vitamin C. Worried the kids won’t like them? Try sauteing sprouts with bacon and maple syrup. They’ll lose a little vitamin C in the cooking process, but they’ll be more palatable for picky eaters. If you’re ready to go for it, here’s an awesome sprout salad.
Shutterstock / Elena Shashkina
Considering this leafy green is a staple of most health-food trends, it’s no wonder it’s packed with vitamin C. Its kitchen possibilities are nearly endless, too. Try whipping up a snack like Old Bay crispy kale chips or make a meal out of it with hearty, nutritious soups.
Shutterstock / EVGENIYA68
Raw, steamed or roasted, this quintessential vegetable goes a long way toward a healthy, balanced diet, and can be found year-round at grocery stores. Fend off the complaints of picky eaters with our collection of cheesy breakfasts, crunchy sides and creamy dinners—all of which put broccoli at center stage.
Shutterstock / Valentin Balan
Sprinkling a couple tablespoons of parsley on a dish doesn’t just make it look prettier. The little leafy green also rounds meals out with vitamin C, along with a healthy dose of iron. Its mild flavor goes well with just about anything, from simple lemon potatoes to mouthwatering baked cod.
There’s a reason cauliflower is a staple of trendy diets like keto. For what broccoli’s paler cousin lacks in color, it makes up for in nutritional value. You don’t have to struggle through flavorless steamed cauliflower, either—there are dozens of ways to dress it up with family-friendly flavor.