“Vitamin C has probably never been taken quite seriously as per say Vit E or Vit D! We remember it only when something happens in our body, maybe something even as small as catching a cold…”
I remember as a kid, my elders used to say,
“Vitamin C lelo, your cold would go away”. [Never understood why, but took the celin tablets anyway.]
The idea behind is, it helps in building immunity, hence making you stronger.
But why the need only at the time of cold? Don’t we need it at all times?
Vitamin C not only fights cold and boosts immunity, it also helps with fighting free radicals (think Antiaging!) and formation of collagen (again, think Antiaging!). From skin to bones, and from curing anemia to curing pneumonia, they ALL need vitamin C! Yup, it is a pretty important Vitamin.
So, what you need is, an all the year round supply of Vitamin C in your diet so as to keep yourself super healthy and active. I am sure by now everyone knows that Amla, Oranges, Limes, Lemons, and kiwis are great sources of vitamin C. What we have for you here, are some lesser known but equally amazing foods rich in Vit.C.
Though not a well-known source, its’ leaves are rich in Vit.C [169 mg/100 gms of edible portion] and calcium [1130mg/100 gms of edible portion].
“To put it in a perspective Vitamin C content of orange is [54mg/100 gm of edible portion], so it has 3X more vitamin C than equal quantity of an Orange!”
It is known for its great medicinal value and was used in ancient medicine. Agathi is known to decrease the cholesterol levels in the body, reduce heart damage, and also healing the wounds quickly.
Cooking tip: One can cook its leaves or flowers with garlic or coconut to counteract its strong taste and some gastric trouble that one might face and it’s always better to either microwave it or steam it, to save on more vitamins and minerals. Because this plant has very strong properties, it’s advised to take it maximum twice a week.
Amaranth has a lot of varieties to its credit. But, the only one super-rich in Vit.C is Amaranth virdis (Hindi: Chowlai, Marathi: Math, Konkani: Ranbhaji) and has 179mg/100gms of edible portion.
This plant too has been used as a medicinal herb to treat various infections, the expulsion of worms from the body, bronchitis, anemia, treating respiratory problems and also protecting the cardiovascular system!
This leafy vegetable might not be quite heard of. It’s a powerful vegetable and has been many times called a “multivitamin”. It contains a whopping 247 mg/100gms edible portion of Vitamin C. Its’ leaves are used to make Idli’s or can be had just as a salad too.
It is known to reduce the effects of anemia, helps in weight management, and shows antidiabetic effects too!! Even though not a lot of information is available on this vegetable, research is further being conducted so as to assess what all benefits do this multivitamin packs!
These small leaves, also known as “Moringa Leaves” pack a powerful punch. It consists of 220 mg/100 gms of edible portion of Vitamin C along with a high amount of calcium [435mg/edible portion]. Adding these to your daily diet [you could add some in your dal, roti or just have its tea] would help in beating your anemia to the core, plus giving you that much-needed energy and immunity boost. It is also known to prevent constipation, stimulate the nervous system, detoxifying your system and keeping the eyes and bones healthy.
There is so much that these leaves do for us, one might write a book on it!
Knol Khol Greens:
This is a mildly sweet but crisp vegetable and is very high in fiber along with an astonishing amount of Vitamin C to its credit![157 mg/100gms of edible portion]. It contains iron too which helps in keeping anemia at bay. It helps in scavenging free radicals [hence protecting from cancers] from the body along with keeping the gums and bones super strong!
You can easily include it in your salads each day.
This small herb was used literally as a medicine zillion years ago! Slowly as it’s medicinal properties got more popular it was started to be used as food in itself and then in food products too. It’s very high in Vitamin A, Vitamin K and consists of a staggering amount of Vitamin C [281 mg/ 100 gms of edible portion]. It’s highly known and respected for its antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
“However, it should be taken in small amounts in salads, sandwiches and soups as it may prove to be a little bit risky especially for pregnant women and people suffering from kidney stones.”
This one is for all the spicy food lovers! Who knew such a small condiment could pack such a powerful punch. They have 111mg/100gms edible portion of Vitamin C in them, along with properties such as speeding up your metabolism and protecting against cancer too! They help in cardiovascular function and prevent the formation of unnecessary blood clots.
“As strange it may sound, they are great pain relievers and mood lifters! Surprised? So were we!
Did you know that one single serving of guava gives you more Vitamin C than an orange could? We bet you didn’t!
Have been ignoring that guava for long? Time to really pick it up and have a bite!! It contains lots of Vitamin C [212 mg/100gms of edible portion] along with a good amount of dietary fiber, keeping your bowel movements smooth. Along with this it also contains some amount of phosphorus, potassium and Vitamin A.
As soon as someone says mango, I picture a nice sun yellow colored juicy fruit, with a lovely aroma to it! One reveres in its freshness, texture, and taste, falling in love with it over the summer months!
The “King of Fruits” lives up to its name in it being a storehouse of lots of vitamins and minerals. It has loads of magnesium and potassium along with Vitamin C and folate too. It provides 44% of the average daily requirement of Vitamin C in the diet. Contrary to the belief, eating a mango does not increase your weight, as it does not contain a lot of carbohydrate in comparison to your Can of Coke!
“Have you ever had any pasta which feels complete without capsicum?”
No Right? As capsicum is to pasta, so it is to our diet. It is not only rich in Vitamin A, but also gives a good amount of Vitamin C [137mg/100gms of edible portion]. It has a strong taste and gives a totally different flavor to the food that one has. It aids in improving bone health, skin health along with relieving symptoms of menopause and alleviating pain related to arthritis and Crohn’s disease!
Time and again we have been told to take Vitamin C with rich foods or something citrusy with the foods that we have. This has a really simple reason for it, i.e. the ascorbic acid [commonly known as Vit. C] prevents the formation of the unabsorbable iron compound. It also helps in the formation of ferrous iron which is important if the iron has to be taken up by the mucosal cells.
“In simple terms, Vitamin C helps with absorption of Iron!”
Surprised by this sudden burst of scientific information? Well, I believe, one must know what is really happening inside their body with all the food that we are having!! Really goes a long way in making us healthy, fit and strong. So consider these 10 foods as your go-to guide, when thinking of how to increase Vitamin C in the diet. And the best thing about these foods is, they are super inexpensive and locally available!
“See, told you, you will never need a Vitamin C supplement ever again!”
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Having a master’s degree in the field of Clinical Nutrition, along with a background of intensive research on the subject, she guides people with different dietary requirements. From sports to people with varied lifestyles, she has catered to all during her stint with Fortis Memorial Research Institute. Working with corporates has been on top of her agenda to bring about a positive change in their lifestyles. So, while the corporates take care of the business needs, she takes care of the nutritional needs and keeps them going in the humdrum.
She can be reached at email@example.com for a consult.