How can I eat healthy everyday?
Are you feeling the need to boost your immune system to get ready for the cold & flu season? Definitely!
Whether it is for the Back-to-School season or getting ready for the Fall, a little immunity kick is always welcome.
In this post, I will share the Top 5 Fruits and Vegetables with Vitamin C. Surprise- it is not just oranges!
How to eat healthy and add Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a little powerhouse!
Your body needs Vitamin C to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. In addition, Vitamin C aid your body’s healing process.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. That means, it helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals that are produced when your body
- breaks down food,
- is exposed to tobacco smoke, radiation from the sun or X-rays.
Vitamin C also helps your body absorb and store iron. Your body does not produce Vitamin C, which means you need to get it from your diet.
How do I increase my Vitamin C intake?
So, how can you get your daily Vitamin C to boost your immune system?
Consume Fruits & Vegetables Everyday
Eating fruits & vegetables is a great and easy way to eat healthy everyday. Many fruits and vegetables are full of Vitamin C, which triggers the production of white blood cells that fight off germs and bacteria.
Consuming produce has the added bonus that it is packed with other beneficial ingredients such as minerals, low in calories, and high in fiber, which supports gut health.
Take a Vitamin C Supplement
If you take Vitamin C for its antioxidant properties, oral supplement might not offer the same benefits as naturally occurring antioxidants in food.
More importantly, research shows that consuming high doses of Vitamin C supplements increase the acid level in the stomach. This leads to acid reflux, bloating, diarrhea, and cramps.
Thus, unlike natural Vitamin C, the synthetic version irritates your gut, which is not ideal when you are trying to boost your overall health!
So, let’s find out which fruits and vegetables contain the most Vitamin C.
What Fruits and Vegetables contain the most Vitamin C?
When we think of produce that are rich in Vitamin C, we immediately think of oranges. Well, did you know that oranges come in fourth place in the ranking of Top 5 Fruits and Vegetables? Please note that this Top 5 contains some of the most common produce and most of these are available year-round!
So, if you are looking for that quick boost of Vitamin C, here is the ranking of the produce with it:
- Red Bell Pepper
Kiwis lead the way in terms of fruits that are rich in Vitamin C: One cup of sliced kiwi has 170 mg of Vitamin C!
They are available year-round in most parts of the world. There are many ways to enjoy the intake of this Top Vitamin C powerhouse.
- Cutting it in half and eat it by scooping with a spoon
- Adding some slices to a fruit salad
- Use a cookie cutter to create fun shapes
In any case, kiwis add a cute punch of color!
2. Red Bell Pepper
One medium raw red bell pepper contains 152 mg of Vitamin C! Raw red bell peppers reap the most health benefits.
Red Bell Peppers are inexpensive and great for meal planning. They are so easy and quick to add:
- Cut in strips and eat with a dip
- Use them as an ingredient in dips
- Add them to a salad or vegetable skewer to add some crunch
One more reason to love strawberries is because they pack in so much Vitamin C! Enjoy one cup to get 100 mg of Vitamin C.
- Add some fresh strawberries to your oatmeal
- Freeze strawberries for smoothies
- Decorate your green salad with fresh strawberries
- Infuse your water with fresh strawberries to add flavor
Surprise, Oranges come in fourth place in the ranking. One medium orange has 70 mg of Vitamin C.
Oranges are so versatile and are a juicy addition to smoothies. Oranges are also a great fruit to take along in the lunch box, as they travel well and do not bruise as easily as some other fruit options.
Good news – there are many healthy meal options for broccoli! Because it is loaded with Vitamin C: One cup of cooked broccoli packs in 102 mg. Store fresh broccoli in the fridge for up to a week. When shopping, look for fresh or frozen broccoli without any additives.
- Steam Broccoli ahead of time for meals during the week
- Add it to soups or pasta salads
- Top off a baked potato with air-fried broccoli
How do I add more Fruits and Vegetables Everyday?
One way to add more fruits and vegetables into your day is to think about eating a rainbow: always try to add something green, red, yellow, or purple to your plate. To save some money on fresh produce, look at seasonal and local offerings of fruits and vegetables.
There are four sneaky ways to add veggies in your day:
- In a Salad
- With a dip
Steaming veggies is super easy, and they retain their nice crunchy texture! We use our steamer basket in the rice cooker, which makes meal prep so fast.
All you need is to add some seasoning or a sauce, and dinner is done!
It is actually quite surprising how easy it is to add vegetables to baked goods without modifying the taste! How about trying one of these fun options the next time you bake cupcakes:
- replace vegetable oil with applesauce,
- add some finely shredded zucchini or
- some grated carrots.
Moreover, the added fruits or vegetables will give the cupcakes a yummy moist texture! And you are still getting all of the goodness of the veggies!
3. In a Salad
What is more fun than colorful salads? So go for the greens, orange, reds, and yellows! Aim to add a rainbow with veggies while boosting vitamin & fiber intake.
How about some cherry tomatoes, crunchy bell peppers, or yummy sweet potatoes? All of these pack in healthy vitamins and nutrients to enhance eating healthy everyday.
Don’t know where to start? In my Wellness workshops, I provide plenty of additional ideas to enhance your health.
4. With a Dip
Cut up and store raw veggies in the fridge for a quick veggie snack when you come home! How about carrots with hummus or nut butter? Or some cucumbers with ranch dressing?
You could even use the veggies as an ingredient in a dip, for example bell peppers or tomatoes for a salsa. I would like to share this amazing recipe for Muhammara Dip.
Pronounced “m’hamara”, it means “red” in Arabic. It is a middle-eastern plant-based red bell pepper dip that boosts your health, as it is loaded with Vitamin C. Enjoy!
Eat Healthy Everyday
It seems so daunting to eat healthy everyday! However, when you go through the produce section of a supermarket, just start choosing colorful fruits and vegetables. The more colorful the plate, the more you create a healthy variety of vitamins that boost your immune system!
A variety of storage containers in your fridge with pre-cut fruits and vegetables will help to facilitate meal preparation throughout the week.
In addition to putting more fruits and vegetables into your meals, you can also decorate your food with fresh herbs and fill your lunch box with snacks that are supporting your health!