“Eat more fruits and vegetables!”. We hear this so often, but yet, most of us don’t consume nearly enough fresh produce. This leaves our bodies deficient in many vitamins, minerals, and even fiber. One of the vitamins that we hear about a lot, is vitamin C. But why do we need it? And what can we eat to get more of it? Read on to find out!
The only time vitamin C gets the attention it deserves, is when we feel a cold coming on. Then we’re quick to grab a handful of vitamin C supplements, or down a couple of glasses of orange juice. But besides inconsistent results on whether or not it actually cures a cold, there are a few other health benefits that vitamin C is useful for.
Vitamin C plays a big role in the synthesis of collagen (a structural protein). Collagen is a major component of connective tissues, stimulating cartilage growth. You’ll be less prone to tendon injuries, which makes it particularly useful if you are an active or sporty person.
Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C protects the skin from free radicals. This results in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles and therefore younger-looking skin!
Vitamin C is also beneficial for those with high LDL cholesterol. Studies have shown it to be linked to a healthy cholesterol level, and suggest that a high intake of vitamin C might even have a protective effect on the heart!
One of the easiest ways to add vitamin C to your diet, is by incorporating yellow peppers in your meals. One cup of chopped yellow peppers, provide more than 300% of the recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin C! Peppers are so versatile too – add it to pizza, casseroles, or make filled peppers!
Another underutilized vegetable with a lot of vitamin C, is broccoli, with one cup providing slightly more than 100% of your DV. Roast the florets with olive oil and seasoning, or make casserole with broccoli and cheese sauce.
If veggies are not your thing, try strawberries. One cup provides you with more than 100% of your DV. Use them in a salad (with a delicious balsamic drizzle), or add them to a smoothie.