9 Vitamin C-Rich Foods That Will Wow You

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vitamin c rich foods

9 Vitamin C-Rich Foods That Will Wow You

When someone says Vitamin C, the immediate correlation that our mind makes is immunity. Isn’t it true? Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, plays a vital role in maintaining and fortifying your immune system, your first and last line of defense. It also aids iron absorption, healthy skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage and promotes wound healing.

As we battle multiple viruses and their contagious variants, our outlook increasingly needs to move towards creating a smart immune system. Yes, all of us have an immune system – some are weak, others strong. But having a smart immune system is about tapping into the intelligence of your body, enabling it to identify viruses, pathogens, germs, and bacteria and take the correct course of action at the right time.

Remember, our bodies are not designed to produce Vitamin C. Getting a healthy dose of it through nutrition can make a big difference. Most of us associate Vitamin C with citrus fruits like oranges, nutraceuticals, or supplements. But today, we want to educate you on 9 fun foods you can add to your daily diet. These are not only rich in Vitamin C but also loaded with anti-inflammatory properties.

While inflammation is part of your body’s natural immune response, the problem occurs when your immune system does not know how to switch it off and when to switch it on. Chronic inflammation is the leading cause of most lifestyle conditions ranging from cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, the inability to lose weight, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and more. Therefore, having anti-inflammatory foods can help you lower this.

Here are 9 fun foods rich in Vitamin C:

#1 Pineapple

Do you love pineapple as much as we do? Of course, if you have an allergy, avoid it. But this tropical fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C. Low in calories and loaded with vitamins and minerals – it contains the anti-inflammatory group of enzymes bromelain. It is excellent for those struggling with arthritis or arthritic flare-ups. Loaded with antioxidants, it also improves digestion, aids recovery, and boosts skin health.

Bromelain has cysteine proteinases that break down protein. A reason why in many meat-eating countries, people cut slices of pineapple and put them over the meat so that its juices and enzymes can seep into it, thus breaking down and tenderizing the protein, making it easy to digest. Savor the fruit well.

vitamin c rich foods
Photo Credit: Freepik/8photo

#2 Papaya

Papaya is rich in vitamin C. It is rich in carotenoids that give it its deep oranges yellow pigment. Loaded with flavonoids and polyphenols, it can play an excellent role in training your immune system. The fruit also contains papain which contains proteolytic enzymes that break proteins down into peptides and amino acids. It is used to tenderize meat too.

It is loaded with fiber and antioxidants which help reduce oxidative stress and lower your risk of various diseases. Studies link its benefits to reducing the risk of cancer risk and slowing cancer progression. You can eat it as is or add it to your salads, salsa, appetizers, or desserts.

vitamin c rich foods
Photo Credit: Freepik/Jcomp

#3 Guava

Most of us grew up relishing guava throughout our childhood. It was one of the cheapest fruits we ate as kids in India. To date, you find vendors selling them on cots. They cut it and add a little bit of red chili powder and salt. It is not only tasty, but one of the richest sources of Vitamin C. Studies link its health benefits to helping manage blood sugar levels, improving heart health, easing menstrual symptoms and constipation, and aiding weight loss.

vitamin c rich foods
Photo Credit: Freepik

#4 Moringa

Moringa oleifera grows in different countries across the world. It is one of the fastest-growing and drought-resistant trees, native to our Indian subcontinent. If you have ever had the South Indian preparation – sambar, you are no stranger to drumsticks. Drumsticks are the fruit of the Moringa oleifera tree. But it isn’t the star that we are speaking about.

The nutritious leaves of the moringa tree are packed with countless health benefits that find praise in Ayurveda and modern-day food science. It is rich in Vitamin C. Leading benefits include reducing inflammation, boosting heart health, tackling allergies, lowering diabetes and high blood pressure, anti-aging, assisting cancer management, thyroid management, breaking fevers, easing diarrhea, wound healing, and improving skin and hair. You can cook the leaves into a sabzi or add moringa powder to our lentils, smoothies, khichdi, shakes, and other food preparations.

vitamin c rich foods
Photo Credit: Pixabay/ Alongkorn Tengsamut

#5 Amla

The beautiful green translucent fruit amla derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Amalaki’ which translates to ‘nectar of life.’ Known for its immense health benefits in Ayurveda for thousands of years, this super fruit is garnering fame across the globe for all the right reasons. Did you know that a single amla fruit has 6 to 8x more vitamin C than a large orange? It also has 2x antioxidants as an acai berry and 17x more than pomegranate. It naturally detoxifies your body and purifies your blood. Its Vitamin C content helps you fight viruses and bacteria and strengthens your blood vessels.

Scientific research shows that amla can boost heart health, lower inflammation, manage blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. It is also effective in fighting age-related macular degeneration, boosting memory, aiding cancer prevention, improving insomnia, and boosting bone and oral health. Other benefits include stabilizing blood sugar levels and improving insulin sensitivity, enhancing metabolism, aiding digestion, easing constipation, and hyperacidity, preventing stomach ulcers, and aiding weight loss.

One innovative way of consuming this is to make Amla candy. Here’s the recipe:

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 2 days


  • Knives
  • Sterilized vessel


  • 250 gm amla/gooseberry seeds removed by slightly soaking them in hot water and cutting them into slices
  • 150 gm organic jaggery powder
  • 2 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin powder


  • Coat amla with jaggery, jeera powder, and rock salt.
  • Keep this mixture aside for 2 days. You will see that amla lets out some water.
  • Sieve this water but don’t discard it. Use this water for other cooking purposes.
  • After removing the water, sundry the amla for 2-3 days.
  • Avoid drying it completely. Ensure there is little moisture left.
  • Once it is ready, just sprinkle jaggery and store it in an air-tight container.
vitamin c rich foods
Photo Credit: Freepik/Timolina

#6 Kiwi

I am a fan of kiwis because of their ability to repair DNA. Whether you have excessive hair fall, pigmentation, or cancer and are undergoing heavy treatments like steroids, chemotherapy, radiation, or heavy medication that has the possibility of destroying your DNA – eating kiwi can help. Yes, these don’t grow locally, but that doesn’t mean we don’t eat them because they are super powerful for your health and a rich source of Vitamin C.

vitamin c rich foods
Photo Credit: Freepik/Jcomp

#7 Green peas

This came up in my recent research. Yes, snow peas are a rich source of Vitamin C. They are a powerhouse of nutrients and perfectly blend with most dishes and cuisines. Add them to your pulaos, sabzis, salads, tikkis, or even make a soup. Apart from vitamin C, they are also rich in Vitamin E, zinc, and other antioxidants that fortify your immune system. They boost eye health and digestion, lower inflammation, manage blood sugar, and promote heart health too.

Try this Savory Pea Tart recipe:

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes




  • 1 cup green peas, blanched
  • 250 g homemade cashew/almond cheese
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Fresh microgreens for garnish


  • Heat oven at 375F.
  • Add all the ingredients for the crust to a medium bowl. Mix them well using a fork.
  • Place the bowl in the fridge for a couple of minutes.

For the filling

  • Add mint, onion, cashew cheese, and oregano to the food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Take the bowl out of the fridge. Grease a tart pan with some unsalted butter.
  • Pour the crust dough into the pan. The crust dough will be extra sticky and wet. Start spreading it all over the pan using a fork.
  • Add cashew cheese and spread it evenly.
  • Add green peas and mint garnish.
  • Drizzle a few drops of olive oil on top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Top with fresh microgreens and serve.
vitamin c rich foods
Photo Credit: Freepik/8photo

#8 Bell Peppers

Did you know that a single cup serving of chopped green bell pepper contains 120 mg of vitamin C? Even other colored bell peppers (especially orange and red) are rich in Vitamin C. It is important to source ethically grown and chemical-free varieties because, in commercial farming, bell peppers are sprayed with deadly pesticides and chemicals. So eat organic ones.

Consuming them adds the colors of the rainbow to your plate. And remember what we always say, the more colorful your plate, the more diverse your gut microbiome. And more than 80% of your immunity begins with your gut. Bell peppers are low in calories and can help lower blood pressure, reduce cardiac risks, and manage diabetes, among other benefits. You can dip them in hummus, add them to your salads, stir fry, and add them to various preparations.

vitamin c rich foods
Photo Credit: Freepik/topntp26

#9 Cruciferous vegetables

We talk about their health benefits all the time! Some crucifers include broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, watercress, radishes, collards, Swiss chard, and so on. When you cook or steam them, you may lose a little bit of Vitamin C. But these are still rich sources. Those with hypothyroidism need to be careful about eating them raw. Steam or cook them before consumption to not aggravate your condition.

Try this Broccoli Mushroom Stir Fry recipe today.

Other tips to boost your immunity

And while I know these cannot be included among foods, some simple lifestyle changes can help you nurture and create a smart immune system.

The deeper you sleep, the better trained your immune system. You could be eating all the fruits and vegetables that we just spoke about but if you are sleep deprived, they are practically useless. So have a fixed sleep and wake-up time. Adopt simple pre-bedtime rituals and avoid 8 common mistakes (read more about them here). Couple this with regular movement and good emotional health. Don’t complicate building immunity. Keep it simple.

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