Do you want to dramatically reduce your risk of a stroke? Would you like to increase your chances of never getting cancer and heart disease? Is looking better because your skin isn’t aging as fast as it was appealing to you?

If the answer to these questions is ‘yes,’ you should consider eating more vitamin C-rich food.

“Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason,” Mark Moyad, who has scrutinized the results of more than 100 studies about the effect of vitamin C, told WebMD in a report entitled “The Benefits of Vitamin C.”  “Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health.  The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer.”

The research about the effect of vitamin C has spurred medical experts to change their advice on how much vitamin C people should eat per day. The U.S. government, for example, urged men and women to eat 60 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C daily in the latter part of the 20th century. Since 2000, men have been urged to eat 90 mg of vitamin C daily. Women have been told they should eat 75 mg of vitamin C daily.

How To Increase The Amount of Vitamin C in Your Diet

amount of vitamin cHowever, smokers need to consume far more vitamin C because “smokers are under increased oxidative stress from the toxins in cigarette smoke and generally have lower blood levels of vitamin C,” says an Oregon State University report on vitamin C. Male smokers are now told they need 125 mg of vitamin C daily, while female smokers need 110 mg of vitamin C daily.

The foods that have the most vitamin C are fruits and vegetables. Historically, Americans have eaten far fewer fruits and vegetables than they should. Today, about 40 percent of Americans are “getting insufficient amounts of vitamin C,” reported Live Science in a report titled “Vitamin C: Sources & Benefits.”

Which specific foods are the best sources of vitamin C? The National Institutes of Health reports that the most vitamin C is in the following foods:

  • Blueberries.
  • Cantaloupes.
  • Citrus fruits.
  • Cranberries.
  • Kiwis.
  • Mangoes.
  • Papayas.
  • Pineapples.
  • Raspberries.
  • Strawberries.
  • Watermelon.

“Red and green peppers, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip greens and other leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, winter squash and Brussels sprouts are other good sources of vitamin C,” the Live Science article reports.

Below are some examples of how much vitamin C is in vitamin C food. Remember that men are supposed to eat 90 mg of vitamin C daily and women are urged to eat 75 mg of vitamin C daily.

  • Broccoli: 74 mg per cup.
  • Brussels sprouts: 48 mg per half cup.
  • Cabbage: 28 mg per half cup.
  • Cantaloupe: 59 mg per 8 ounces.
  • Cauliflower: 26 mg per half cup.
  • Grapefruit: 39 mg per half grapefruit.
  • Grapefruit juice: 70 mg per 3/4 cup.
  • Green pepper: 60 mg per half cup.
  • Kiwi: 70 mg per medium kiwi.
  • Orange: 70 mg per medium orange.
  • Orange juice: 97 mg per cup.
  • Red cabbage: 40 mg per half cup.
  • Red pepper: 95 mg per half cup.
  • Strawberries: 49 mg per half cup.
  • Tomato juice: 45 mg per cup.

The WebMD report has several tips that will help you increase the amount of vitamin C in your diet. They include:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables as snacks.
  • Add foods like dark lettuce and tomatoes to your sandwiches.
  • Add berries to your cereal, pancakes, and salads.
  • Drink vegetable juice as a snack.
  • Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

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