Oranges get all the immune-boosting credit, but there are some even better options out there.  

By Lauren Wicks
January 30, 2019
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Photo: Getty Images / Sugar0607

The orange has become the poster child for vitamin C intake. And while it is an excellent source, there are plenty of other foods that pack an even bigger punch. While vitamin C deficiencies have become more uncommon in the U.S., winter is an especially important time to ensure you’re getting enough of this immunity-boosting nutrient (especially when there’s a nasty flu going around!) These seven foods make meeting the 90 mg requirement for men and 75 mg requirement for women an easy feat, and have more vitamin C than an average-sized orange.

Bell Peppers

Photo: Greg DuPree

Bell peppers are the greatest vegetable source of vitamin C, and depending on the color, they can pack almost 150 mg in a half-cup serving! Cooked red and green peppers give you the most vitamin C, while red and yellow are best for consuming raw. The best thing about bell peppers is their versatility; they can be seen across all cuisines from stir fries to fajitas. They also make a great snack when served alongside your favorite hummus.

Guava

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There are several tropical fruits on this list, but guava earns the top spot with 206 mg of vitamin C per fruit! While guava is a more uncommon ingredient in American cuisine, it should find its way into your kitchen—it’s a great source of potassium and fiber, which aid in digestion and heart health. Try it in your next baking venture, or add some to your morning smoothie.

Chili Peppers

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Chili peppers make a huge impact on your vitamin C intake, and just one green chili pepper contains 109 mg. Poblano and ancho chile peppers are two of the most popular varieties and make great additions to soups, tacos, condiments, and more. If you don’t like the spice, opt for bell peppers instead.

Strawberries

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

Just one cup of strawberries gives you more than enough vitamin C for the day. While we love a good orange in winter, strawberries are perfect for those warmer months when they are at their sweetest and brightest. We love using these red berries in everything from sweet treats to salads, as they are full of fiber and help satisfy a sweet tooth.

Interested in learning more about healthy foods?

Kiwi

Greg DuPree

The cute little kiwifruit doesn’t mess around when it comes to keeping your immune system happy and healthy. One large kiwi provides 80 mg, which meets the daily requirement for both women and men. Besides being an excellent immunity booster, kiwi is great for your eye health—it helps prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

Kale

Jennifer Causey

One cup of raw kale also provides 80 mg of vitamin C, and also packs a hefty dose of vitamin A, vitamin B, and calcium. We love thinking outside the box when it comes to serving this healthy green veggie (like turning leaves into these delicious, crispy chips!)

Papaya

Papaya is famous in skincare for its anti-aging properties, but it also boasts anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory abilities. Like the other tropical fruits on this list, you can always find it in a Latin American grocery store if you can’t find one at your local supermarket.

Nutrition Facts Source: USDA