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5 Surprising Sources of Vitamin C in Your Veggie Drawer

Feb 24, 2016
By Caitie Bossart
vitamin c veggies

Many of us try to increase our intake of vitamin C in the winter months, since we think it helps our immune system fight colds and infections. While scientists are still debating whether vitamin C is a foolproof cold remedy, none of them question vitamin C’s role in general health.

Vitamin C’s antioxidant power fights free radicals that can damage our DNA and increases collagen production to repair various tissues in our bodies, such as tendons, blood vessels and skin. It also helps us absorb iron, and vitamin C has been shown to help some people get over a cold more quickly and recover from intense exercise.

The current Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg for most women. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding the RDA jumps up to 85 and 120 mg, respectively.

But since our bodies cannot store vitamin C, we need to obtain it regularly from our diet. While oranges and other citrus fruits are a great source, you may be surprised to hear that they aren’t the only way to get your daily recommendation.

Here are five versatile vegetables that pack an unexpected dose of vitamin C, plus some creative recipes to try for your next meal!

Red Cabbage

Brightly colored cabbage makes a beautiful and crunchy addition to salad, tacos, and sandwiches. Make it into a healthy slaw, or try the below chopped salad recipe!
Vitamin C per Cup: 50 mg
Recipe to Try: Over-the-Rainbow Cabbage Salad With Lemon Tahini Dressing


This cruciferous vegetable has been popping up everywhere in the culinary world, from “caulirice” to cauliflower “steaks” to mashed “potatoes.” Avoiding grains? Try it as a crust for pizza!
Vitamin C per Cup: 51 mg
Recipes to Try: Grain-Free Cauliflower Crusted Pizza
Creamy Non-Dairy Cauliflower Soup


As part of the cabbage family, broccoli is a versatile veggie, able to be prepared with a variety of ingredients. The below recipe incorporates one of its classic counterparts (cheese!) into a healthy and tasty bite-sized fritter.
Vitamin C per Cup: 81 mg
Recipe to Try: Cheesy Broccoli Bites

Brussels Sprouts

We roast them, sauté them, or pair them with bacon, but have you tried brussels sprouts shredded and paired with butternut squash? This recipe is as flavorful as it is unique.
Vitamin C per Cup: 74 mg
Recipe to Try: Butternut Squash Noodles With Shredded Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts and Caramelized Onions


Perhaps to be expected, this superfood green of the moment has loads of vitamin C. For a less fibrous take on kale, try the deeply colored version known as black kale or cavolo nero. Try it in a simple but healthfully well-rounded rice bowl.
Vitamin C per Cup: 80 mg
Recipe to Try: Kale Rice Bowl

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Caitie Bossart

Caitie Bossart is the local marketing specialist in New York City for One Medical Group. She is passionate about nutrition and wellness, and is constantly researching the latest health news and trends. Caitie holds a degree in communications from Loyola Marymount University.

The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, a national, modern primary care practice pairing 24/7 virtual care services with inviting and convenient in-person care at over 100 locations across the U.S. One Medical is on a mission to transform health care for all through a human-centered, technology-powered approach to caring for people at every stage of life.

Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. 1Life Healthcare, Inc. and the One Medical entities make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.