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Keto Food Sources of Vitamin C

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  Published on June 2nd, 2022
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  Last modified June 2nd, 2022
Display of food sources of vitamin c

Vitamin C is renowned for its powerful immune-boosting properties. When it comes to fighting infection, vitamin C doesn’t mess around and is commonly recommended by doctors and health experts as a treatment for infection and chronic illnesses. Just because you’re low carb doesn’t mean you have to miss out on dietary sources of vitamin C. Let’s discuss the best keto sources of vitamin C.

What Is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that your body maintains in high amounts in your white blood cells, skin, eyes, brain, and adrenal glands. Unlike other animals, including dogs and cats, humans can’t make their own vitamin C, so we have to obtain it from our diet [1].

Vitamin C doesn’t just help you fight off the common cold; it can enhance wound healing, aid in the creation of neurotransmitters, and more! Low levels of vitamin C have been linked to increased infection and impaired immunity [2].

Vitamin C counteracts free radicals—unstable molecules that can damage your cells. Research suggests supplementing vitamin C could be advantageous for neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease [3].

Your body uses this important vitamin for maintaining healthy blood vessels, bones, and skin. It’s even being looked at in high doses as an adjunct cancer therapy [4].

Best Keto Food Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found mostly in plant foods like parsley and cauliflower, as well as liver and organ meats, all of which are good choices on a keto diet. However, some of the best sources of vitamin C aren’t keto-friendly, such as mangos, oranges, and pineapples.

Some people believe that being in ketosis reduces your need for vitamin C. Still, research is needed in this area to reach a clear conclusion about vitamin C requirements on a ketogenic diet.

The United States daily value (DV) is 60mg of vitamin C.

Here are some of the best keto food sources of vitamin C:

1. Bell Peppers

Colorful bell peppers have more vitamin C than any other food, including citrus fruits! One large yellow pepper provides 342 mg of vitamin C, which is 380% of your daily value (DV), and twice the amount found in green peppers [5] [6] [7].

Add bell peppers to your keto salad, stir fry, roasted veggie platter, or omelet. Enjoy this fresh tahini salad or keto sheet pan shrimp fajitas featuring crunchy peppers!

2. Kale

Kale is a good keto source of vitamin C

Kale is popular in the health world for good reason. A 100-gram serving of raw kale gives you 93 mg of vitamin C. One cup of cooked kale gives you 21 mg or 23% of the DV for vitamin C [8].

Eating diets high in cruciferous vitamin-C-rich vegetables like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts has shown to be protective against prostate, lung, colon, and breast cancer [9] [10].

Add kale to a smoothie or salad, or try this creamy roasted garlic and kale soup or crispy kale chips.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is a sulfur-rich cruciferous veggie. One-half cup of cooked broccoli gives you 51 mg of vitamin C, which is 57% of your DV [11].

An impressive study revealed eating 30 grams of broccoli sprouts daily reduced the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein in overweight adults [12]. Boiling broccoli could lose a good portion of the vitamin C; however, steaming or roasting preserves more of the vitamin C content.

Settle down to a delightful dinner of mayo-Dijon salmon with broccoli or a satiating steak with broccoli sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

4. Brussel Sprouts

One-half cup of cooked Brussel sprouts with your keto meal gives you 49 mg or 54% of the DV for vitamin C. Brussels are high in folate, fiber, vitamin K and A, and potassium. Vitamin C and K are crucial for bone health. Vitamin C assists collagen formation, which makes up the fibrous part of your bones [13].

Some people really despise the infamous Brussel sprouts, while others thoroughly enjoy these healthy veggies. If you like Brussels, you might like this easy air fryer Brussel sprouts recipe or these bacon braised keto Brussel sprouts!

5. Lemons

When life gives you lemons, you make a refreshing keto lemonade! In the 1700s, lemons were given to sailors to prevent scurvy, a severe vitamin C deficiency with symptoms like fatigue, gum diseases, and poor wound healing. One whole raw lemon provides 45 mg of vitamin C, which is 50% of your DV [14].

Fresh lemons make a good source of vitamin C

Lemon juice is often used to stop foods and fruits from browning, like when chefs add a splash of lemon juice to keep that irresistible guacamole fresh for longer! This little trick works because the vitamin C in lemon juice acts as a powerful antioxidant [15].

Lemon juice can also lower blood pressure and the effects of bread on blood sugar [16] [17]. Get your healthy fatty fish and your vitamin C with this easy baked cod with lemon butter sauce or baked lemon sole keto fish.

6. Strawberries

Strawberries are a flavor-bursting, vibrant, keto-approved fruit that should certainly be on your dinner table. Strawberries contain less sugar than most fruits, and they’re packed with vitamin C.

You consume 97 mg of vitamin C (108% of the DV) in just one cup of sliced strawberries [18]. Vitamin C isn’t the only benefit of sweet strawberries; they’re also packed with manganese, flavonoids, folate, and other antioxidants.

Sweeten your salad with strawberries or have this berry keto cheesecake or a strawberry keto yogurt for dessert. And go ahead and treat yourself with a keto strawberry lemonade mojito!

Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.

References

1.

De Tullio, M. C. (2010). The mystery of vitamin C. Nature Education, 3(9), 48. Vitamin C biosynthesis | Learn Science at Scitable (nature.com)

2.

Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients, 9(11), 1211. DOI: 10.3390/nu9111211

3.

Moretti, M., Fraga, D. B., & Rodrigues, A. L. S. (2017). Preventive and therapeutic potential of ascorbic acid in neurodegenerative diseases. CNS Neurosci Ther, 23(12), 921-929. DOI: 10.1111/cns.12767

4.

Mastrangelo, D., Pelosi, E., Castelli, G., Lo-Coco, F., & Testa, U. (2018). Mechanisms of anti-cancer effects of ascorbate: Cytotoxic activity and epigenetic modulation. Blood Cells Mol Dis, DOI: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2017.09.005

5.

United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Daily Value on the New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels. Daily Value on the New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels | FDA

6.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Database. Peppers, Sweet, Yellow, Raw. FoodData Central (usda.gov)

7.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Database. Peppers, Sweet, Green, Raw. FoodData Central (usda.gov)

8.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Database. Kale, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, Without Salt. FoodData Central (usda.gov)

9.

Razis, A. F. A., & Noor, N. M. (2013). Cruciferous vegetables: Dietary phytochemicals for cancer prevention. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/APJCP.2013.14.3.1565

10.

National Cancer Institute (NCI). Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention. Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention - NCI

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