While vitamin C makes most of us think of eating oranges to fight the common cold, it is actually an anti-aging compound present in more than just citrus. When ingested, the essential water soluble vitamin is required for the biosynthesis of collagen and acts as an effective antioxidant. It helps our skin stay young and supple by neutralizing free radicals that can cause fine lines and wrinkles. Insufficient vitamin C intake may be linked to capillary weakness increasing the chance for broken capillaries and lack of nutritious blood flow to the skin.
To increase your vitamin C intake without excess fructose consider the following vegetables that pack the vitamin C punch along with cleansing fiber and cell supportive minerals. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is actually easy to attain with a side of veggies or a green smoothie.
- Broccoli: Rich in Vitamin K and A, broccoli is also great source of glucosinolate phytonutrients that support all steps in body's detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants.
- Brussels Sprouts: Consuming one cup of Brussels sprouts will provide 195% of vitamin K, 125% of vitamin C, and 10% or more of vitamin A, vitamin B-6, folate, potassium and manganese needs for the day.
- Red Peppers are a great alternative to crackers or chips and dips. A strong source of lycopene, red peppers join the list of cancer fighting antioxidant rich vegetables.
- Green Pepper: While red bell peppers contain larger amounts of antioxidants, green bell peppers are a significant source as well. Green bell peppers also contain zeaxanthin, which keeps your eyes healthy and might reduce your risk of age-related eye disorders.
- Cabbage: If you have high cholesterol steam up cabbage as a side dish. Interestingly, fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed and the result is a more drastic lowering of your cholesterol levels than raw cabbage alone.
- Cauliflower: Once a boring vegetable, this cruciferous vegetable is now mashed, riced and baked into a pizza. Get creative and replace your starchy side with this vitamin C rich veggie. Cauliflower is also rich in Vitamin K, manganese, vitamin B-6, calcium, potassium and thiamin.
- Spinach: Is a delicate green leaf, cooking removes about two-thirds of the vitamin C in fresh spinach. If you decide to sauté it out of season consider purchasing frozen spinach. Vitamin C levels often are higher in frozen produce compared with fresh produce, likely because vitamin C levels can degrade during the storage and transport of fresh produce.
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