A Veggie That's a Fruit, With Extra Vitamin C Than an Orange

This text was beforehand printed August 8, 2020, and has been up to date with new info.

Vitamin C has all the time been very important to immune operate, however COVID-19 has shone the highlight on the vitamin in a giant method. Whereas everyone seems to be scurrying to top off on citrus fruits, there’s really one other fruit that incorporates extra vitamin C than some other: purple bell peppers.

Sure, you learn that proper. Pink bell peppers are sometimes categorized, and cooked, as a vegetable, however as a result of they comprise seeds, they’re botanically categorised as a fruit. In fact, you may not be as involved with that as a lot as how they’ll contribute to your vitamin C consumption and what different well being advantages purple bell peppers have to supply.

Vitamin C in Pink Bell Peppers

Though you would possibly instantly consider oranges or orange juice whenever you hear the time period “vitamin C,” bell peppers — particularly candy purple bell peppers — are a much better supply.

One cup of sliced uncooked purple bell pepper incorporates 117 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C,1 which really exceeds the present RDA for the whole day. For comparability, the identical quantity of inexperienced bell peppers incorporates round 74 mg.2 In keeping with a comparative examine within the September 2012 challenge of the Journal of the Science of Meals and Agriculture,3 these numbers enhance much more when you select natural bell peppers.

The researchers analyzed the quantities of bioactive compounds in organically grown bell peppers and conventionally grown bell peppers and located that the organically grown peppers contained considerably extra vitamin C and better quantities of carotenoids, like beta carotene, phenolic acids and flavonoids, comparable to quercetin.

Well being Advantages of Pink Bell Peppers

Most of the well being advantages of purple bell peppers will be attributed to the mixture of bioactive compounds discovered inside them. A single purple bell pepper incorporates 30 totally different antioxidants,4 making them one of the nutrient-dense fruits you’ll be able to eat.

Antioxidants have been proven to assist struggle coronary heart illness,5 forestall most cancers,6 shield in opposition to liver illness and fight oxidative stress and irritation.7 One of many notable compounds in purple bell peppers is quercetin, which is understood to have a variety of well being advantages. Quercetin has been proven to assist scale back irritation, alleviate ache,8 decrease blood stress9 and enhance studying and reminiscence.10

In fact, a number of the well being advantages of purple bell peppers are additionally a results of its excessive vitamin C content material. Though vitamin C is commonly hailed for its highly effective immune-boosting properties, it has a protecting impact in opposition to coronary heart illness and early loss of life, too.

Researchers who printed a examine in The American Journal of Scientific Diet in June 2015 regarded on the eating regimen and well being of 97,203 individuals. They discovered those that consumed the biggest quantity of vegatables and fruits had a decrease danger of creating coronary heart illness and decrease danger of early loss of life when put next with these with the bottom intakes.11

The researchers concluded that this profit could also be pushed by the excessive vitamin C focus in vegatables and fruits, since these with the very best plasma vitamin C ranges appeared to expertise the best impact.

Vitamin C has additionally been linked to higher eye well being. Oxidative stress is linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, two of the main causes of blindness in older adults.

In a single cohort examine printed within the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation in December 2005, researchers discovered {that a} excessive consumption of vitamin C, mixed with an above common consumption of beta-carotene, vitamin E and zinc, may scale back the chance of creating AMD by 35%.12

Vitamin C can also be closely concerned in your nervous system. It helps your neurons, modulates the transmission of nerve impulses and helps your physique make catecholamines13 or the hormones dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine that assist management your stress ranges.

A February 2018 examine printed within the Journal of Vital Care discovered preliminary proof that administering vitamin C along with customary remedy might assist fight irritation and stabilize coronary heart price in these with sepsis and septic shock14 — an emergency state of affairs that accounts for 30% to 50% of all in-hospital deaths15 and believed to be the underlying explanation for some severe issues and loss of life in extreme COVID-19 infections. Vitamin C can also be helpful for16:

Defending in opposition to UV injury

Stopping wrinkles and lack of collagen

Therapeutic burns and wounds

Decreasing zits

Assuaging dry pores and skin


How A lot Vitamin C Do You Want?

Vitamin C is water-soluble, which implies it dissolves in water and is carried all through the physique to your cells for instant use. Your cells take what they want and something left over will get excreted out of your physique by your urine. In contrast to fat-soluble nutritional vitamins, your physique does not retailer any additional for later. Your physique can also’t make vitamin C by itself. Which means it is additional essential that you just get adequate quantities out of your eating regimen each day.

The present suggestion for vitamin C is 75 mg per day for grownup ladies and 90 mg per day for grownup males.18 Whereas every day doses of a number of hundred mg per day is sensible for a lot of, there’s proof that greater doses, that means these over 1,000 mg per day, could also be higher for combating viruses just like the widespread chilly19 and Epstein-Barr20 and as a part of the therapy for most cancers.21

Different Sources of Vitamin C

One cup of sliced purple bell peppers gives greater than the present RDA for vitamin C, however if you wish to enhance your consumption much more, there are many different vegatables and fruits which might be wonderful sources of vitamin C as effectively.

Some of the vitamin C-rich fruits out there is the acerola or Barbados cherry,22 which gives 1,644 mg of vitamin C per cup.23 Examine that to a medium orange, which incorporates about 69.7 mg of vitamin C.24 Different vegatables and fruits which might be notably wealthy within the vitamin embody25:


Candy potato





Chili peppers



Brussels sprouts

Tomato/tomato juice




Cooked cabbage

Vitamin C Dietary supplements

Supplementation is an possibility too, nevertheless it’s finest to get what you want from quite a lot of vegatables and fruits. While you eat vegatables and fruits, you are not solely getting pure, simply absorbed vitamin C, you are additionally getting dozens of different tremendous vitamins, like antioxidants and phytochemicals, which assist struggle continual illness, scale back irritation and assist get rid of carcinogens.

Nonetheless, when you’re having bother assembly your wants with eating regimen alone, you’ll be able to complement a nutritious diet with liposomal vitamin C, which has enhanced bioavailability when in comparison with different oral types of the vitamin.

In a single small examine printed in Diet and Metabolic Insights in June 2016, researchers in contrast liposomal vitamin C dietary supplements to different kinds of oral vitamin C,26 discovering liposomal dietary supplements raised the quantity of vitamin C within the blood extra successfully than the opposite unencapsulated varieties.

That is as a result of the liposomes encapsulate, or encompass, the vitamin C, which protects it from the tough setting of your digestive tract, in accordance with a July 2019 report within the Journal of Liposome Analysis.27 This helps slows down the discharge of the vitamin from the complement and improves absorption.

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