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

Vitamin C has all the time been very important to immune perform, however COVID-19 has shone the highlight on the vitamin in a giant means. Whereas everyone seems to be scurrying to replenish on citrus fruits, there’s really one other fruit that comprises 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 include seeds, they’re botanically categorised as a fruit. In fact, you may not be as involved with that as a lot as how they will 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 comprises 117 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C,1 which really exceeds the present RDA for your entire day. For comparability, the identical quantity of inexperienced bell peppers comprises round 74 mg.2 In keeping with a comparative examine within the September 2012 concern of the Journal of the Science of Meals and Agriculture,3 these numbers improve much more when you select organic 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, akin to quercetin.

Well being Advantages of Pink Bell Peppers

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

Antioxidants have been proven to assist struggle coronary heart illness,5 stop 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 strain9 and enhance studying and reminiscence.10

In fact, a few 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 demise, too.

Researchers who printed a examine in The American Journal of Scientific Vitamin in June 2015 regarded on the eating regimen and well being of 97,203 individuals. They discovered those that consumed the biggest quantity of fruit and veggies had a decrease threat of creating coronary heart illness and decrease threat of early demise compared with these with the bottom intakes.11

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

Vitamin C has additionally been linked to raised eye well being. Oxidative stress is related 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, might scale back the danger of creating AMD by 35%.12

Vitamin C can 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 Crucial Care discovered preliminary proof that administering vitamin C along with customary remedy could assist fight irritation and stabilize coronary heart charge 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 reason for some critical issues and demise in extreme COVID-19 infections. Vitamin C may additionally be helpful for16:

Defending in opposition to UV injury

Stopping wrinkles and lack of collagen

Therapeutic burns and wounds

Lowering pimples

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 speedy use. Your cells take what they want and something left over will get excreted out of your physique by means of 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. Meaning it is additional necessary that you simply get ample quantities out of your eating regimen daily.

The present advice for vitamin C is 75 mg per day for grownup girls and 90 mg per day for grownup males.18 Whereas each day doses of a number of hundred mg per day is smart for a lot of, there’s proof that larger doses, which 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 offers greater than the present RDA for vitamin C, however if you wish to improve your consumption much more, there are many different fruit and veggies which might be glorious sources of vitamin C as properly.

Probably the most vitamin C-rich fruits accessible is the acerola or Barbados cherry,22 which offers 1,644 mg of vitamin C per cup.23 Examine that to a medium orange, which comprises about 69.7 mg of vitamin C.24 Different fruit and veggies which might be notably wealthy within the vitamin embrace25:


Candy potato





Chili peppers



Brussels sprouts

Tomato/tomato juice




Cooked cabbage

Vitamin C Dietary supplements

Supplementation is an possibility too, however it’s finest to get what you want from a wide range of fruit and veggies. Once you eat fruit and veggies, 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 persistent illness, scale back irritation and assist remove 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 Vitamin and Metabolic Insights in June 2016, researchers in contrast liposomal vitamin C dietary supplements to different varieties 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 cruel atmosphere of your digestive tract, in keeping 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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