Oranges might be the face of vitamin C, but while the citrus is an excellent source of C, there's an abundance of other foods high in this nutrient.
This is good news because vitamin C plays many important roles in our bodies, from making collagen to increasing iron absorption to fighting free radicals from pollution and the sun, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Another important function of vitamin C is supporting our immune systems. Getting adequate vitamin C won't prevent you from getting a cold necessarily, but it can help reduce the severity and duration, per a May 2016 article in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.
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So where can you get vitamin C from in your diet? Foods high in vitamin C include many fruits and vegetables like all citrus, strawberries, kiwi, mangoes, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower and bell peppers.
Blending a combo of these fruits and veggies is an easy way to eat a variety of vitamin C foods and meeting your daily requirements. So try these vitamin C smoothie recipes to help support your immune system.
1. Blood Orange and Cashew Smoothie
- Calories: 488
You'll enjoy the sweetness Medjool dates add, which balance the tartness of the blood orange juice. Cashews and hemp milk add creaminess, and they're also a great source of healthy unsaturated fats. Blood oranges and Fuyu persimmons are both packed with vitamin C. One persimmon meets about 15 percent of your daily needs.
Get the Blood Orange and Cashew Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Grapefruit, Ginger and Turmeric Smoothie
- Calories: 293
There's a zesty bite to this smoothie thanks to the grapefruit, ginger and turmeric but it's mellowed out by the Honeycrisp apples, honey and vanilla yogurt. Hemp seeds are added, too, for a creamy texture and a dose of healthy fat.
You'll get your vitamin C primarily from grapefruit in this drink. The recipe calls for an entire grapefruit, which provides 85 percent of your daily needs, according to the USDA.
Get the Grapefruit, Ginger and Turmeric Smoothie recipe and nutrition info.
3. Strawberry Rice Pudding Smoothie
- Calories: 418
This dessert-like smoothie is sweet and creamy, yet it's packed with nutrients. Cooked whole-grain brown rice and probiotic-rich yogurt thicken up this smoothie while strawberries, bananas and coconut water add sweetness. Strawberries are also a stand-out source of vitamin C with bananas following closely behind.
Get the Strawberry Rice Pudding Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Papaya, Yogurt and Peppermint Smoothie
- Calories: 283
The ingredients here — papaya, yogurt, fresh peppermint, lime and honey — may sound like an odd combo, but together they create a bright, tropical smoothie that is full of nutrients. Papaya contains natural enzymes, which help you digest food, but it's also an excellent source of immune-supporting vitamin C. If you're looking for more sustenance or sweetness, add half a banana.
Get the Papaya, Yogurt and Peppermint Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Chia Mango Smoothie
- Calories: 161
Adding chia seeds to any smoothie creates instant thickness. These tiny seeds also provide healthy unsaturated fats. Mango is the star in this smoothie because of its vitamin C offerings. Cardamom is a unique addition, bringing a hint of spice and warmth to the smoothie. Because it's lighter in calories, this smoothie is perfect for a snack.
Get the Chia Mango Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Green Superfood Smoothie
- Calories: 221
This smoothie features 10 nutritious ingredients including hemp seeds, mango, cucumber, spinach, green tea, broccoli, mint, lemon juice, ginger root and turmeric. A few of these foods — mango, spinach, broccoli and lemon juice — are all solid sources of vitamin C. Use frozen fruits and vegetables if you like your smoothies thick.
Get the Green Superfood Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
7. Tropical Beet and Pineapple Smoothie
- Calories: 136
Pineapple and spinach are the dynamic duos in this smoothie as both are rich in vitamin C. Raw beets create the bright red color and add an earthy layer to the flavor. This is balanced with the sweetness from the pineapple and the coconut water called for here. You can either sprinkle the hemp hearts on top for texture or blend them into the smoothie.
Get the Tropical Beet and Pineapple Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
8. Kiwi, Zucchini and Apple Smoothie
- Calories: 174
Zucchinis have a mild flavor, so they're an easy way to sneak more vegetables into smoothies. The apple and kiwi in this drink mask the flavor with their own sweet-yet-tart taste. The smoothie gets its dose of vitamin C from the lemon juice, kiwi and kale. Just one small kiwi provides 71 percent of your vitamin C needs for the day, per the USDA. Enjoy this drink as a snack or as part of your breakfast.
Get the Kiwi, Zucchini and Apple Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.