Good for your resistance: Ten vegetables full of vitamin C

Vitamin C Vegetables
The title of this blog may sound a bit strange to you. Vegetables and Vitamin C?  We have to go to the fruit department for that, right? We know that in case of illness and a cold, we are quickly handed an orange or lemon. Or that you can safely eat an extra kiwi if you have a reduced resistance. In this article, Eva Snijders explains which ten types of vegetables are packed with vitamin C.

The link between fruit and a good resistance has been made for centuries.

Vitamin C for your resistance

The fact that fruit is often used for illness and colds (maybe you remember the famous fruit basket?) has all to do with vitamin C. This vitamin is an important antioxidant and perhaps the best-known vitamin for increasing our resistance. It stimulates, among other things, the formation of white blood cells.

White blood cells are an important part of our  immune system .  They are in the blood and in the lymphatic fluid. White blood cells protect us, among other things, against annoying intruders and therefore prevent us from getting seriously ill. Think of them as one of your most powerful weapons of your immune system!

But did you know that the vitamin C content in many types of fruit  is actually very disappointing?  And that a red bell pepper contains much more vitamin C than citrus fruit? Or that Brussels sprouts are almost bursting at the seams? new? Read on quick. There are many ways to increase your resistance in the coming fall and winter (in a simple way)!

Certain vegetables contain much more vitamin C than fruit

We can’t do without outside help

We cannot live without vitamin C. Everyone knows the miserable stories of former seafaring trips and scurvy. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, which means that  our body cannot make it on its own . We also do not have long-term storage. So you need it every day.

You can’t do without vitamin C, but you can do without fruit. What’s up with that? A persistent myth is that you need fruit for good resistance. Fruit certainly helps, but those who eat little fruit are not so deficient. At least, not if you add plenty of vegetables to it.

The levels of vitamin C in fruit are easily replaceable by eating different types of (raw) vegetables. I sometimes say: fruit is replaceable, vegetables are not. The vitamins and minerals in vegetables are so varied and high in doses that you really can’t do without them. In addition, you also get a lot of sugar(s) with fruit, especially with the sweet varieties.

Of course, both fruit and vegetables are the best, but if you had to choose: vegetables win in terms of nutritional value with flying colors.

Can you live without vitamin C? New. Can you live without fruit? Yes.

Do you mainly have apple, pear and banana in your fruit basket?

It is also a myth that fruit contains a lot of vitamin C. Some strains are indeed real winners. Well-known varieties such as kiwis, strawberries, dark-colored berries and citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons) for example. But it kind of ends there.

Yet the  apple, pear and banana have been the crown in our fruit bowl for years . (1). And that’s a shame, because these fruits contain little vitamin C. A banana contains 9 milligrams and apples and pears only contain 5 milligrams, unlike an orange which contains 10 times as much! So, now you know what your future filled fruit basket will look like when you visit a sick person!

The average Dutch fruit basket contains little vitamin C

Do you still cook your vegetables in a swimming pool?

However, fruit also has a small advantage over vegetables when it comes to vitamin C. And that is that you almost always eat fruit raw: straight away. Vegetables are often cooked. And vitamin C doesn’t like that. Heat and light cause the vitamin C content to decrease.

How you prepare vegetables largely determines the extent to which you can limit that damage. Damage from 5 to as much as 50 percent loss! Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and therefore leaks into the cooking water. 

There are still countless households who cook their vegetables in a swimming pool of water. This used to be the norm, but today we know that vegetables cook just as well (and also retain much more flavor) in a  thin layer of water . Steaming is an even better idea , this cooking technique retains more vitamin C in the vegetables. By keeping the cooking time as short as possible, you also reduce the breakdown process. Slow-cooked vegetables contain considerably more vitamin C than the soft-cooked variety. Moreover, they are much tastier as a result.

Rather fresh than the sliced, prepackaged variety

Cutting vegetables also causes vitamin loss (2) Freshly cut vegetables are therefore preferred on top of the prepackaged variant in the refrigerated shelf. The fresher you cook, the more vitamin C your vegetables contain.  Another  smart tip : don’t throw away any cooking liquid, but use it as a base for sauces, soups or stock. Think of it as a healthy dose of vitamin water!

All in all, the raw, fresh form remains the best way to get the most vitamin C. Fortunately, many vegetables with plenty of vitamin C are excellent for eating unheated. That’s probably what Mother Nature intended.

Eat vegetables unheated regularly in a salad or as a snack. They contain much more vitamin C

Top 10 Vegetables Packed with Vitamin C

Time for the top 10! So try to eat them raw regularly. Each vegetable has some processing tips. For even more vitamin C and therefore for an even better resistance.

Bell pepper

With dot on 1 is the bell pepper. Feel free to replace those oranges with this red rascal when you have the flu or a cold. Paprika contains no less than  150 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams . Do you remember how much was in that orange? Right, 50mg. So that’s three times as much! A bell pepper easily weighs 150 grams, so count your profit! Raw red pepper is delicious in salads, on bread or just like that. Cut a bell pepper into small pieces and mix it with a mashed avocado. Or add to an omelette at the last.

Bell peppers contain three times as much vitamin C as an orange!

Brussels sprouts

Just below the peppers, Brussels sprouts are jumping to give you a  healthy resistance  boost. With about 130 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, they can accomplish this task well. So don’t cook until tender, but steam briefly (they don’t taste so bitter) or stir-fry. Even better: raw Brussels sprouts! By slicing them thinly on a grater or in the food processor, they taste delicious in a salad. Give it a try!

Tip: use thinly sliced ​​Brussels sprouts in a salad


Raw bald? Tasty  in a smoothie ? Give it a try. Especially the combination with cinnamon and pear works very well. If you find the taste too intense, use kale from the freezer, the taste is softer.

Maybe I can persuade you to give it a try if I tell you that there is no less than 120 mg of vitamin C in 100 grams of kale. Are you more of a stew? Don’t cook the kale for too long, a waste of all that vitamin loss! Traditionally, kale is cooked on top of the potatoes for 30-45 minutes, but that is really nonsense. After 10-15 minutes, the vegetables are already cooked. Also delicious, a stir-fried dish with kale, bell pepper and cashew nuts!

Tip: cubes of kale from the freezer are handy to use for a smoothie

Broad beans and pods

Unfortunately, you can’t eat these raw. Even if you have a very strong stomach. These vegetables fall under the fresh legumes and must always be  briefly heated  to break down the toxic substance lectin. Raw legumes are also not tasty at all, but overcooked they lose flavor again. Sugar snaps are an example of pods that are very tasty al dente.


Chicory is an ideal vegetable to  eat raw  . Many people find the raw processing of chicory even tastier than cooked. Try making a salad of grated carrot, finely chopped chicory, an apple or pieces of pear, pine nuts or walnuts and a fresh (yogurt) dressing. Chicory turns brown fairly quickly after cutting. So eat right away or sprinkle with lemon juice.


There we have it again:  one of my favorite vegetables . This green hero is also in the top 10 when it comes to vitamin C. Some people love raw broccoli, others don’t like it. You can eat it raw, but blanching is recommended for digestion. Crispy, semi-cooked broccoli florets are delicious in an Asian salad with sesame seeds and tamari.

Also when it comes to vitamin C, broccoli is in the top 10 healthiest vegetables.

Green, red and pointed cabbage

There is about  as much vitamin C in 100 grams of green cabbage as in a kiwi . You can also eat cabbage raw, provided your intestines are happy with it. It is not recommended if you have a sensitive digestion and you can blanch, stir-fry or briefly steam cabbage. Cutting cabbage into wafer-thin strips and then marinating it briefly in your salad dressing also makes it a bit more digestible.

Cabbage contains just as much vitamin C as a kiwi.

Water cress

This leafy vegetable is ideal for salad lovers who want some  variety  . Watercress has a fresh, spicy taste that goes well with other leafy greens. And it also looks nice. Moreover, watercress is tastiest raw, so that is good with that vitamin C: 100 grams of watercress contains 40 milligrams of this vitamin. That’s a little less than an orange.


We all know this one! Do you ever eat spinach raw? Delicious in a smoothie, pesto or salad. Spinach is known to lose a lot of vitamin C when cooked because the vegetable already contains a lot of water. Especially raw food  . Frozen spinach contains much less vitamin C than the freshest variety (3), but is still worth it.


Parsley  contains  a lot of vitamin C, but because we eat relatively little of it, you don’t get much of it. A pesto of parsley  (instead of basil) is a nice way to get more of it. And, every little bit helps. So have fun with it!

Variety and eat the rainbow!

Vegetables are full of vitamin C, as this list shows. Have you noticed that  many of these vegetables are green in color ? That’s a nice mnemonic when you’re standing at the vegetable shelf and looking for vitamin C bombs. Of course it is also important to eat vegetables of other colors, they contain other valuable substances. Whoever  varies enough , eats the rainbow and the season will get everything. And now you know that the raw version should not be missing in your diet either.


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