How can I add more vitamin C to my weight loss diet?

Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, is plentiful in fresh fruits and vegetables. This key antioxidant helps to maintain the strength of collagen, ligaments and tendons and can block the effect of inflammatory substances in the body.

You can get enough vitamin C by eating 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily including the following: broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, citrus fruit, melons, asparagus, avocado, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, peppers, tomato, and watercress.

Supplementation with a vitamin C tablet may be advised if your diet is inadequate, so ask your VA doctor if you are concerned.
Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics

Vitamin C is plentiful in low calorie fruits and vegetables, which contain fiber to provide fullness to include in a weight loss diet. Some good sources of vitamin C are citrus foods such as oranges, and grapefruit. Other foods high in vitamin C are peppers, strawberries, and watermelon. Eat the fruit plain, in salads, cereal or yogurt. Pile peppers on sandwiches or dip them into hummus.

Kathleen Dunn
Nutrition & Dietetics

While a balanced low-calorie diet is essential to shed extra pounds, it can limit your intake of vitamin C, the body’s go-to nutrient for antioxidant protection, immune function, healthy skin and nerves and optimal iron absorption and metabolism.

Vitamin C is water-soluble, so you need to consume a minimum amount every day to meet your body’s basic needs. According to the Institute of Medicine, most healthy adults are able to meet their basic needs with a daily intake in the range of 75 to 120 milligrams, depending on gender and life stage. If you smoke, a higher intake -- up to 125 milligrams per day -- may be beneficial. An optimal daily intake of vitamin C is especially helpful as you increase your activity level to support your weight loss efforts.

Here are three sources of vitamin C to consider adding to your daily plate:

Fruit. One of your best sources of vitamin C when dieting is fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is also a good source of dietary fiber, which can help fill you up and curb your appetite, making it easier to stick to your dieting resolve. When it comes to vitamin C, most people think of oranges, but other common sources include papaya, strawberries, grapefruit, pineapple, honeydew melon and blackberries.

Vegetables. Like fruit, vegetables also provide an added bonus of fiber to help you control your appetite. Common vitamin C-rich vegetables include sweet peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and tomato.

Supplements. Consider taking a daily multivitamin with vitamin C to help fill any nutrient gaps that may occur when food intake is restricted. A word of caution: You can get too much vitamin C. According to the Institute of Medicine, the upper safety limit for vitamin C for adults is 2,000 milligrams. As with all dietary supplements, talk to your doctor or other licensed healthcare professional prior to use if you have or suspect a medical condition, if you are taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs or if you are pregnant or lactating.

Cassie Vanderwall
Nutrition & Dietetics

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is found in many fruits and vegetables. The best sources include:

  • Bell peppers (Green and Red)
  • Dark green vegetables (Spinach and Broccoli)
  • Citrus fruits (Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit)
  • Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries)
  • Tomatoes
Cindy Gay
Nutrition & Dietetics
Choose fruits and vegetables that are good sources of Vitamin C. Broccoli, strawberries, oranges, red and green pepers, grapefruit, cantaloupe are excellent sources. Cabbage, collard greens, potatoes and tomatoes are good sources. The raw vegetables are low in calories. All of these are also sources of fiber.
Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics
If you consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, you should be getting plenty of vitamin C.Citrus, mango, papaya, berries, peppers, and tomatoes all contain vitamin C. Dark leafy greens also contain C. A daily glass of orange juice is an easy way to ensure you are getting enough.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.