Whenever there’s a chance of catching a cold, I try to boost my vitamin C which can help the immune system. When I was in college, I relied to Emergen-C (the powdered drink) yet these past few years I’ve used my smoothies as my immune booster.
We often hear that we should drink citrus juice or eat citrus fruits to boost our vitamin C levels, which is good advice. Beyond oranges, the array of vitamin C-rich foods is vast and colorful. These gorgeous orange Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes contain over 100% of the recommended daily value (RDV) of vitamin C, which is essential for many functions within the body.
What Does Vitamin C Do?
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants. It keeps the immune system humming along to protecting against damage caused by free radicals which may prevent certain cancers from forming.
Vitamin C is vital for protein metabolism. It also helps protect against heart disease, aids the absorption of iron and the prevention of scurvy. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters too. And vitamin C is an integral part of wound healing.
Did you know…
Another name for vitamin C is ascorbic acid. Because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin (easily dissolved by water) that is not synthesized by the human body. Vitamin C must be constantly replenished through a healthy diet or the aid of supplements. So let’s dive into ways you can get enough Vitamin C with a plant-based lifestyle.
Best Source of Vitamin C: Food or Supplements?
Studies show that taking a vitamin C supplement isn’t as effective as getting it from a diet filled with vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. Grains typically do not contain vitamin C, but are added before being packaged and sold. You may see vitamin C listed on the nutrition labels of breakfast cereals, breads, and other grain-based products.
They typical adult requires 60 mg of vitamin C per day. Recommended amounts vary by gender and age, so you may require more or less than 60 mg. The established RDV account for beneficial amounts needed to maintain a healthy immune system and to protections against disease and/or a vitamin C deficiency.
We’ve all heard accounts of too little vitamin C as with sailors (arrrr!) or others who don’t have access to fresh fruit and vegetables. A severe vitamin C deficiency can result in scurvy. An overdose of vitamin C is very rare because it is regularly excreted in the urine. As it isn’t stored for very long in the body, it’s important to eat foods with vitamin C at every meal or several times a day.
Which Foods are High in Vitamin C?
The food known to have the highest amount of vitamin C is the kaduku plum which contains 5300mg vitamin C, over 900% of the RDV! Now, to be fair, I’ve never seen a Kaduku plum, which means there are hard to come by! So let’s take a look at those foods that are more easily found.
The ingredients in these yummy Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes contain the following plant-based goodness that are also high in this immune booting vitamin:
- Orange, 1 navel orange (140g), 82.8 mg 138% RDV
- Papaya, 1 cup (140g) cubed, 86.5mg, 144% RDV
- Pineapple , 1 cup (165g) chunks, 27.9mg, 46% RDV
- Mango, 1 cup (165g) sliced, 45.7mg, 76% RDV
- Cauliflower, 1 cup (107g) chopped florets, 46.4 mg, 77% RDV
Other fruits and veggies are also high in vitamin C:
- Sweet bell peppers contain some of the highest amounts of vitamin C, 1/2 cup diced bell pepper contains 95mg of vitamin C, a whopping 158% of the recommended daily value.
- Kiwi fruit
- Other citrus fruits – lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, etc.
- Strawberries and other berries
How To Make Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes
First, smoothie cubes are something we love here at SGS. A smoothie cube is a concentrated blend of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens, liquids, and/or other ingredients (depending on the recipe) that we like to add to our smoothies for an extra boost of nutrients.
The Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes are great to add to your regular daily smoothie or when you feel a cold coming on. Four cubes is roughly equal to 1/2 cup fruit. So the cubes can be substituted for some of the fruit or added in place of the fruit – totally up to you!
Making smoothie cubes is very simple. Just blend all of the ingredients until smooth and pour into ice cube trays. Let them freeze until firm then store in the freezer to have on hand whenever you need an extra dose of the immune boosting vitamins.Print
These Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes will help your immune system function properly as well as having other benefits to the integumentary system (or skin) which also helps fight germs and disease.
- 2 large navel oranges, peeled and halved
- 1 cup papaya, cubed or sliced
- 1 cup pineapple cubes or tidbits
- 1 mango, peeled, cubed or sliced
- 1 cup orange cauliflower florets (see notes)
- Place ingredient into the blender in the order given.
- Puree until smooth. It should not need any liquid because of the oranges, but if it does, add a little water or orange juice.
- Spoon into two 16-well ice cube trays, about 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons per well. Freeze until firm, at least 3-4 hours, or overnight. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Will keep for several weeks in a normal freezer, or up to six months in a deep freezer.
- To use: add 4 Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes to your favorite smoothie to replace 1/2 cup fruit. Add more or less cubes depending on preference. Makes enough for 8 smoothies.
- Substitute any vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable, such as strawberries, sweet bell pepper, cauliflower, cantaloupe, kiwi, or others in place of 1+ of the fruits listed above. Nutrition information will change with any substitutions.
- Frozen fruit and cauliflower can be substituted for the fresh fruit.
Keywords: smoothie, vitamin c, frozen fruit, immune booster, vitamin c smoothie
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I’d love to know what you think of this recipe. Is it helpful? Inspiring? Doable? Do you have your own Vitamin C smoothie tricks you use to keep your immune system strong? Let me know in the comments!