10 Vitamin C-rich Plants To Grow In Your Indoor Garden
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for your body. It helps boost your immune system but it’s also needed to grow and repair tissues. Furthermore, it helps form protein that’s used to make blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and skin. Instead of relying completely on supplements, a natural way to boost your vitamin C intake is by adding more vitamin-rich food to your diet. Today we’ve listed 10 Click & Grow plants that are both delicious and naturally high in vitamin C. All of these can easily be grown in your Click & Grow indoor garden:
1. Green Sorrel
Sorrel can be traced back to the 1700s with mention of the plant in Jamaican literature. Today, sorrel is commonly found in grasslands across Europe and Central Asia. Its flavour is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. Perfect for adding some zest to salads, soups, stews, egg dishes, fish dishes and pastas. One cup (40gr) of fresh sorrel will provide 32 % of an adult’s RDA for vitamin C. It’s also a natural source of fiber, protein, vitamin A, B-6, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
2. Bloody Sorrel
A very underrated variety of sorrel that’s just as healthy and tasty as green sorrel but with a more distinct appearance. Its red veins compliment the name ‘bloody’ and the juice of the plant often has red pigmentation. Bloody sorrel’s flavour is bright and tangy, perfect for sauces. It also makes a delicious sandwich filler and a unique addition to salad at dinnertime. Enjoy every bite of your bloody sorrel knowing that it’s rich in vitamin C. Furthermore, it's a great source of B vitamins as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants.
3. Green Chard
It’s believed that chard was first discovered in Sicily, Italy. Up until the mid 1800s, chard was thought of as a specialty plant among European consumers. The plant began to be cultivated further in the US after the American Civil War. Since then, it’s become an increasingly popular ingredient in Mediterranean style dishes such as pasta. Green chard’s flavour can be described as a milder version of spinach. The plant’s young leaves complement salads. Its mature leaves can be slightly bitter so they’re more suited to being cooked. Green chard is naturally rich in vitamin C. Just one cup of baby leaves (36 gr) provides 14% of an adult’s RDA for Vitamin C. The plant also contains vitamins A, E, K, fiber, magnesium, iron and potassium.
4. Red Chard
Aristotle once mentioned a red-stalked chard in approximately 350 BC. It’s very likely he was talking about red chard, a plant that adds a splash of colour to your dinner plate. It has the same mild, spinach-like flavour of green chard and is very nutritious. Why not use your red chard to make more interesting, colourful salads? The plant is bursting with vitamin C as well as providing vitamin A, E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Red chard has more bioactive compounds and 9 times higher antioxidative activity than green chard. This is mostly thanks to different anthocyanins that give the plant its deep red colour.
Shungiku is a well loved plant in Asian cuisine. Its name in Japanese means ‘spring chrysanthemum’. Interestingly, shungiku was first found in the Mediterranean and parts of Europe and northern Asia. Today you’re likely to find it growing in the highlands of South-East Asia, China and Japan. The plant’s flavour could be described as a cross between celery and carrots but with an astringent, fresh aftertaste. Have fun experimenting with shungiku in stir-fried dishes, mixed rice, or winter hot pots. The plant is rich in vitamin C, one large cup (100 gr) will provide 40% of an adult’s RDA. Shungiku also provides a generous amount of vitamins A and B and happens to be a natural source of antioxidants.
6. Red Kale
Arguably the sweetest of all kales. Red kale has a meaty texture and tastes great when eaten raw. It’s no wonder it was one of the most widely eaten vegetables in the Middle Ages. During World War II, the cultivation of kale was encouraged in the UK due to its high nutritional value during rationing. One cup (20 grams) of red kale’s fresh leaves added to your morning smoothie provides 26% of an adult’s RDA of vitamin C. Additionally, red kale is a natural source of calcium, magnesium and iron.
7. Pak Choi
Pak choi has been cultivated in China for over 5000 years. Today, it’s a well established ingredient in international cuisine. Pak choi has a crisp texture and a fresh, grassy flavour with subtle hints of pepper. It can be cooked in stir-frys, tofu dishes, roasts or simply eaten raw in salads. Enjoy pak choi knowing that it’s a great source of nutrients. Just one cup of baby leaves provides 42% of your RDA for vitamin C and a good amount of vitamins A and K. It also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese and iron.
8. Cilantro (Coriander)
It’s believed that cilantro is one of the first ever herbs to be used by humankind, dating back as far as 5000 BC and mentioned in historical writings as early as 1500 BC. It’s a very popular ingredient in curry pastes, stir-fries, dips, guacamoles and salsas. Cilantro’s flavour can be described as bright and citrusy. The plant is rich in vitamin C, one small cup (16 gr) of fresh leaves will provide 36% of an adult’s daily need. Cilantro also contains vitamins A, K, and potassium.
Thyme has been valued as a healing herb for thousands of years. In ancient times, it was viewed as an antidote for poison and a key ingredient in concoctions. It also symbolises courage and bravery. Roman soldiers were believed to have exchanged sprigs of thyme as a mark of respect. This popular herb pairs really well with eggs, tomatoes, cheese, winter vegetables and fish. It can also be used as a seasoning for poultry. Thyme is packed with vitamin C, one tiny teaspoon of leaves will provide 2% of your daily need. Thyme also contains vitamin A, fiber, iron, copper and manganese.
10. Plain Parsley
Parsley is native to southern Europe and western Asia and has been cultivated for over 2000 years. The Romans held the herb in particularly high esteem, even using it as a treatment for hangovers. You can enjoy this herb in almost any savoury dish. Use it in soups, fresh salads, sauces or meat dishes. You can even include it in healthy smoothies. Plain Parsley and Curly Parsley are naturally high in vitamin C, one tiny teaspoon of fresh leaves will provide 7 % of your daily need. They also contain vitamins B12, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and antioxidants.