Vitamin C Foods: The Best Dietary Sources

Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular of all vitamins. It’s an essential nutrient that gets special attention for its immune-boosting properties and is commonly found in oranges.

The body cannot produce vitamin C, so it needs to be obtained through diet. While some people may choose to use supplements, most fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C.

Naturally, some are richer sources of the vitamin than others. Aside from oranges, other high vitamin C content foods include citrus fruits, berries, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Kakadu plums, and more.

Vitamin C is well-known for being a potent antioxidant, as well as having beneficial effects on skin health and immune function.

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a versatile nutrient that plays an important role in numerous bodily functions. Firstly, it helps the body produce collagen, a type of protein needed by certain tissues, including the skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage. Consequently, it’s known for aiding the process of tissue growth and repair.

Additionally, vitamin C is well-known for being a potent antioxidant, as well as having beneficial effects on skin health and immune function.

Here is our list of the top foods that are high in vitamin C.

Berries High in Vitamin C

Berries are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. They’re delicious and nutritious, packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibers. Plus, berries are rich in antioxidants and low in calories.

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You will find large amounts of vitamin C in berries, making them an excellent source of the vital nutrient. Here are the top five berries high in vitamin C.

Blackcurrants

Blackcurrants are extremely rich in vitamin C. Half a cup of these berries (approximately 56 grams) contains 101 mg of vitamin C, which equates to 112% of the Daily Value (DV). The same size serving provides around 30 calories. Blackcurrants also contain high amounts of potassium, calcium, and fiber.

Strawberries

A serving of five large strawberries, approximately 100 grams in weight, provides 32 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 60 mg of vitamin C, making strawberries slightly higher in vitamin C than oranges. Strawberries also contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, and folate.

Raspberries

One cup of raspberries contains 70 calories and is an excellent source of vitamin C. You can expect 60 mg vitamin C content per 100-gram serving. Raspberries are also a great source of fiber, manganese, and vitamin K.

Blueberries

Blueberries are found at the top of just about every superfood list, probably because they’re rich in antioxidants. They’re also a good source of nutrients, particularly vitamin C. A one-cup serving (148 grams) of blueberries is packed with 15 mg of vitamin C, 4 grams of fiber and contains only 84 calories.

Vegetables High in Vitamin C

Generally, vegetables have a higher vitamin C content than fruits. Surprising to many, raw bell peppers contain more vitamin C than both oranges and kiwis.

Here are the top vegetables with vitamin C to consume to ensure you’re getting high levels of the vitamin.

Red Bell Pepper

A cup of chopped red bell peppers contains 190 mg of vitamin C, which is nearly three times more than an orange. This is 211% of the DV. Plus, red peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A, which supports eye health.

Kale

One cup of chopped raw kale is packed with 80 mg of vitamin C, which is 89% of the DV. Kale is a nutrition powerhouse that also provides twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A and seven times the recommended amount of vitamin K.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a popular cruciferous vegetable related to kale, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. From a half cup of cooked broccoli, you will get 51 mg of vitamin C, which is 57% of the DV. It’s also rich in fiber, vitamin K, iron, and potassium and boasts more protein than most other vegetables.

Brussels Sprouts

Similarly to broccoli, a half cup of cooked Brussels sprouts provides 49 mg of vitamin C or 54% of the daily value. Additionally, these “little cabbages” are rich in fiber and cancer-preventing phytonutrients. Many people aren’t keen on the bitter taste of Brussel sprouts, but roasting them is said to bring out their natural sweetness.

Fruits High in Vitamin C

Oranges are notorious for having a high level of vitamin C. One medium-sized orange contains 70 mg of vitamin C or 78% of the daily value.

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As we’ve seen, though, there are quite a few other foods that contain more vitamin C than oranges. Here are a few other vitamin C-rich fruits to add to your diet.

Kakadu Plum

The Kakadu plum has risen to international fame as a “superfood” thanks to its high nutritional value. Most notably, this fruit has the highest known concentration of vitamin C. Just one plum is packed with 481 mg of vitamin C, which is 530% of the DV. It contains significantly more of the vitamin than oranges and is also rich in vitamin E and potassium.

Guava

This beautiful tropical fruit is a rich source of several antioxidants and boasts a refreshing flavor. A single guava contains 126 mg of vitamin C. This is 140% of the DV, making it an excellent source of the nutrient. Guavas also contain high amounts of potassium and fiber and are known to have numerous health benefits.

Papaya

Sometimes referred to as the “fruit of the angels,” papaya packs a delicious punch of vitamins A and C. A one-cup serving (145 grams) of papaya reportedly provides 87 mg of vitamin C. The fruit is also rich in folate, magnesium, copper, and fiber.

Lemons

Part of the citrus family, lemons are a great source of vitamin C and fiber and are known to have many potential health benefits. One whole raw lemon (including the peel) contains 83 mg of vitamin C, which is 92% of the daily value. Lemons have very low levels of fat and protein and consist mainly of carbs (10%) and water (88%).

Bottom Line on Vitamin C Foods

Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining overall health and, therefore, is an essential part of our everyday diet. Since the body doesn’t produce vitamin C, we need to obtain it through the foods we eat.

While oranges are perhaps the most popular food containing the vitamin, there are other vitamin C sources that contain even higher quantities of it. Most notably, Kakadu plums contain the highest concentration of vitamin C, with just one plum providing 530% of the daily value.

By eating some of the fruits and vegetables we’ve suggested here, you should easily be getting sufficient amounts of vitamin C. Alternatively, you may find that supplements better suit your needs and lifestyle.

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