April 24, 2024

Food sources high in vitamin C — a key vitamin for your health — include citrus fruits, certain types of cherries and peppers, and fresh parsley.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that’s found in many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. It functions as an antioxidant in your body.

This vitamin supports many processes in your body, including:

Additionally, vitamin C is vital for connective tissue, bone, and tooth health.

The current Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C is 90 milligrams (mg) for men and 75 mg for women.

Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include higher susceptibility to:

For the purposes of this article, we have used the DV of 90 mg to calculate the percentage of the DV for each food below.

Here are 20 foods that are high in vitamin C.

The Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) is an Australian native superfood containing 100 times more vitamin C than oranges.

It has the highest known concentration of vitamin C of any food, containing up to 2,907 mg per 100 grams (g).

Just one plum (about 15 g) packs 436 mg of vitamin C, which is 484% of the DV.

It’s also rich in potassium, vitamin E, and the antioxidant lutein, which may benefit eye health.

Summary

The Kakadu plum contains up to 2,907 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. This makes it the richest known source of vitamin C. Just one plum delivers around 484% of the DV.

Just 1/2 cup (49 g) of red acerola cherries (Malpighia emarginata) delivers 825 mg of vitamin C, or 916% of the DV.

Acerola cherries’ high vitamin C content provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cherries are also a rich source of polyphenols, a type of micronutrients found in plants. Polyphenols can protect your body from oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and promote cardiovascular health.

Summary

Just 1/2 cup of acerola cherries delivers 916% of the DV for vitamin C. The fruit may also protect against oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and support cardiovascular health.

The rose hip (Rosa canina L.) is a small, sweet, tangy fruit from the rose plant. And it’s loaded with vitamin C.

Just 100 g of rose hips provide 426 mg of vitamin C, or 473% of the DV.

Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen synthesis, which supports skin health, elasticity, and integrity as you age.

Summary

Rose hips provide 426 mg of vitamin C per 100 g and can promote healthier-looking skin. Around 6 pieces of this fruit deliver 132% of the DV.

One green chili pepper (Capsicum annuum) contains 109 mg of vitamin C, or 121% of the DV. In comparison, one red chili pepper delivers 65 mg, or 72% of the DV.

There’s also evidence that consumption of hot red chili peppers may decrease mortality.

However, more research is needed to fully understand the health benefits of chili peppers.

Summary

Green chili peppers contain 242 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. One green chili pepper delivers 121% of the DV, while one red chili pepper delivers 72%.

A single guava (Psidium guajava) contains 125 mg of vitamin C, or 138% of the DV. Guava is particularly rich in the antioxidant lycopene.

A small 2016 study involving 45 young, healthy people found that eating 400 g of peeled guava, or around 7 pieces of this fruit, per day for 6 weeks significantly lowered participants’ blood pressure and total cholesterol levels.

Summary

Guavas contain 228 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. One guava delivers 138% of the DV for this vitamin.

The vitamin C content of sweet or bell peppers (Capsicum annuum) increases as they mature.

One large yellow pepper provides 342 mg of vitamin C, or 380% of the DV, which is more than twice the amount found in a green pepper.

Consuming enough vitamin C is important for eye health and may help protect against cataract progression.

A 2016 study in more than 300 women found that those with higher vitamin C intake had a 33% lower risk of cataract progression than those with the lowest intake.

Summary

Yellow peppers contain the highest vitamin C concentration of all sweet peppers, with 183 mg per 100 g. One yellow pepper delivers 380% of the DV for vitamin C.

A half-cup (56 g) of black currants (Ribes nigrum) contains 102 mg of vitamin C, or 113% of the DV.

Black currants get their rich, dark color from anthocyanins, a type of flavonoids, which have antioxidant effects.

Studies have shown that diets high in antioxidants such as vitamin C and anthocyanins may reduce oxidative damage associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Summary

Black currants contain 181 mg of vitamin C per 100 g and may help reduce chronic inflammation. A half-cup of black currants packs 113% of the DV for vitamin C.

This sweet, high fiber fruit is packed with not only vitamin A but also vitamin C.

One cup of sliced cantaloupe (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis) contains 17.4 mg of vitamin C, which is 19% of the amount recommended for adults daily.

Summary

One cup of cantaloupe slices contains 17.4 g of vitamin C, which is 19% of the DV. The fruit is also packed with other nutrients, including vitamin A and fiber.

Two tablespoons (8 g) of fresh parsley (Petroselinum crispum) contain 10 mg of vitamin C, providing 11% of the recommended DV.

Parsley is also a significant source of vitamin K and antioxidants.

According to a 2021 review, animal studies have found that vitamin C administered intravenously can suppress advanced-stage tumor growth.

However, similar results have not occurred in humans. More research is needed before associations can be made between vitamin C and reduced cancer growth or risk.

Summary

Parsley contains 133 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. Sprinkling 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley on your meal delivers 11% of the DV for vitamin C, which can help increase iron absorption.

One cup of raw chopped mustard spinach (Brassica rapa var. perviridis) provides 195 mg of vitamin C, or 217% of the DV.

Though heat from cooking reduces the vitamin C content of foods, 1 cup of cooked mustard greens still provides 117 mg of vitamin C, or 130% of the DV.

Mustard spinach and other dark, leafy cruciferous vegetables are high in other nutrients as well, including:

Summary

Mustard spinach contains 130 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. One cup of this leafy green provides 217% of the DV for vitamin C when raw and 130% when cooked.

Kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica) is a cruciferous vegetable.

A 100-g portion of raw kale provides 93 mg of vitamin C, or 103% of the DV.

It also supplies large amounts of vitamin K and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.

One cup (118 g) of cooked kale provides 21 mg of vitamin C, or 23% of the DV.

While cooking this vegetable reduces its vitamin C content, a 2017 study found that boiling and frying leafy greens can increase the bioavailability of health-promoting compounds. This may help reduce the risk of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Summary

Raw kale contains 93 mg of vitamin C per 100 g, while 1 cup of lightly steamed kale provides 21 mg.

One medium kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa) packs 56 mg of vitamin C, or 62% of the DV.

Research shows that kiwis can have an inhibitory effect on blood platelets, which may help reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke.

Kiwi consumption may also benefit your immune system.

A 2022 review suggests that vitamin C may protect against COVID-19 and pneumonia or prevent the common cold by boosting the immune system with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Summary

Kiwis contain 75 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. One medium kiwi provides 62% of the DV for vitamin C, which benefits blood circulation and immunity.

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) is a cruciferous vegetable.

A half-cup of cooked broccoli provides 51 mg of vitamin C, or 57% of the DV.

Research suggests that eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables rich in vitamin C may be associated with a decreased risk of cancer.

Summary

Broccoli contains 65 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. A half-cup of steamed broccoli provides 57% of the DV for vitamin C, and eating lots of broccoli may help lower your risk of cancer.

A half-cup of cooked Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) provides 49 mg of vitamin C, or 54% of the DV.

Like most other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts are high in many vitamins, including vitamin K and vitamin A

Vitamins C and K are both important for bone health. In particular, vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen, which is the fibrous part of your bones.

A 2018 review found that a high dietary intake of vitamin C was associated with a 26% reduced risk of hip fractures and a 33% reduced risk of osteoporosis.

Summary

Brussels sprouts contain 85 mg of vitamin C per 100 g, and a half-cup of steamed Brussels sprouts provides 54% of the DV. Vitamin C may improve bone strength and function.

One whole raw lemon (Citrus limon) contains 45 mg of vitamin C, or 50% of the DV.

The vitamin C in lemon juice also acts as an antioxidant, which is evident in its ability to prevent other fruits and foods from browning.

Lemon juice has also been found to lower blood pressure and reduce the effects of bread on blood sugar.

Summary

Lemons contain 53 mg of vitamin C per 100 g, with 1 medium lemon delivering 50% of the DV. Vitamin C has potent antioxidant benefits and can prevent cut fruits and vegetables from browning.

One lychee (Litchi chinensis) provides nearly 7 mg of vitamin C, or 7.5% of the DV, while a 1-cup serving provides 151%.

Research shows that lychees contain polyphenol compounds, including:

Summary

Lychees contain 72 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. A single lychee contains, on average, 7.5% of the DV for vitamin C, while a 1-cup serving provides 151%.

Persimmons are an orange fruit resembling tomatoes. There are many varieties of persimmons.

Though the Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is the most popular, the native American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) contains almost nine times more vitamin C.

One American persimmon contains 16.5 mg of vitamin C, or 18% of the DV.

Summary

American persimmons contain 66 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. One American persimmon packs 18% of the DV for vitamin C.

One cup (145 g) of papaya (Carica papaya) provides 88 mg of vitamin C, or 98% of the DV.

Vitamin C aids memory and has potent anti-inflammatory effects in your brain.

According to a 2021 review, papaya extracts have been shown treat symptoms of chronic conditions and cancers via their antioxidant properties.

Summary

Papaya contains 61 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. One cup of papaya delivers 88 mg of vitamin C, which may help support brain function.

One cup of sliced raw strawberries (166 g) provides 97 mg of vitamin C, or 108% of the DV.

Strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) contain a diverse and potent mix of:

Studies suggest that, because of their high nutrient content and beneficial plant compounds, regularly eating strawberries may help reduce the risk of several health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Summary

Strawberries contain 59 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. One cup of strawberry slices delivers 97 mg of vitamin C. This nutritious fruit may benefit your heart and brain health.

Like other citrus fruits, oranges are high in vitamin C. Widely eaten, oranges make up a significant portion of dietary vitamin C intake.

One medium orange (Citrus sinensis) provides 83 mg of vitamin C, which is 92% of the DV.

A medium mandarin orange contains 24 mg, or 27% of the DV.

Summary

Oranges contain 59 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. One medium orange delivers 83 mg of vitamin C. Other citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, mandarins, and limes, are also good sources of this vitamin.

Vitamin C is vital for the health of your immune system, connective tissue, heart, and blood vessels and for many other important functions in your body.

A vitamin C deficiency can have negative effects on your health.

While citrus fruits may be the most well known source of vitamin C, a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables are rich in this vitamin. Some may even contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits.

Eating some of the foods suggested above each day should cover your vitamin C needs.

A diet rich in vitamin C is an essential step toward positive health benefits and disease prevention.

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