What Fruits Have The Most Vitamin C? Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that has a wide range of health benefits. Did you know orange fruits contain more vitamin C than green fruits? That’s right, contrary to popular belief, some green vegetables do not have as much Vitamin C as oranges and other orange-colored fruits. I’ll provide a list of fruits with the most Vitamin C and tips on how to incorporate more of these foods in your diet.
Top Foods High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also called L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is an essential part of your diet. Although some animals can produce their own vitamin C, humans have to get it from other sources.
Vitamin C is found in many fresh fruits and vegetables, but can also be made into dietary supplements. Research suggests that eating foods rich in vitamin C supports healthy function of your immune system, maintains your bones, teeth, and cartilage, and helps your body heal wounds.
Why You Need Vitamin C
Vitamin C is involved in the development and function of various body parts. It helps your body produce essential compounds (collagen L-carnitine and neurotransmitters) that help your nerves, heart, brain, and muscles function and your body produce energy.
Vitamin C also helps restore antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants prevent cell damage that can lead to diseases. It also helps your body metabolise protein and absorb iron.
Adults aged 19 to 64 need about 40 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day. If you eat the right foods, you can easily get your daily value from your regular diet.
Although vitamin C deficiency is relatively rare, it can lead to the disease called scurvy. Symptoms of scurvy include:
- Irritability and sadness
- Severe joint of leg pain
- Swollen, bleeding gums
- Red or blue spots on your skin
- Your skin bruising easily
On the other hand, too much Vitamin C may cause stomach pain and other digestion issues. However, overdose of the vitamin is not a concern as it is not stored in your body.
Some health benefits of Vitamin C are:
Vitamin C is needed for the biosynthesis of collagen, which is a protein that is an essential component of connective tissue. Because of this, Vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing.
Vitamin C contributes to immune defense against disease and infections. Vitamin C deficiency impairs your immune system and increases your risk of getting infections.
Maintenance of Bones, Teeth, and Cartilage
Vitamin C helps repair and maintain healthy bones, teeth, and cartilage (the rubbery material that covers the ends of bones).
Vitamin C might also reduce the risk of cartilage loss in people with osteoarthritis.
Foods With Vitamin C
Cantaloupe is a rich source of vitamin C, with 202.6 mg of the vitamin in a medium-sized melon, and 25.3 mg in one slice.
- Citrus Fruits
Raw citrus fruits are very high in vitamin C. One medium orange provides 70 mg of Vitamin C, while one grapefruit provides about 56 mg. Citrus fruit juices contain even higher amounts of vitamin C, with a 225 mg glass of orange juice providing around 125 mg of vitamin C.
Surprisingly, a cup of broccoli contains as much vitamin C as an orange. Broccoli is a good source of other vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Red Cabbage
Red cabbage, also called purple cabbage, is high in vitamin C and low in calories. A half-cup contains only 14 calories but almost half of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It is also a rich source of fiber and other vitamins.
One serving of kiwi contains most of your recommended daily intake. Studies have also shown that adding kiwi to a marginal vitamin C diet largely improves plasma vitamin C levels.
- Bell Peppers
All varieties of peppers are low in calories and high in nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Bell peppers have more nutrients than other peppers because they are kept on the vine longer. Red bell peppers have almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C than green bell peppers.
20 Foods That Are High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that’s found in many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.
It functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body and plays important roles in immune function, neurotransmitter production, collagen synthesis, and more. Getting enough vitamin C in your diet may help reduce the risk of common health conditions like heart disease
Additionally, Vitamin C is vital for collagen synthesis, connective tissue, bones, teeth, and your small blood vessels
The current daily value (DV) for vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75mg for women.
Deficiency symptoms include higher susceptibility to infections, bleeding gums, frequent bruising and infections, poor wound healing, anemia, and scurvy
For the purposes of this article, we have used the DV of 90mg for calculating the %DV for the list of foods below.
Here are 10 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, containing up to 2,907 mg per 100 grams. Just one plum (approximately 15 grams) 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
Kakadu plums contain up to 2,907 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, making it the richest known source of this vitamin. Just one plum delivers around 484% of the DV.
Just one-half cup (49 grams) of red acerola cherries (Malpighia emarginata) delivers 825 mg of vitamin C, or 916% of the DV
Cherries are a rich source of polyphenols, or micronutrients found in plants. They’re also rich in Vitamin C, giving them antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Just one-half cup of acerola cherries delivers 916% of the recommended DV for vitamin C. The fruit may also reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and exercise-induced muscle soreness.
The rose hip is a small, sweet, tangy fruit from the rose plant. It’s loaded with vitamin C.
Just 100 grams of rose hips provide 426 mg of vitamin C, or 473% of the DV
Vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis, which supports skin integrity as you age.
Rose hips provide 426 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. Around six pieces of this fruit deliver 132% of the DV and encourage healthier-looking skin.
One green chili pepper 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
Moreover, there’s also evidence that hot red chili pepper consumption may decrease mortality
However, more research is required to fully understand the health benefits of chili peppers.
Green chili peppers contain 242 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. Therefore, one green chili pepper delivers 121% of the DV, while one red chili pepper delivers 72%.
This pink-fleshed tropical fruit is native to Mexico and South America.
A single guava contains 125 mg of vitamin C, or 138% of the DV. It’s particularly rich in the antioxidant lycopene
A 6-week study involving 45 young, healthy people found that eating 400 grams of peeled guava per day, or around 7 pieces of this fruit, significantly lowered their blood pressure and total cholesterol levels
Guavas contain 228 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. One guava fruit delivers 138% of the DV for this vitamin.
The vitamin C content of sweet or bell peppers increases as they mature.
One large yellow pepper provides 342 mg of vitamin C, or 380% of the DV, which is over twice the amount found in green peppers
Consuming enough vitamin C is important for your eye health and may help protect against cataract progression.
A study in over 300 women found that those with higher vitamin C intakes had a 33% lower risk of cataract progression, compared with those with the lowest intakes
Yellow peppers contain the highest vitamin C concentration of all sweet peppers with 183 mg per 100 grams. One sweet yellow pepper delivers 380% of the recommended DV.
One-half cup (56 grams) of blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) contains 102 mg of vitamin C, or 113% of the DV
Antioxidant flavonoids known as anthocyanins give them their rich, dark color.
Studies have shown that diets high in antioxidants like vitamin C and anthocyanins may reduce oxidative damage associated with chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases
Blackcurrants contain 181 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. One-half cup of blackcurrants packs 113% of the DV for vitamin C and may help reduce chronic inflammation.
This sweet, high-fiber fruit is packed with vitamin A
Cantaloupe is also a good source of Vitamin C.
One cup of cantaloupe slices contains 17.4 mg of Vitamin C, which is 19% of what is recommended for adults daily
One cup of cantaloupe slices contains 17.4 grams of Vitamin C, which is 19% of the DV. The fruit is also packed with nutrients, including vitamin A and fiber.
Two tablespoons (8 grams) of fresh parsley contain 10 mg of vitamin C, providing 11% of the recommended DV
Parsley is a significant source of vitamin K, antioxidants, and vitamin C.
Eating foods rich in vitamin C may reduce your risk of cancer.
A 2018 study found that increasing vitamin C by 100 mg per day reduced the risk of cancer by 7%
Additionally, increasing dietary vitamin C by 150 mg per day was shown to lower prostate cancer risk by up to 5% in cohort studies and by 21% in case-control studies
Parsley contains 133 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. Sprinkling two tablespoons of fresh parsley on your meal delivers 11% of the DV for vitamin C, which helps increase iron absorption.
One cup of raw chopped mustard spinach provides 195 mg of vitamin C, or 217% of the DV
Even though heat from cooking lowers the vitamin C content in foods, one cup of cooked mustard greens still provides 117 mg of vitamin C, or 130% of the DV
As with many dark, leafy greens, mustard spinach is also high in vitamin A, potassium, calcium, manganese, fiber, and folate.
Mustard spinach contains 130 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. One cup of this leafy green provides 217% of the DV for vitamin C when raw, or 130% when cooked.
Vitamin C: Best Food Sources, Why You Need It, and More
The best source of vitamin C comes from fruits and vegetables. Pharmacists from Retail Pharmacy at Changi General Hospital (CGH) explain why vitamin c is good for you.
such as orange, kiwi, lemon, guava, and grapefruit are rich, natural sources of vitamin c.
Eating a couple of citrus fruits every day will exceed your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C or ascorbic acid. For men aged 19 and above, the RDA is 90 mg; for women, it is 75 mg.
So is there any benefit in taking a vitamin C supplement as the body only absorbs the vitamin C it needs?
If your diet already includes a few servings of fruits and vegetables every day, taking a separate vitamin C supplement may not be necessary. Any excess is excreted in the urine. In fact, ingesting more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C every day may cause nausea, diarrhoea and kidney stones, said pharmacists from Retail Pharmacy at Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the SingHealth group.
All about vitamin C
Our bodies do not produce or store the water-soluble vitamin C. We need to replenish our supply of vitamin C every day – and the best source is from fruits and vegetables.
Best food sources of vitamin C
Citrus fruits such as orange, kiwi, lemon, guava, grapefruit, and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and capsicums are rich, natural sources of vitamin C. Other vitamin C-rich fruits include papaya, cantaloupe and strawberries.
One cup of raw capsicums will provide 117mg of vitamin C, which exceeds the RDA for both men and women. A combination of a kiwi fruit (75mg of vitamin C) and a vegetable will provide all the vitamin C you need in a day.
Why you need vitamin C
It protects your cells from free radical damage
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from being damaged by free radicals produced by cigarette smoke, air pollution, excessive sunlight and normal metabolism. Free radicals are thought to play a role in rapid ageing and diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
It is needed to make collagen
Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen which is needed to support new tissue growth. It promotes a healthy skin as well as the healing of cuts and wounds. Collagen is also found in the connective tissues of healthy gums, bones, muscles, cartilage, and blood vessels.
It improves iron absorption
Vitamin C increases the absorption of non-heme iron found in vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Potential interactions with vitamin C
Excessive doses of vitamin C from over-supplementation may interfere with certain medications or conditions.
Too much ascorbic acid or vitamin C (2000mg/day) may increase the amount of aluminium absorbed from aluminium compounds. Patients with kidney impairment on long term use of aluminium-containing compounds should avoid high dose of vitamin C supplements.
Concurrent administration of oestrogen and large doses of vitamin C (1g daily) may increase oestrogen levels, so high dose vitamin C supplementation should be avoided. Women on oestrogen therapy should not substantially vary their intake of vitamin C supplements.
Patients with diabetes, kidney stones or kidney dysfunction should avoid prolonged use of high-dose vitamin C supplementation.
You should always talk to your doctor first before taking any high dose vitamin C supplementation on a long-term basis, especially if you have any other underlying medical conditions.
Signs of vitamin C deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency is rare, but its signs are bleeding gums, easy bruising, dry scaly skin, muscle weakness, and joint and muscle aches.
In extreme cases, a vitamin C deficiency may lead to scurvy, a disease characterised by bleeding, bruising, anaemia and weakness. Such a case, involving a 37-year-old woman with underlying obsessive-compulsive and eating disorders, was actually reported in the Singapore Medical Journal in 2006.
A deficiency in vitamin C may also impair wound healing. Patients recovering from injuries, surgeries, burns and wounds may benefit from a short-term use of vitamin C supplement as it can promote the healing process.
When buying supplements, consumers should look for products from reliable sources to ensure quality and safety and evaluate the manufacturer’s health claims carefully.