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What are the Best High Vitamin C Vegetables?

By B. Schreiber
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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While fruits, especially citrus fruits, are well-known for their vitamin C content, there are many vegetables that can help satisfy the body's need for vitamin C. Cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are a few good sources. Most green vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C, with spinach and kale being among the best in this category. Some bell peppers contain more vitamin C than almost any other vegetable. Many other commonly eaten vegetables, like tomatoes and onions, can help to meet the daily requirement for this vitamin as well.

The cruciferous vegetables are a closely related group that includes cauliflower, cabbage, and collard greens. All of these vegetables are good sources of vitamin C and contain about 20 to 40 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for this vitamin per serving. One serving is about one half cup of raw broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage. For the leafy kale and collard greens, one serving is about one half cup cooked. Lightly steaming or sautéing these and other vegetables are probably the best cooking methods for retaining as much vitamin C as possible.

Among vitamin C vegetables, leafy greens also stand out. About three cups of spinach, or the amount found in a medium-sized spinach salad, provide about half of the RDA for vitamin C. Swiss chard, mustard greens, and turnip greens are also excellent sources. Romaine lettuce contains about half of the vitamin C that spinach can deliver, but is still considered a good source. While it isn't usually eaten in large amounts, fresh parsley is one of the best vitamin C vegetables and would easily surpass spinach if the two were eaten in comparable amounts.

Depending on their color, sweet bell peppers may be the best vitamin C vegetables. Red and yellow bell peppers contain more vitamin C than green bell peppers. One half cup of green bell peppers contains about 40 mg of vitamin C, about half the RDA. A half cup of yellow bell peppers, on the other hand, can contain more than 300 mg, which is more than three times the RDA. Red bell peppers contain about 10 0mg, which would satisfy most people's daily requirement for the vitamin.

Other vegetables that are commonly diced or sliced contain good amounts of vitamin C. One fresh medium tomato contains about a quarter of the RDA for vitamin C. Servings of summer and winter squash contain about 10 to 20 percent of the RDA. Asparagus, cucumber, and raw onions are also good vitamin C vegetables.

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