What are the Best Sources of Vitamin C?

Elle Jay
Elle Jay
Lychee is high in vitamin C.
Lychee is high in vitamin C.

Vitamin C comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavors, but the best sources of vitamin C are not the most common. Although the orange might be the best-known vitamin C food, it is not the most potent source of vitamin C. Healthy daily doses of this vital nutrient come from both fruits and vegetables, along with vitamin C supplements. Some of the best natural sources of vitamin C include the acerola cherry, mango, peach, strawberry, broccoli and tomoato.

Guava has a high amount of vitamin C.
Guava has a high amount of vitamin C.

The fruit offering the biggest shot of vitamin C is the little-known acerola cherry, also called the Barbados cherry, Puerto Rican cherry and West Indian cherry. The juice from this bitter red berry boasts 1,600 milligrams of vitamin C per 3.5 ounces (100 g). That’s more than 10 times the amount of vitamin C found in orange juice. A few additional fruit sources of vitamin C offer more than 100 milligrams per 3.5 ounces (100 g), including guava, lychee and mango. Other powerful vitamin C fruits include kiwi, peach, papaya, strawberry and cantaloupe.

Cherries are a good source of vitamin C.
Cherries are a good source of vitamin C.

The most potent vegetable sources of vitamin C come from the pepper family, with hot chili peppers topping the list at more than 240 milligrams of vitamin C per 3.5 ounces (100 g). Other potent vitamin C vegetables include red bell peppers, broccoli, green peppers, cabbages, tomatoes and Brussels sprouts. Veggie and tomato juices provide plenty of vitamin C also, but they tend to be high in sodium, so they are not the best choice for anyone watching their salt intake.

Oranges are the best known but not the most potent source of  Vitamin C.
Oranges are the best known but not the most potent source of Vitamin C.

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is taken as a daily supplement by many people. Nutritionists and medical professionals, however, recommend healthy vitamin C foods as the most efficient way to consume vitamin C. It is recommended that adult males consume about 90 milligrams of vitamin C each day and that adult women consume about 75 milligrams daily. Vitamin C helps the body fight infection, has anti-inflammatory properties and can help prevent gum disease, joint problems, cancer, cardiovascular disease and some chronic illnesses.

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Discussion Comments

serenesurface

Of all vitamin C rich foods, berries are my favorite. All berries have vitamin C -- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cranberries. I love them all and I eat lots of berries when they are in season.

I like eating dark fruits with vitamin C. Dark fruits are said to have more antioxidants. For example, pomegranate is a great fruit. It rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. I drink the bottled juice sometimes, but I also buy it fresh in winter when I find it at the supermarket. It's kind of difficult to separate the seeds, but it's yummy, perfectly sweet and sour.

Has anyone noticed that many vitamin C rich fruits appear in fall and winter? I think it's nature's way of protecting us from illness.

burcinc

@ddljohn-- There are many vitamin C food sources but they are most beneficial when they are eaten fresh. I don't think that processed fruits and vegetables have much vitamin C left in them. I'm sure that you will get more vitamin C if you eat a whole orange in the morning rather than processed fruit juice.

ddljohn

Since I've learned that papaya has 200% more vitamin C than oranges, I've started buying papaya juice from the health food store instead of orange juice. I like having a glass of juice in the morning and after workouts. I think juice with vitamin C keeps my immune system strong.

I usually don't eat papayas but I like the juice. It's harder to find than orange juice and it costs a little bit more. But I think it's worth it for the vitamin C content.

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    • Lychee is high in vitamin C.
      Lychee is high in vitamin C.
    • Guava has a high amount of vitamin C.
      By: wuttichok
      Guava has a high amount of vitamin C.
    • Cherries are a good source of vitamin C.
      By: Jeppestown
      Cherries are a good source of vitamin C.
    • Oranges are the best known but not the most potent source of  Vitamin C.
      By: natalyka
      Oranges are the best known but not the most potent source of Vitamin C.
    • Broccoli is known for its high vitamin C content.
      By: Nitr
      Broccoli is known for its high vitamin C content.
    • Strawberries are rich in vitamin C.
      By: Dmitriy Syechin
      Strawberries are rich in vitamin C.
    • Lemons and lemon juice are high in vitamin C.
      By: S.HarryPhotography
      Lemons and lemon juice are high in vitamin C.
    • Papaya is a good natural source of vitamin C.
      By: tashka2000
      Papaya is a good natural source of vitamin C.
    • Mango is a tropical fruit with high vitamin C content.
      By: volff
      Mango is a tropical fruit with high vitamin C content.
    • Dragon fruit.
      By: Pascal Walschots
      Dragon fruit.
    • Vitamin C is available in supplement form.
      By: Sophie James
      Vitamin C is available in supplement form.
    • Red bell peppers contain quite a bit of vitamin C, although yellow ones have more.
      By: Natika
      Red bell peppers contain quite a bit of vitamin C, although yellow ones have more.
    • Peaches contain vitamin C and beta carotene.
      By: Anna Kucherova
      Peaches contain vitamin C and beta carotene.
    • Strawberries.
      By: Anna Kucherova
      Strawberries.
    • Cantaloupe.
      By: Elena Schweitzer
      Cantaloupe.
    • Whole and cut kiwi fruit.
      Whole and cut kiwi fruit.
    • Mangoes and peppers contain vitamin C.
      Mangoes and peppers contain vitamin C.
    • Large doses of vitamin C may cause headache and fatigue.
      By: lithian
      Large doses of vitamin C may cause headache and fatigue.