20 Best Vitamin C Foods You Should Eat

Few vitamins offer as many health benefits as vitamin C. It’s both an essential nutrient and a powerful antioxidant, making it crucial for your overall health.

Vitamin C supports various bodily functions, including skin health and immune function. You can easily incorporate vitamin C into your diet by eating foods like bell peppers and strawberries.

But how much vitamin C do you need daily, and how can you make sure you’re getting enough? Let’s delve deeper.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and helps maintain your body’s connective tissue. It’s crucial for heart health, tissue repair, and nutrient absorption.

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamin C and are often staples in holistic medicine traditions like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, some people may lack an adequate intake of this vital nutrient.

A deficiency in vitamin C can lead to symptoms like easy bruising, fatigue, and weakened immunity. In severe cases, it can even cause scurvy, as seen in the British navy during the 18th century.

Since your body doesn’t store or produce vitamin C on its own, it’s essential to consume vitamin C-rich foods daily. Doing so can improve immune function and reduce the risk of conditions like gout and cardiovascular disease.

1. Guava

One cup (165 grams) provides 376 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 418% of your Daily Value (DV).

Guava is a fruit rich in antioxidants and offers a good amount of vitamin A, various minerals, and B vitamins, in addition to vitamin C. It’s beneficial for the immune system and has been linked to improvements in blood pressure, digestion, blood sugar levels, heart health, fertility, and more.

2. Black Currant

One cup (112 grams) contains 203 milligrams of vitamin C, equivalent to 225% DV.

Black currant is a rich source of vitamin C and also provides manganese, iron, potassium, and other micronutrients, including anthocyanins.

3. Red Pepper

One cup (149 grams), chopped, provides 191 milligrams of vitamin C, making up 212% DV.

Red pepper is packed with essential nutrients, including vitamin C. Its consumption can support heart health, metabolism, digestion, immune function, and more.

4. Kiwi Fruit

One cup (180 grams) contains 134 milligrams of vitamin C, accounting for 149% DV.

Kiwi is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, along with vitamins K and E, potassium, copper, and folate. It’s beneficial for skin, respiratory health, eye health, gut health, heart health, bone health, and immune health. It may also aid in improving sleep.

5. Kale

One cup (21 grams), raw, provides 80 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 134% DV.

Kale is considered a superfood due to its high content of essential micronutrients, especially vitamin K and vitamin C. It’s particularly valuable for bone health, detoxification, immunity, and healthy development.

6. Green Bell Pepper

One cup (149 grams), chopped, provides 120 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 133% of your Daily Value (DV).

Green bell peppers are packed with vitamin C, making them great for preventing diseases and maintaining a healthy weight. They also contain B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin K, supporting eye health, mental well-being, skin health, immunity, and a healthy pregnancy.

7. Lemon

One cup (212 grams) contains 112 milligrams of vitamin C, accounting for 124% DV.

Lemons are renowned for their high vitamin C content, historically used to prevent scurvy. They boost immune function, heart health, kidney function, and skin health.

8. Strawberries

One cup (166 grams), sliced contains 97 milligrams of vitamin C, equivalent to 108% DV.

Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, as well as manganese, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and vitamin K. They protect against cancer, heart disease, skin damage, neurodegenerative diseases, and aid in detoxification due to their high fiber content.

9. Brussels Sprouts

One cup, cooked, provides 96 milligrams of vitamin C, making up 107% DV.

Brussels sprouts, a cruciferous vegetable, offer strong anti-cancer effects and support bone health with their vitamin K content. They also combat inflammation, heart disease, and provide various other health benefits.

10. Papaya

One cup (145 grams), sliced, contains 88 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 98% of DV.

Papaya is rich in vitamins C, A, E, and K, benefiting digestion, heart health, and potentially aiding people with asthma. It has also shown efficacy in fighting viral infections.

11. Orange

One cup (185 grams) contains 83 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 92% of your Daily Value (DV).

Oranges are rich in vitamin C and also provide folate, thiamine, potassium, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, fiber, and magnesium. They can help with everything from preventing/treating colds to potentially fighting cancer, improving heart health, boosting brain function, and maintaining healthy skin.

12. Parsley

One cup (60 grams), chopped, provides 80 milligrams of vitamin C, equivalent to 89% DV.

– Despite being an herb, parsley is a surprising source of vitamin C. It aids digestion, provides bioflavonoids, and can improve kidney health.

13. Pineapple

One cup, chopped, contains 79 milligrams of vitamin C, making up 88% DV.

Pineapples are high in fiber, aiding digestion, and their vitamin C content supports a healthy immune system. They may also benefit fertility, heart health, asthma sufferers, and mental health.

14. Grapefruit

One cup (230 grams) contains 72 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 80% DV.

Like other citrus fruits, grapefruits are rich in vitamins A and C, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. They may aid in weight management, reducing cellulite, fighting cancer, and potentially lowering the risk of strokes.

15. Durian Fruit

One cup (243 grams), raw, contains 48 milligrams of vitamin C, equivalent to 80% DV.

Durian is a nutrient-dense fruit high in vitamin C, B vitamins (including thiamine, vitamin B6, and riboflavin), manganese, and potassium. It’s also high in fat and calories.

16. Broccoli

One cup, raw, contains 69 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 77% of your Daily Value (DV).

Broccoli is a top vegetable source of vitamin C and is rich in fiber, vitamins K, A, and B6, folate, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. It’s also renowned as a cruciferous vegetable, known for its cancer-fighting properties.

17. Mango

One cup (165 grams) contains 60 milligrams of vitamin C, equivalent to 67% DV.

Mangoes are packed with vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, copper, vitamin A, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, vitamin K, zeaxanthin, quercetin, astragalin, and beta-carotene.

18. Cauliflower

One cup (107 grams), raw, provides 52 milligrams of vitamin C, making up 58% DV.

Cauliflower, like broccoli, is a cruciferous vegetable rich in various nutrients. Although slightly lower in vitamin C compared to broccoli, it offers similar benefits and is particularly known for its abundance of phytonutrients.

19. Honeydew

One cup (177 grams) contains 32 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 35% DV.

Honeydew, often overshadowed by cantaloupe, provides the benefits of vitamin C and helps in hydration.

20. Peas

One cup (160 grams), cooked, contains 23 milligrams of vitamin C, equivalent to 25% DV.

Green peas are surprisingly high in vitamin C and various other nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamin K, manganese, thiamine, vitamin A, folate, phosphorus, vitamin B6, niacin, magnesium, riboflavin, copper, iron, zinc, and potassium. They aid in weight loss, offer plant-based protein, support blood sugar control, aid digestion, and may protect against cancer.

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