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Top 20 Highest Vitamin C Foods

Top Highest Vitamin C Foods

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that’s found in many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.

High vitamin C foods include guavas, bell peppers, kiwifruit, strawberries, oranges, papayas, broccoli, tomatoes, kale, and snow peas. The current daily value (% DV) for vitamin C is 90mg.

It’s well known for being a potent antioxidant, as well as having positive effects on skin health and immune function.

It’s also vital for collagen synthesis, connective tissue, bones, teeth and your small blood vessels

The human body cannot produce or store vitamin C. Therefore, it’s essential to consume it regularly in sufficient amounts.

The human body does not store vitamin C, so people need to get this nutrient from their diet every day. It dissolves in water, and any excess leaves the body in urine.

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.

When we eat vitamin C-rich foods as opposed to isolating it in pill form, we’re also reaping the benefits of the other incredible vitamins and minerals that the whole food has to offer.

Food should always come first, and we know that vitamin C in particular functions as an antioxidant and also plays a major role in immune function (not to mention helping reduce risk of several chronic diseases). Vitamin C can even help individuals with iron deficiency anemia, as it enhances absorption of iron-rich foods. The recommended dietary allowance for healthy adults is 75mg of vitamin C daily for women and 90mg for men, so this vitamin C foods list only includes good or excellent sources of vitamin C that meet 10-20% or more of the daily value. Read on to learn which foods are best to incorporate into your diet to reap their vitamin C benefits.

Another interesting perk of eating your vitamin C: It helps you maximize your absorption of plant-based iron to ward off conditions like anemia. So, make sure to pair those lentils, spinach, or tofu with vitamin C, plant-based eaters.

To reap the benefits of vitamin C, you should get at least 75 milligrams of the good stuff daily, ideally from foods, says Weinandy. While supplements are okay, they’re not ideal. (FYI: The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force doesn’t advocate for the consumption of supplements due to conflicting data on their efficacy, according to Harvard University.)

Vitamin C also helps your bones and teeth stay strong. It improves the absorption of nonheme iron, the form of iron present in plant-based foods and it’s also necessary to make certain neurotransmitters and for protein metabolism. Your immune system relies on vitamin C, too.

Since it’s a water-soluble vitamin, your body doesn’t store vitamin C so you need to replace your vitamin C stores daily. The National Institutes of Health recommends that men get 90 milligrams daily and women get 75 milligrams of vitamin C per day with even higher recommended doses for women who are pregnant or lactating.

Vitamin C

Is a glass of OJ or vitamin C tablets your go-to when the sniffles come? Loading up on this vitamin was a practice spurred by Linus Pauling in the 1970s, a double Nobel laureate and self-proclaimed champion of vitamin C who promoted daily megadoses (the amount in 12 to 24 oranges) as a way to prevent colds and some chronic diseases.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that it dissolves in water and is delivered to the body’s tissues but is not well stored, so it must be taken daily through food or supplements. Even before its discovery in 1932, nutrition experts recognized that something in citrus fruits could prevent scurvy, a disease that killed as many as two million sailors between 1500 and 1800. [1]

Vitamin C plays a role in controlling infections and healing wounds, and is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals. It is needed to make collagen, a fibrous protein in connective tissue that is weaved throughout various systems in the body: nervous, immune, bone, cartilage, blood, and others. The vitamin helps make several hormones and chemical messengers used in the brain and nerves. [2]

While megadosing on this vitamin is not uncommon, how much is an optimum amount needed to keep you healthy, and could taking too much be counterproductive?

Top Highest Vitamin C Foods

Kakadu Plums

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 5,300 mg per 100 grams. Just one plum packs 481 mg of vitamin C, which is 530% of the DV (3).

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


Probably the mascot of vitamin C foods, oranges are in fact abundant in the micronutrient. Just one medium sized orange contains 70mg of vitamin C, making it an excellent source as it provides 78% of the daily value. Our favorite kind is Sumo Citrus, an enormous super-sweet fruit that is exceptionally easy to peel and packs in 163% of the daily value. If you prefer orange juice, opt for “100% Orange Juice” with no added sugar varieties.


The fragrant, tropical aroma of these bite-sized fruits are enough reason to add them to your diet, but they just so happen to be loaded with vitamin C (136 milligrams per cup, to be exact), too.

Per one-cup serving: 125 calories, 1 g fat (0 g sat fat), 2 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrates, 29 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein


Grapefruits are related to oranges,4 so it’s no surprise they’re also high in vitamin C. One-half of a grapefruit has 45 milligrams of vitamin C, plus fiber, potassium, and plenty of vitamin A.5

Grapefruits are fairly sour, although ruby red grapefruits tend to be sweeter. You might want to add a light sprinkle of sugar or another sweetener before you eat them. You can also slice up grapefruits and add them to salads.

Acerola Cherries

Just one-half cup (49 grams) of red acerola cherries (Malpighia emarginata) delivers 822 mg of vitamin C, or 913% of the DV (6).

Animal studies using acerola extract have shown that it may have cancer-fighting properties, help prevent UVB skin damage and even decrease DNA damage caused by bad diet


You can thank Mom for telling you to finish your broccoli all these years. Seriously, just 1/2 cup of raw broccoli offers up 39mg vitamin C or 43% daily value. A must-have kitchen staple is GH Nutritionist Approved Green Giant Cauliflower and Broccoli Riced Veggies made from 100% vegetables, so you can season it your way.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels look like tiny brains, and their super-high vitamin C content (75 milligrams per serving) might actually help boost brain health. Roast them in the oven or shred them into salad for a surprising crunch.

Per one-cup serving: 38 calories, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 22 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein

Green Peppers

One medium-sized green bell pepper has 95 milligrams of vitamin C, which is enough for one full day. Green bell peppers also deliver 8% of the daily value of vitamins A and K and 15% of vitamin B6. One whole green bell pepper contains just 24 calories.6

Green bell peppers can be sliced or chopped and added to a salad or used as an ingredient in a variety of dishes. Choose peppers that are bright green with unblemished skin.

Rose Hips

The rose hip is a small, sweet, tangy fruit from the rose plant. It’s loaded with vitamin C.

Approximately six rose hips provide 119 mg of vitamin C, or 132% of the DV (10).

Vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis, which supports skin integrity as you age.

Studies have found that vitamin C reduces sun damage to the skin, lessening wrinkling, dryness and discoloration and improving its overall appearance. Vitamin C also helps wound healing and inflammatory skin conditions like dermatitis


This refreshing fruit contains 64mg or 71% of the daily value vitamin C in just a one medium kiwi serving. Varieties like golden kiwis have even more vitamin C, making them an exceptional source of the micronutrient.


If you love the refreshing sharp taste of blackberries, swap them out for blackcurrants, which, at 203 milligrams per serving, contain nearly seven times more vitamin C.

Red Sweet Peppers

Red sweet peppers are high in vitamin C, just like green bell peppers, but they have a milder flavor. One cup of sliced, raw, red sweet pepper delivers about 117 milligrams of vitamin C and has 28 calories. It’s also loaded with fiber, vitamin A, and several B-complex vitamins.8

Add chopped sweet red pepper to salads or use them to season vegetable side dishes. Red peppers maintain quite a lot of vitamin C after cooking, so they make a great addition to sauces and stews too.


This pretty yogurt parfait topper is rich in vitamin C, with 1/2 cup sliced strawberries providing 49mg or over 50% of the daily value. They have a rich antioxidant capacity and offer a dose of filling fiber too.


Conveniently, some of the sweetest fruits out there not only transport you right back to your favorite beach vaca, but also happen to be super nutritious. One mango, for example, contains 75 milligrams of vitamin C.

Per mango: 124 calories, 1 g fat (0 g sat fat), 2 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrates, 28 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein

Cooked Cabbage

Raw cabbage can add a bit of vitamin C to your daily intake, but cooked cabbage has even more. Although cooking reduces the amount of vitamin C in any food,10

 it also reduces the volume, so you’ll get more vitamin C per cup of cooked cabbage.

Cooking cabbage causes it to shrink. Therefore the amount of vitamin C in equal portions of raw verse cooked cabbage will be higher in cooked form. It would take about 2 cups of raw cabbage to yield one cup of cooked cabbage.

That’s why one cup of raw cabbage has about 30mg of vitamin C, while one cup of cooked cabbage has closer to 60 mg. Cabbage also contains antioxidants, minerals, vitamin K, and fiber.


Gram for gram, fresh thyme has three times more vitamin C than oranges and one of the highest vitamin C concentration of all culinary herbs.

One ounce (28 grams) of fresh thyme provides 45 mg of vitamin C, which is 50% of the DV (23).

Even just sprinkling 1–2 tablespoons (3–6 grams) of fresh thyme over your meal adds 3.5–7 mg of vitamin C to your diet, which can strengthen your immunity and help fight infections.

While thyme is a popular remedy for sore throats and respiratory conditions, it’s also high in vitamin C, which helps improve immune health, make antibodies, destroy viruses and bacteria and clear infected cells


Half a cup of this yummy melon offers 29mg or 32% of your daily vitamin C needs, making it an excellent source of the nutrient. Enjoy it on its own or change things up with our Cucumber and Cantaloupe Salad with Savory Quinoa Crumble recipe.


Each cup of papaya provides an impressive 88 milligrams of vitamin C. As an added bonus, the fruit’s also a good source of vitamin A and fiber.

Per cup of papaya pieces: 62 calories, 0.4 g fat (0 g sat fat), 12 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrates, 11 g of sugar, 3 g fiber, 0.7 g protein


Cauliflower is crunchy, delicious, and an excellent source of vitamin C. One cup of raw cauliflower has 51 milligrams of vitamin C.15 Cauliflower is also rich in fiber, calcium, potassium, folate, and vitamin K, plus it’s a great source of antioxidants.

Serve raw cauliflower with a salad or with a light veggie dip.


This gorgeous tropical fruit is rich in several antioxidants and has a great refreshing flavor. Guava contains 126mg of vitamin C, making it an exceptional source of the nutrient. The best part about guava is that the skin is actually edible too!

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