Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is quite important for your daily diet. Humans, unlike animals, can't produce vitamin C in their bodies and so, they need to rely on foods high in vitamin C. There are lots of fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamin C that can help you protect cells from damage that is caused by free radicals among other things. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is the best-known immune-boosting vitamin and so, you should keep yourself acquainted with the vitamin C foods list so as to include them in your daily diet for a healthy lifestyle. But before we tell you about all the vitamin C-rich foods, let us tell you about the health benefits of this vitamin.
Vitamin C Foods List:
Now that you know of the health benefits of vitamin C, let's look at all the vitamin C-rich foods that you can consume for better health.
Guavas top the vitamin C foods list as it is four times the amount of vitamin C as that oranges. Along with being packed with vitamin C, guavas are also rich in vitamin A, folic acid, copper, manganese, and potassium (1). The vitamin C content for guava is 200mg per 100g serving.
Red capsicums over others make for the best source of vitamin C along with having high levels of antioxidants (2). In fact, red capsicum has two times more vitamin C than green capsicum. To be precise, red capsicums contain 140mg of vitamin C per 100g serving while green capsicums contain 80mg of the same per 100g serving. Capsicums also make for a great source of iron, potassium, and vitamin B6 (3).
If there's one fruit that is quite popular for its vitamin C, it has to be an orange. 100g of oranges contain 59mg of vitamin C which can give a good boost to your immune system and may also aid in reducing the risk of certain cancers. Citrus fruits like oranges can lower blood cholesterol levels along with improving blood circulation (4). Remember to eat the fruit instead of drinking its juice of it.
One of the foods high in vitamin C is broccoli with 89mg of it per 100g serving. Broccoli, as a vegetable, is also packed with carotenoids, B vitamins, calcium, zinc, and fiber (5). This vegetable should be eaten after boiling or steaming so that it doesn't lose a major portion of its beneficial components.
Ever known about blackcurrants as foods high in vitamin C? Well, they do contain 200mg of vitamin C per 100g serving. These berries are also loaded with flavonoids and antioxidants that can help relieve inflammation in your body and also infections caused in the urinary tract (6).
Not a lot of people are a fan of papaya as a fruit. But 100g serving of papaya contains about 62mg of vitamin C. Along with that, this fruit is also packed with other nutrients like flavonoids and carotenes, vitamin A, and folate. Papaya can help with digestion and can also assist your body's enzymes in pulling out the maximum nutritional value from other foods you eat (7).
Just like broccoli, cauliflower also belongs to the same family of cruciferous vegetables. 100g of raw cauliflower contains 46mg of vitamin C. Along with this vitamin, cauliflower also contains B vitamins, vitamin K, and several anti-cancer phytochemicals (8). It is best to eat steamed or boiled cauliflower florets as cooking it extensively may reduce the vegetable's nutritional properties.
Just one cup of cantaloupe can give you 100% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. This is one of the vitamin C foods for the skin that play a crucial role in maintaining skin health. Cantaloupes are loaded with antioxidants, including beta-carotene that can support eye health, manage asthma, and can reduce the risk of developing serious health conditions too (9).
A high-vitamin C food that can give you 10 mg of vitamin C with just two tablespoons of it is parsley. Parsley is a rich source of vitamins C, and K and antioxidants as well. Eating vitamin C foods like these may reduce your risk of cancer (10).
10. Mustard spinach
One of the richest vitamin C foods is mustard spinach. One cup of raw chopped mustard spinach can provide you with 195 mg of vitamin C. It is recommended you use less heat to cook this leafy green as heat from cooking can lower the levels of vitamin C in it. So basically, one cup of cooked mustard spinach will end up giving you 117 mg of vitamin C. This leafy green vegetable is also packed with vitamin A, calcium, potassium, fiber, and folate.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that is regarded as one of the foods rich in vitamin C. A 100-gram portion of raw kale allows you 93 mg of vitamin C while also supplying your body with high quantities of vitamin K, the carotenoids lutein, and zeaxanthin (11). When you cook kale, one cup can give you 21 mg of vitamin C.
If you're looking to introduce vitamin C fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, one whole raw lemon can give you 31 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C content in lemon juice can also act as an antioxidant and it can also prevent other fruits and foods from browning. The juice of a lemon can also reduce blood pressure (12).
Consuming one lychee a day will give you 71.5 mg of vitamin C, which comes to 7.5% of the daily value, while one cup full of the same will provide you with 151% of vitamin C. Lychees are one of the high-vitamin C foods that contain polyphenol compounds including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, luteolin, apigenin, rutin, etc (13).
One of the foods rich in vitamin C is strawberries. One cup of sliced strawberries provides 97 mg of vitamin C. This fruit contains a diverse and potent mix of vitamin C, folate, flavonoids, manganese, and other important antioxidants. As strawberries have a high content of nutrients and plant compounds, eating them daily may aid in reducing the risk of many health conditions (14).
Mango definitely makes it to the list of vitamin C fruits and vegetables as just one cup of fresh mango can give you 67% of the daily value of vitamin C. Mango, as fruit is also a great source of minerals like copper and folate that are important nutrients needed during pregnancy as they can support healthy fetal growth and development (15).
One medium-sized kiwifruit is packed with 56 mg of vitamin C. Kiwis are one of the vitamin C-rich foods that have an inhibitory effect on your blood platelets, which can aid in reducing the risk of blood clots and stroke. Consuming kiwifruit may also benefit your immune system (16).
17. Sweet green pepper
One of the vitamin C foods that also make for a good source of vitamin B6 is sweet green pepper. One cup of raw sweet green pepper will give you 134% of the daily value of vitamin C. This vitamin is essential for many functions in your body including collagen synthesis, proper immune function, nutrient metabolism, and more. It can also act as a powerful antioxidant that has the ability to protect your cells from harmful oxidative damage (17).
Health Benefits of Vitamin C:
Here are some vitamin C benefits that you might not be aware of.
1. Vitamin C for Skin:
One of the main benefits of vitamin C for the skin is that it can protect us from the damage that harmful UV rays can cause (18). That's the reason why the skincare market keeps recommending using vitamin C skin serums as can blunt the harm that UV light does by getting into your skin. Not only that, but vitamin C can also lighten dark patches on your skin called hyperpigmentation. The protein that is found in your skin helps it from sagging. But as you age, your body slows down the production of collagen. Including vitamin C foods in your daily diet helps your body grow collagen which keeps your skin healthy and glowing (19).
2. Vitamin C for Hair:
Vitamin C for hair works wonders as it helps strengthen your hair and promote hair health by boosting collagen production in them. This vitamin can also help brighten and improve the shine of your hair. Vitamin C can be used to revamp your scalp environment which can in turn mean better overall health of your hair. One of the many reasons why you should include vitamin C-rich foods in your diet is because it can reduce the formation of DHT, which is a hormone that causes shrinkage of hair follicles thus preventing hair loss.
3. Vitamin C for Health:
You might have heard your mother talk about eating citric fruits like oranges when you have a common cold. This is because oranges are loaded with vitamin C which can boost the functioning of your immune cells which are depleted when you have an infection. Another reason to consider eating vitamin C foods is that they can help reduce stress levels (20). The antioxidant properties that this vitamin carries can aid your body in controlling cortisol levels which can trigger stress.
Vitamin C Deficiency:
Consuming foods high in vitamin C is highly recommended as vitamin C deficiency (21) can result in symptoms like -
- Rough, bumpy skin
- Red hair follicles
- Spoon-shaped nails with red spots
- Dry and damaged skin
- Easy bruising
- Slowly healing injuries
- Bleeding gums and tooth loss
- Weak bones
- Poor immune system
- Poor mood or fatigue
- Weight gain
In order to avoid vitamin C deficiency, you can rely on the above-mentioned vitamin C foods list or take help from supplements. We recommend you try the Saffola Fittify The Perfekt Gummies For Eye Health. These gummies are enriched with nutrients like vitamins C, and E and help promote good eyesight and vision. Make sure to follow a healthy diet along with popping on one of these gummies for a better and healthier lifestyle.
Vitamin C Recommended Daily Intake
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is 75 milligrams a day for women and for men, it is 90 mg. When a woman is pregnant, she should stick to 120 mg of vitamin C a day. The upper limit of vitamin C for all adults is 2000 mg a day. Food is the best way to get all the required nutrients. So pick vitamin C-rich foods daily as you also get other vitamins, minerals, and fiber through all the fruits, vegetables, and other produce.
Side Effects of Vitamin C:
There can also be some side effects of vitamin C (22) if it doesn't suit you or if you take high doses of the same. Taking more than 2000mg of vitamin C on a regular basis may cause kidney stones and severe diarrhoea. Some side effects of vitamin C are stomach cramps, headache, heartburn, and nausea. If you're using a vitamin C skincare product, and if doesn't suit your skin, it can result in tingling and itching.
As you now know, vitamin C is necessary for a healthy body. Hence, it is recommended to eat a healthy diet consisting of vitamin C foods, as it is found in abundance in plant foods. If you have a vitamin C deficiency, consult an expert or a dietician on the kind of foods and amount of those foods that you can consume. Because over-consumption of vitamin C can also cause some side effects.
Is it good to take vitamin C every day?
It is highly recommended to get your daily dose of vitamin C through foods. But if you are taking vitamin C supplements, make sure to avoid taking more than 1000mg of it per day as it can cause harm otherwise.
Which fruit is highest in Vitamin C?
Kakadu plum is regarded as the highest vitamin C contain fruit that has up to 2,907mg of vitamin C per 100 grams serving.
Is vitamin C good for tiredness?
Vitamin C is crucial for normal energy-yielding metabolism. It also helps with reducing tiredness and fatigue.
What is the best time to take vitamin C?
If you're taking vitamin C supplements, you can take them any time of the day with or without food. Taking vitamin C with food helps decrease gastrointestinal side effects that are caused due to high acidity.
What form of vitamin C is best?
L-ascorbic acid is considered to be the most effective form of vitamin C. So if you're choosing a product with vitamin C in it, look for L-ascorbic acid on the ingredient list.
What should be avoided with vitamin C?
You should avoid these interactions along with vitamin C:
- Protease inhibitors
- Warfarin (Jantoven)
- Statins and niacin
Can vitamin C be toxic?
Excessive dietary vitamin C is not considered to be harmful. However, large doses of vitamin C supplements can end up causing nausea and diarrhoea.