Oranges are the best source of vitamin C right? That’s what I thought too!
You can be forgiven for thinking that due to clever marketing by orange farmers, and whilst they are indeed a very good source of vitamin C, there are in fact many other foods including fruits, vegetables, and herbs that have even more vitamin C than oranges, and you’re going to find them all in this blog post – so keep reading!
I got interested in food sources of vitamin C when I found out that the ascorbic acid used in vitamin C supplements is synthetic, and is usually made with genetically modified (GMO) corn syrup. On the ingredients you may find it listed as D-ascorbic acid.
Natural sources of vitamin C contain both L-ascorbic acid, and ascorbate minerals including sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and ascorbyl palmitate which is a fat soluble form of vitamin C.
There may not be any clear evidence at this time that the natural form of vitamin C is any better than the synthetic form, the only known difference is the molecular structure.
As 13% of the US population is deficient in vitamin C, it’s an important nutrient to consider because humans are unable to synthesise it.
There is mounting evidence that vitamin C is extremely important to health, it prevents scurvy, it may have anti-ageing effects, it could play a role in the prevention of some diseases, it could become a treatment for some cancers, and it neutralises free radicals (antioxidant effect).
The foods that are rich in vitamin C also tend to contain many other health promoting plant chemicals, which is why I believe natural sources of vitamin C are better than popping synthetic vitamin pills. They certainly taste a lot better, that is for sure!
By incorporating the following foods into your diet, I’m sure you will experience an improvement in your health, and your energy levels. Remember fruits are high in sugar, so you may want to cut down on other sugar in your diet if you increase your fruit intake.
I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.
List of Highest Vitamin C Foods (in reverse order):
As our base line, oranges contain 71 mg of vitamin C per 100g.
- Lychees (raw)
These tropical fruits from China and India contain the same amount of vitamin C as an orange, but don’t eat the seeds as they can cause hypoglycemia.
- Longans (raw)
Related to the lychee, longans are another tropical fruit that contains 84 mg of vitamin C per 100g. It’s packed full of minerals and vitamins, and the Chinese have long used it to improve eye sight.
- Brussel sprouts (raw)
Most people will cook their brussel sprouts, but that destroys most of the vitamin C. To keep the 85 mg per 100g intact, try adding raw chopped brussels to a salad – or even a green smoothie if you’re feeling brave!
- Dill weed (fresh)
Dill is a relative of celery, with anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties, it boasts a vitamin C content of 85 mg per 100g. You can use it to make a delicious homemade burger sauce.
- Cauliflower (raw)
Again most people will cook cauliflower, but it’s great as a raw snack and it’s packed with 88 mg of vitamin C per 100g.
- Kiwi fruit
Delicious in a healthy fruit salad, green kiwi contains 92 mg of vitamin C per 100g of fruit.
- Broccoli (raw)
We all know broccoli is good for us. Many bodybuilders virtually live on this vegetable and chicken! Many will not be aware that 100g of broccoli in its raw form contains 93 mg of vitamin C.
- Sun-dried Tomatoes
These pack a lot of flavour, and an amazing 101 mg of vitamin C per 100g of drained tomatoes.
Wash well before use if you are using it in a green smoothie, and it will supply 120 mg of vitamin C per 100g of kale.
- Sweet Red Peppers
These delicious sweet peppers pack 127 mg of vitamin C in 100g, so make sure you include them in your salads.
At 133 mg of vitamin C per 100g of parsley, it’s almost double the vitamin C of an orange. You can add it to salads, and many main courses too for additional fresh flavour.
- Black Currants
These fruity berries contain 181 mg of vitamin C per 100g, that’s over double the amount contained in oranges!
The guava should be a better known fruit, as it contains 228 mg of vitamin C per 100g – that’s three times the vitamin C content of an orange. It is also rich in lycopene and antioxidants, making it great for healthy skin.
- Hot Chili Peppers (green)
Usually eaten in small quantities, it is worth knowing that 100g of hot chili pepper contains 242 mg of vitamin C. The green ones are highest in vit C. They also contain many other potentially beneficial phytonutrients.
- Acerola Cherry
These amazing tropical berries commonly found in Barbados and the West Indies contains a massive 1677 mg of vitamin C. Put it another way they contain 23 time the vitamin C as an orange. They are hard to come by fresh, but you can get them in powdered form – which contain even more concentrated vitamin C and many other nutrients – and are excellent to add to a protein smoothie.
- Camu Camu
The world’s highest known natural source of vitamin C – this cherry like fruit from the Amazon contains a whopping 2145 mg of vitamin C per 100g – making it 30 times better than an orange! Again you can find this in powdered form outside of Brazil and Peru and you can add it to your smoothies for a mega vitamin C hit!