Important Vitamin C foods you need to know

Vitamin C foods are important antioxidants in the diet and help fight free radicals. Let’s see the foods high in vitamin c to built immunity.

Vitamin C is one of the vital micronutrients for people, it is also known as L-ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and free radical scavenger and has anti-inflammatory effects, influences cellular immunity, respiratory infections, and reduces the aging of cells. It is important to take vitamin C rich foods to slow down the aging process of body and its organs.

However, Vitamin C cannot be produced by the body, and thus it has to be obtained from the vitamin C rich foods that contain vitamin C in high quantities.

Known health benefits of taking Vitamin C foods

Vitamin C obtained from vitamin C rich foods plays an important role in immune defense by carrying out various cellular activities. These cellular activities are a vital part of the body’s adaptive immune system and innate immune system. Vitamin C contributes to the epithelial barrier function as the first line of defense against pathogens. It also protects against oxidative stress by scavenging free radicals from the skin. [PMID: 26808119]

Vitamin C is crucial for regular brain development and regular immune functions. Vitamin C protects against D-galactose-induced oxidative damage in adult brain aging [PMID: 30650605] and neurodegenerative diseases [PMID: 26633354].

The deficiency of vitamin C may affect the immune response and increase the body’s vulnerability to pathogens. In turn, if you already have infections, your body may have higher inflammation. So your vitamin C requirements will be significantly higher due to enhanced metabolic requirements. 

Vitamin C assists in enhancing the absorption of iron in the body. It binds with non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is typically present in plant foods. The latter is not absorbed by the human body when compared with heme iron. Heme iron is present in animal products.

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How much vitamin c do you need?

As per USDA,

Everyday demand of vitamin C is 75 mg for male and 65 mg for females aged between 14 to 18 Years

The per-day requisite of vitamin C is 90 mg, for male aged between 19 to 50 Years

The every day want of vitamin C is 90 mg, for male in age between >50 Years

The daily demand for vitamin C is 75 mg, for female aged between 19 to 50 Years

Each day need of vitamin C is 75 mg, for male in age between >50 Years

The quotidian requisite of vitamin C is 85 mg for pregnancy and 120 mg for lactation in age between 19 to 50 Years

In India, the RDA for vitamin c however, is 40 mg per day

Preventive requirement of vitamin C in a healthy adult against infections is around 100 –200 milligrams per day which is enough to saturate cells and tissue with enough vitamin C. But, you may need higher vitamin C for treatment against diseases or already established infections to fight against increased inflammation and metabolic demand [PMCID: PMC5707683].

The bioavailability of vitamin C is also an issue. Many people assume that taking a higher dose of vitamin C say 1000 mg or more is beneficial. But the higher dosage of vitamin c also leads to higher excretion too.

Expert says that a daily dose of more than 400 milligrams has no apparent value[PMID: 8623000]. At a dose of around 1250 mg, the bioavailability of Vitamin c is found to be around half the dose value. Up to around 200 mg of a single dose is observed to be 100% bioavailable without any urinary excretion. This requirement of vitamin C can be obtained through the Vitamin C rich foods listed here.

Top 50 Vitamin C foods

Whenever someone says vitamin c foods, the first and perhaps the only picture that flashes in our minds is oranges. Though oranges are one of the good sources of vitamin c, it is maybe not the best. The availability of sources of vitamin c foods varies throughout the year. For example, oranges are available during winter whereas gooseberries peak in summer. I am presenting here 50 foods high in vitamin C for readers perusal so that at least one or two vitamin C rich foods shall be available in any season of the year to choose. 

The below vitamin c foods list is selected on the parameter that the food shall give fewer calories and more vitamin c. This way you will need to consume fewer calories to get recommended daily requirement of Vitamin c which is 40 milligrams. This ratio is expressed as kCal per mg of vitamin c (kcal/mg). The list is arranged in descending order of this ratio. Each food is more than just vitamin C, however, this list is centered on only vitamin c content by calories. So, read on.

Vitamin C foods chart

50. Tinda, tender (Other vegetables)

Tinda, tender has 13.85 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Tinda, tender comprises 14.2 mg of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Tinda, tender is 1.025 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Tinda, tender, positions at 50 in vitamin C rich foods.

49. Beet greens (Green leafy vegetables)

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Beet greens have 34.63 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Beet greens contain 35.83 milligrams of vitamin C. 1.035 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Beet greens. So, Beet greens rank no 49 in vitamin C foods.

48. Onion, stalk (Other vegetables)

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Onion, stalk has 25.56 Kcal energy every 100 grams. It is also called a spring onion. The onion, stalk holds 27.23 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Onion stalk is 1.066. Thus, Onion, stalk, lines number 48 in foods high in vitamin C.

47. Cabbage, Chinese (Green leafy vegetables)

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Cabbage, Chinese has 17.91 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Cabbage, Chinese comprises 19.32 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Cabbage, Chinese is 1.079. Therefore, Cabbage, Chinese, grades number 47 in vitamin C rich foods.

46. Kovai, small (Other vegetables)

Kovai, small has 19.11 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Kovai, small contain 21.08 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C (mcg) to the energy (kCal) ratio of Kovai, small is 1.103. Hence, Kovai, small, position at 46 in vitamin C foods.

45. Orange pulp (Fruits)

Orange pulp has 37.26 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Orange, pulp holds 42.72 milligrams of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Orange pulp is 1.147 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Orange pulp ranks no 45 in foods high in vitamin C.

44. Spinach (Green leafy vegetables)

Spinach has 24.36 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Spinach comprises 30.28 mg of vitamin C. 1.243 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Spinach. So, Spinach lines number 44 in vitamin C rich foods.

43. Zizyphus (Fruits)

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Zizyphus has 48.72 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Zizyphus contain 60.93 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Zizyphus is 1.251. Thus, Zizyphus grades number 43 in vitamin C foods.

42. Star fruit (Fruits)

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Star fruit has 26.27 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Star fruit holds 33.55 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Star fruit is 1.277. Therefore, Star fruit, positions at 42 in foods high in vitamin C.

41. Tomato, ripe, hybrid (Other vegetables)

Tomato ripe hybrid, has 18.87 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Tomato, ripe, hybrid comprises 25.27 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C (mcg) to the energy (kCal) ratio of Tomato, ripe, hybrid is 1.339. Hence, Tomato, ripe, hybrid, ranks no 41 in vitamin C rich foods.

40. Cabbage collard greens (Green leafy vegetables)

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Cabbage collard greens has 30.09 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Cabbage collard greens contain 40.76 mg of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Cabbage collard greens is 1.354 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Cabbage collard greens line number 40 in vitamin C foods.

39. Tomato ripe local (Other vegetables)

Tomato ripe local has 19.58 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Tomato ripe local holds 27.47 milligrams of vitamin C. 1.403 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Tomato ripe local. So, Tomato ripe local, grades number 39 in foods high in vitamin C.

38. Bathua leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

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Bathua leaves have 27.70 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Bathua leaves comprise 41.03 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Bathua leaves is 1.481. Thus, Bathua leaves, positions at 38 in vitamin C rich foods.

37. Cauliflower leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

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Cauliflower leaves have 35.35 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Cauliflower leaves contain 52.84 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Cauliflower leaves is 1.495. Therefore, Cauliflower leaves rank no 37 in vitamin C foods.

36. Cabbage green (Green leafy vegetables)

Cabbage green has 21.50 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Cabbage green holds 33.25 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C (mcg) to the energy (kCal) ratio of Cabbage green is 1.547. Hence, Cabbage green lines number 36 in foods high in vitamin C.

35. Drumstick leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

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Drumstick leaves have 67.35 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Drumstick leaves comprise 108 milligrams of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Drumstick leaves is 1.604 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Drumstick leaves, grades number 35 in vitamin C rich foods.

34. Knol khol leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

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Knol khol leaves have 42.51 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Knol khol leaves contain 71.11 mg of vitamin C. 1.673 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Knol khol leaves. So, Knol khol leaves, positions at 34 in vitamin C foods.

33. Fenugreek leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

Fenugreek leaves have 34.39 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight.  Fenugreek leaves hold 58.25 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from  Fenugreek leaves is 1.694. Thus,  Fenugreek leaves rank no 33 in foods high in vitamin C.

32. Agathi leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

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Agathi leaves has 70.46 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Agathi leaves comprise 121 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Agathi leaves is 1.717. Therefore, Agathi leaves lines number 32 in vitamin C rich foods.

31. Lime, sweet, (Fruits)

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Sweet Lime, has 27.23 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Lime, sweet, contains 46.96 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C (mcg) to the energy (kCal) ratio of Lime sweet, is 1.725. Hence, sweet lime grades number 31 in vitamin C foods.

30. Papaya, ripe (Fruits)

Papaya, ripe has 23.88 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Papaya, ripe holds 43.09 mg of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Papaya, ripe is 1.804 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Papaya, ripe, positions at 30 in foods high in vitamin C.

29. Parsley (Green leafy vegetables)

Parsley has 72.84 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Parsley comprises 133 milligrams of vitamin C. 1.826 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Parsley. So, Parsley ranks no 29 in vitamin C rich foods.

28. Mango, green, raw (Other vegetables)

Mango, green, raw has 48.96 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Mango, green, raw contain 90.24 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Mango, green, raw is 1.843. Thus, Mango, green, raw, lines number 28 in vitamin C foods.

27. Cabbage, violet (Green leafy vegetables)

Cabbage, violet has 23.17 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Cabbage, violet holds 43.49 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Cabbage, violet is 1.877. Therefore, Cabbage, violet, grades number 27 in foods high in vitamin C.

26. Mustard leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

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Mustard leaves have 30.33 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Mustard leaves comprise 60.32 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C (mcg) to the energy (kCal) ratio of Mustard leaves is 1.989. Hence, Mustard leaves, positions at 26 in vitamin C rich foods.

25. Brussels sprouts (Green leafy vegetables)

Brussels sprouts have 44.18 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Brussels sprouts contain 89.45 milligrams of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Brussels sprouts is 2.024 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Brussels sprouts rank no 25 in vitamin C foods.

24. Ponnaganni (Green leafy vegetables)

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Ponnaganni has 50.87 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Ponnaganni holds 103 mg of vitamin C. 2.025 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Ponnaganni. So, Ponnaganni lines number 24 in foods high in vitamin C.

23. Strawberry (Fruits)

Strawberry has 24.60 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Strawberry comprises 50.2 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Strawberry is 2.041. Thus, Strawberry grades number 23 in vitamin C rich foods.

22. Cauliflower (Other vegetables)

Cauliflower has 22.93 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Cauliflower contains 47.14 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Cauliflower is 2.056. Therefore, Cauliflower positions at 22 in vitamin C foods.

21. Chillies green (Condiments and spices)

Chillies green has 42.27 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Chilies green holds 94.07 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C (mcg) to the energy (kCal) ratio of Chillies green is 2.225. Hence, Chillies green ranks no 21 in foods high in vitamin C.

20. Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, elongated (Other vegetables)

Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, elongated has 20.78 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, elongated comprises 46.53 mg of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, elongated is 2.239 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, elongated, line number 20 in vitamin C rich foods.

19. Drumstick (Other vegetables)

Drumstick has 29.38 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Drumstick contains 71.86 milligrams of vitamin C. 2.446 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Drumstick. So, Drumstick grades number 19 in vitamin C foods.

100 grams by weight. Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, elongated comprises 46.53 mg of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, elongated is 2.239 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, elongated, line number 20 in vitamin C rich foods.

18. Radish leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

Radish leaves have 26.03 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Radish leaves hold 65.76 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Radish leaves is 2.526. Thus, Radish leaves, position at 18 in foods high in vitamin C.

17. Amaranth leaves, red (Green leafy vegetables)

Amaranth leaves, red has 33.44 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Amaranth leaves, red comprises 86.2 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Amaranth leaves, red is 2.578. Therefore, Amaranth leaves, red, ranked no 17 in vitamin C rich foods.

16. Bitter gourd, jagged, teeth ridges, short (Other vegetables)

Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate has 19.35 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate contain 54.3 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate is 2.807. Thus, Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate, ranks no 13 in vitamin C foods.

15. Amaranth leaves, green (Green leafy vegetables)

Amaranth leaves, green has 30.57 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Amaranth leaves, green holds 83.54 milligrams of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Amaranth leaves, green is 2.733 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Amaranth leaves, green, grades number 15 in foods high in vitamin C.

14. Rumex leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

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Rumex leaves have 19.58 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Rumex leaves comprise 53.76 mg of vitamin C. 2.745 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Rumex leaves. So, Rumex leaves, positions at 14 in vitamin C rich foods.

13. Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate (Other vegetables)

Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate has 19.35 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate contain 54.3 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate is 2.807. Thus, Bitter gourd, jagged, smooth ridges, elongate, ranks no 13 in vitamin C foods.

12. Basella leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

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Basella leaves have 19.58 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Basella leaves hold 63.35 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Basella leaves is 3.235. Therefore, Basella leaves lines number 12 in foods high in vitamin C.

11. Amaranth spined leaves, red and green mix (Green leafy vegetables)

Amaranth spined leaves, red and green mix has 23.64 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Amaranth spined leaves, red and green mix comprises 77.3 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C (mcg) to the energy (kCal) ratio of Amaranth spined leaves, red and green mix is 3.269. Hence, Amaranth spined leaves, red and green mix, grades number 11 in vitamin C rich foods.

10. Currants, black (Fruits)

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Currants, black has 54.22 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Currants, black contain 182 mg of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Currants, black is 3.357 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Currants, black, positions at 10 in vitamin C foods.

9. Pak choi leaves (Green leafy vegetables)

Pak choi leaves have 16.00 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Pak choi leaves hold 55.6 milligrams of vitamin C. 3.475 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Pak choi leaves. So, Pak choi leaves rank no 9 in foods high in vitamin C.

8. Karonda fruit (Fruits)

Karonda fruit has 33.68 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Karonda fruit comprises 135 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Karonda fruit is 4.009. Thus, Karonda fruit lines number 8 in vitamin C rich foods.

7. Kno khol (Other vegetables)

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Kno khol has 16.00 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Kno khol contains 64.7 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Kno khol is 4.043. Therefore, Kno khol, grades number 7 in vitamin C foods.

6. Guava, pink flesh (Fruits)

Guava, pink flesh has 46.57 Kcal energy every 100 grams. Guava, pink flesh holds 222 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C (mcg) to the energy (kCal) ratio of Guava, pink flesh is 4.767. Hence, Guava, pink flesh, positions at 6 in foods high in vitamin C.

5. Capsicum, red (Other vegetables)

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Capsicum, red has 19.82 kilocalories of energy per 100 grams. Capsicum, red comprises 112 milligrams of vitamin C. The Ratio of vitamin C to the energy of Capsicum, red is 5.650 microgram/kcal. Accordingly, Capsicum, red, ranks no 5 in vitamin C rich foods.

4. Guava, white flesh (Fruits)

Guava, white flesh has 32.24 Kcal energy every 100 grams by weight. Guava, white flesh contains 214 mg of vitamin C. 6.637 mcg is the vitamin C you get per calorie from Guava, white flesh. So, Guava, white flesh, lines number 4 in vitamin C foods.

3. Capsicum, yellow (Other vegetables)

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Capsicum, yellow has 18.63 kilocalories of energy every 100 gm weight. Capsicum, yellow holds 127 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C you get for every calorie of energy consumed, in microgram from Capsicum, yellow is 6.817. Thus, Capsicum, yellow, grades number 3 in foods high in vitamin C.

2. Capsicum, green (Other vegetables)

Capsicum, green has 16.24 Kcal energy per 100 grams by weight. Capsicum, green comprises 123 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C to the energy ratio in mcg/kCal of Capsicum, green is 7.574. Therefore, Capsicum, green, position at 2 in vitamin C rich foods.

1. Gooseberry (Fruits)

Gooseberry has 23.64 kilocalories of energy per 100 gm weight. Gooseberry contains 252 milligrams of vitamin C. The vitamin C (mcg) to the energy (kCal) ratio of Gooseberry is 10.658. Hence, Gooseberry ranks no 1 in vitamin C foods.

Frequently asked questions on Vitamin C foods

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Nutritionist & Dietician
Hello everyone, I am Nutritionist Smriti Indarapu, a Post Graduate Diploma holder in Nutrition and Dietetics, practicing nutrition for the last 10 years. The journey started when we were having our family... Read full bio
www.vegdietplans.com

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