Of course, the famed citrus fruits -- oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes -- are excellent sources of vitamin C. Other often overlooked excellent sources of vitamin C are strawberries, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, and sweet peppers. Potatoes also supply vitamin C in significant amounts since they are widely consumed by Americans on a regular basis. Though cooking destroys some of the vitamin, you can minimize the amount lost if the temperature is not too high and you don't cook them any longer than necessary.
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Vitamin C rich foods like oranges, sweet peppers,
grapefruits, lemons and limes are great sources
of vitamin C. Raw fruits and vegetables are
your best sources, so if cooking, keep the
heat low. See more pictures of fruit.
Rose hips from the rose plant-used to prepare rose-hip tea-are rich in vitamin C. Fruit juices, fruit juice drinks, and drink mixes may be fortified with vitamin C at fairly high levels.
Here is a chart you can use to find foods rich in vitamin C:
|Food||Quantity ||Vitamin C (mg) |
|Cantaloupes||1/2 medium ||194.7 |
|Honeydew melon||1/2 medium ||160 |
|Peppers, Red ||raw 1 pod ||142.5|
|Strawberries ||frozen or fresh 1 cup ||84.5 |
|Orange juice ||fresh or canned 1 cup ||48.4 |
|Mandarin orange sections ||1 cup ||50.3 |
|Mangoes ||1 medium ||57.3 |
|Kiwifruit ||1 medium ||74.5 |
More than with any other vitamin except folate, vitamin C is easy to destroy. The amount in foods falls off rapidly during transport, processing, storage, and preparation. Bruising or cutting a fruit or vegetable destroys some of the vitamin, as does light, air, and heat. Still, if you cover and refrigerate orange juice, it will retain much of its vitamin C value, even after several days. For maximum vitamin C value, it's best to use fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
For more information on Vitamin C, check out the links below:
- Learn about the healing power of vitamin C by reading Benefits of Vitamin C.
- If you're worried you're not getting enough Vitamin C in your diet, visit Vitamin C Deficiency.
- To find out more about Vitamin C in general, check out What Is Vitamin C?
- If you're not fond of fruits and vegetables, but still want to make sure you're getting enough Vitamin C, read Vitamin C Supplements.
- To learn about the many vitamins in our diet, how much you should be eating, and where to find them, go to our general Vitamins page.
- To find the best prices on vitamin C supplements, click here.
Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.