• EBM

Top sources of vitamin C

What does it do?

Vitamin C can't be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day, it is an important anti-oxidant (1), improves iron absorption (2) and is involved in the metabolism (production) of protein (3,4). On top of that, it is needed for collagen creation which is vital for wound healing and connective tissue as well as maintaining immune function (5). So there’s no excuse not to get a daily dose of this crucial vitamin and the best sources to munch - fruits and veggies.



How much do I need?

Adults aged 19 to 64 need 40mg of vitamin C a day and you can easily get all the vitamin C you need from your daily diet. Steaming and microwaving tend to limit the amount lost in the cooking process (6)


If not enough is eaten then scurvy can develop after intaking less than 10mg a day within a month (7,8,9).



Where do I get it?

Top sources of vitamin C - Mg per 100g of food (10)


Fruit

  • Acerola, (west-indian cherry), raw 1,678

  • Guavas, common, raw 228

  • Blackcurrants raw 180

  • Kiwifruit, ZESPRI SunGold, raw 161

Veggies

  • Peppers, hot chilli, green, raw 242

  • Peppers, sweet, yellow, raw 184

  • Peppers, sweet, green, sauteed 177

  • Peppers, sweet, red, boiled 171

  • Mustard spinach, (tendergreen), raw 130

  • Kale, raw 93

  • Broccoli, raw 93

  • Cauliflower, raw 88

  • Brussels sprouts, raw 85

Spices

  • Coriander leaf, dried 567

  • Thyme, fresh 160

  • Parsley, fresh 133



Evidence

(1) Frei B, England L, Ames BN. Ascorbate is an outstanding antioxidant in human blood plasma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1989;86:6377-81.

(2) Gershoff SN. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): new roles, new requirements? Nutr Rev 1993;51:313-26.

(3) Li Y, Schellhorn HE. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. J Nutr 2007;137:2171-84.

(4) Carr AC, Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:1086-107.

(5) Jacob RA, Sotoudeh G. Vitamin C function and status in chronic disease. Nutr Clin Care 2002;5:66-74.

(6) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-c/

(7) Weinstein M, Babyn P, Zlotkin S. An orange a day keeps the doctor away: scurvy in the year 2000. Pediatrics 2001;108:E55. [PubMed abstract]

(8) Wang AH, Still C. Old world meets modern: a case report of scurvy. Nutr Clin Pract 2007;22:445-8. [PubMed abstract]

(9) Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoidsexternal link disclaimer. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2000.

(10)https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report/nutrientsfrm?max=25&offset=0&totCount=0&nutrient1=401&nutrient2=&subset=0&sort=c&measureby=g