Best Rich Vitamin C Foods: Vitamin C foods provide us with an important micronutrient because the body cannot produce it itself. But not only do lemons contain a lot of vitamin C – there is much more in some fruits and vegetables as well as herbs!
Foods that are rich in Vitamin C
These fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C:
Vegetables with a lot of vitamin C
Red peppers, raw
The riper the better: Compared to green or yellow peppers, red peppers provide the most vitamin C. There are a whopping 140 milligrams per 100 grams of raw vegetable.
Brussels sprouts, cooked
Brussels sprouts, like all types of cabbage, are a very good supplier of vitamin C: 100 grams contain a good 76 milligrams. By the way: Brussels sprouts contain 2.5 times more vitamin C than lemons!
Not quite as much vitamin C as Brussels sprouts, but kale still provides a lot of it: around 47 milligrams are contained in 100 grams. In addition, kale is rich in glucosinolates. Cancer-inhibiting properties are attributed to this special group of phytochemicals.
The vitamin C content of broccoli is just under 73 milligrams per 100 grams. In addition, vegetables also provide a lot of calcium, magnesium, and carotene, with few calories.
Cauliflower is not for everyone – but the vegetable scores with plenty of vitamin C: A total of 69 milligrams are contained in 100 grams. In addition, cauliflower is also a good supplier of various minerals and B vitamins.
In addition to vitamin C ( 9 milligrams per 100 grams ), fennel also provides vitamins K, A, E, folic acid, and beta-carotene as well as the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Vegetables also contain iron.
100 grams of potatoes contain almost 15 milligrams of vitamin C. In addition, the tubers provide high-quality iron, lots of potassium, and B vitamins!
Fruit with a lot of vitamin C
One of the front runners among the types of fruit with a lot of vitamin C: a whopping 1.7 grams provide 100 grams of the fruit. They are mainly available from us as juice and dried.
The fruits of the Camu Camu bush from the Amazon region contain around 2 grams of vitamin C per 100 grams. In this country, you can buy them mainly as powder or capsules.
With up to 3 grams of vitamin C per 100 grams, the Australian bush plum is the frontrunner among exotic vitamin C suppliers – that’s about 50 times more than an orange has.
Rose hips are native and provide 1.25 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams. As a tea or powder, rose hips are also used in naturopathy for various ailments.
Sea Buckthorn Juice
The juice from the bright orange sea buckthorn berries also contains a lot of vitamin C: around 266 milligrams per 100 grams. In addition, the fruits provide healthy tannins, beta-carotene, and various minerals.
Originally from Central America, the pear-shaped fruits now also grow in Mediterranean countries. They are impressive in terms of vitamin C content: 100 grams of it provide a total of 273 milligrams.
The local fruit is rich in vitamin C: 177 milligrams provide 100 grams of it. The small, dark berries also contain plenty of vitamin E.
100 grams of fruit pulp contains almost 80 milligrams of vitamin C. In addition, papaya provides protein-splitting enzymes such as papain. It is said to aid digestion and has a slightly laxative effect.
In addition to minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, and copper, the popular fruits also provide a lot of vitamin C. 100 grams of red berries contain 62 milligrams.
Lemon or lemon juice
Many swear by the health-promoting power of sun-yellow lemons. The classic among the vitamin C suppliers contains not only 53 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams but also potassium in significant quantities.
100 grams of the fruit provide almost 50 milligrams. It also contains important minerals such as potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
Kiwis provide similar amounts of vitamin C as lemons, namely about 46 milligrams per 100 grams. Be careful when preparing it: the actinidin enzyme breaks down milk protein and there is an unpleasantly bitter aftertaste if you eat kiwis together with dairy products.
The popular citrus fruit provides almost 44 milligrams per 100 grams. Caution: The bitter substance naringin that is also contained can weaken the effect of some medicines!
Although the banana brings up the rear with 11 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams, the healthy fitness booster also provides many valuable nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6.
Herbs with a lot of vitamin C
Who would have thought: Garden weeds not only provide vitamin C ( 333 milligrams per 100 grams ), but also protein, numerous minerals, and vitamins A and E.
The green leaves are rich in vitamin C: 100 grams provide 159 milligrams. Potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A and E are also found in abundance.
The green wild garlic leaves to be harvested in spring are not only a good alternative to garlic: They also provide plenty of vitamin C ( 150 milligrams per 100 grams ).
The sorrel is also impressive in terms of vitamin C content: the green leaves provide a total of 117 milligrams per 100 grams. The bitter substances it also contains have an appetizing and digestive effect.
For many a weed, but especially in spring, when the leaves are still tender and fresh, healthy addition to the salad: 100 grams of the green dandelion leaves provide almost 68 milligrams of vitamin C.
Vitamin C: Storing and processing Food correctly
Vitamin C is water soluble and sensitive to heat, oxygen, and light. If stored and processed improperly, up to 100% of the vitamin contained in food can be lost. Food with vitamin C should therefore only be stored briefly, cool and preferably in the dark and – if possible – eaten raw.
When preparing it, it is advisable to wash vegetables and fruit only briefly and let them cook with them in order to lose as little vitamin C as possible. Brief searing, stewing, or steaming is the most gentle.
The body needs Vitamin C for this
Vitamin C is important for many different processes in the human body. It is particularly well known for its antioxidant effects. This means that vitamin C can bind aggressive chemical compounds such as free radicals or reactive oxygen molecules. These substances, which are produced by normal metabolic processes and also by external influences such as UV radiation or nicotine, can damage or even irreparably destroy molecules, cells, and tissue in the body.
In addition, vitamin C improves the bioavailability of iron from plant foods and prevents the formation of carcinogenic, nitrogenous compounds (so-called nitrosamines). Vitamin C also plays a role in the formation of connective tissue (collagen) and the formation of bones and teeth.
“It’s often said that vitamin C is the ingredient for a strong immune system. Today, however, vitamin C is no longer seen as the one immune booster. An intelligent mix of different nutrients is best for a stable immune system.”
Vitamin C in mg/day
- up to 4 years: 20
- 13 to 15 years: 85
- 15 to 19 years, male: 105
- 15 to 19 years, female: 90
- from 19 years, male: 110
- from 19 years, female: 95
- Pregnant: 105
- Breastfeeding: 125
- Smokers: 155
How can I cover my needs?
There are many foods with vitamin C, so it’s usually relatively easy to get the need through diet, even for people who smoke. For example, one of the following food combinations provides more than 155 milligrams of vitamin C:
- half a red pepper (75 g) and a small glass of orange juice (125 ml)
- 200 grams of boiled potatoes, 150 grams of spinach (steamed), and an orange
- 150 grams Brussels sprouts (cooked), an apple, and two medium tomatoes
Why do smokers have an increased need?
According to reports smokers consume significantly more vitamin C per day than non-smokers. The reason for this lies mainly in the high metabolic losses and the lower concentration of vitamin C in the blood that smokers have compared to non-smokers.
Smoking causes you to absorb a large number of free radicals, which in turn puts such a strain on the antioxidant defense system that the turnover of vitamin C in the body increases by 40%.
What tips are there for an optimal supply of vitamin C?
As a rule, it is not difficult to optimally supply yourself with vitamin C. The following tips can help:
- Make sure you eat a varied diet with enough fresh fruit and vegetables, as the body cannot store vitamin C. The rule of thumb is: It is best to eat a portion of vegetables and fruit with every meal, i.e. a total of 5 portions a day.
- Vitamin C is water-soluble. Wash fresh food such as vegetables and fruit thoroughly, but only briefly.
- When preparing it, it is advisable to eat the food as fresh as possible or to steam it only briefly. This can also reduce the loss of vitamin C.
Is Too Much Vitamin C Harmful?
In general, the body excretes vitamin C that it does not need. Therefore, according to the DGE, an additional intake of up to 1 gram of vitamin C per day is harmless. From a quantity of 3-4 grams daily, temporary problems in the gastrointestinal tract can occur.
In particular, people whose kidneys are not working well and people who have a tendency to develop kidney or urinary stones or who cannot properly utilize iron from food should not consume more than 1 gram of vitamin C per day.
Do vitamin C supplements protect against colds?
The assumption that high doses of vitamin C (200 milligrams per day and more) can protect against colds is widespread. So far, however, there has been no clear scientific evidence for this connection.
There is therefore no general recommendation to take vitamin C supplements routinely (e.g. during the autumn cold season). Only in the case of heavy physical exertion or in a cold environment could the intake bring something. Research suggests that vitamin C supplements can reduce the risk of catching a cold in this case.