Top Sources of Vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of Vitamin C. Juices also have a lot of Vitamin C, but they may not be as healthy as they also carry a lot of empty calories.
Professionally Reviewed by Charles Li, MD

Key Points

Vitamin C Sources

1. Your Body needs Vitamin C

Your body needs to get all the Vitamin C it needs from food. Your body cannot create it's own Vitamin C, and therefore needs to source it from your diet.

2. It comes from fruits and veggies

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. Some types have a lot more vitamin C than others.

3. it may just save your life

Nutrition is one of the most important factors in determining life expectancy, cancer risk, even dementia risk. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet today might just save your life one day.

Key Data

Top Sources of Vitamin C

Fresh vs. Cooked vegetables

Did you know that freshness matters when it comes to Vitamin C? Vitamin C can be degraded by high-temperatures in cooking. Processed foods can also have less Vitamin C than their fresh counterparts.

Vitamin C Food Types Chart

Fruits, vegetables and juices are some of the best sources of Vitamin C. Your body needs vitamin C from your diet. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is the best way to get it. Juices also have a lot of Vitamin C, but they may not be as healthy as they also carry a lot of empty calories.

Key Facts

Vitamin C
Key Facts
Key Functions
Vitamin C
Key Facts
Key Facts
  • Type
    Essential, Water soluble
  • Other Names
    ascorbic acid
  • Daily Allowance
    Women: 75mg, Men:90mg
Key Sources




Vitamin C
Key Functions

Your body needs Vitamin C to create collagen, a critical component of joints and connective tissue.

Wound Healing

Vitamin C helps your body heal wounds


Vitamin C helps your body fight off infection

Chart 2

Vitamin C Fruit Comparison

Did you know?

Did you know that oranges are a great, but not the greatest, source of vitamin C? The 5 fruits below all have more vitamin C per cup than oranges. Generally, colorful fruits contain a lot of Vitamin C.

Best Fruits for Vitamin C

We ranked common fruits with the most Vitamin C. Guava has the most vitamin C per chopped cup out of the common fruits we analyzed. Kiwis and lemons took second and third place. Lemons were a close 4th place for vitamin C. Oranges and grapefruits did not make the top 5 list.

Vitamin C

Daily Requirements
Daily Adult Recommended Vitamin C

The chart above compares the amount of Vitamin C needed by adult men and women. Men need 90 milligrams of Vitamin C each day. Women need 75 mg of Vitamin C. We compare this amount to the amount of Vitamin C found in common fruits. An orange has nearly all the Vitamin C an adult needs in a day. This information was sourced from the Office of Dietary Supplements within the NIH.

Chart 3

Vitamin C & Vegetables Comparison

Bell Peppers

When it comes to Vitamin C, red bell peppers beat other vegetables by a landslide. Both red and green bell peppers are a great healthy addition to your next stir fry, salad, or wrap.

Top Vegetables Vitamin C

The chart above shows a list of common vegetables sorted by their Vitamin C content per cup, chopped. All data is sourced from USDA databases.

Chart 4

5 Surprising Sources of Vitamin C

Rules for Vitamin c

The rule of thumb here is fruits and vegetables with a lot of colors. However, like any good rule, it's a rule meant to be broken, as shown by the 5 surprising sources of Vitamin C below.

Vitamin C: unexpectedly great sources

Chili peppers have a surprisingly high amount of Vitamin C. While we typically think of colorful fruits and vegetables for vitamin C, other foods such as potatoes and squash can also contain significant amounts of Vitamin C.

Chili peppers?

You're probably not going to eat a whole cup of chili peppers for obvious reasons. But, if you were to, you would be getting a whole lot of vitamin c.


Vitamin C & Immunity

Vitamin C & The cold

Vitamin C has been shown to help reduce the length of your cold. In some cases, it can even help keep you from catching one in the first place.


Vitamin C Supplements

Supplements vs Fresh Food

Many of the benefits of Vitamin C foods don’t necessarily apply to Vitamin C supplements. While Vitamin C supplements can give you a lot of Vitamin C at once in a pill, clinical trials have not shown these pills to be helpful. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why.

Antioxidants & Heart Disease Trial

A clinical trial looking at antioxidants and heart disease found that antioxidant vitamin supplements did not reduce the risk of heart disease over 9.4 years. For vitamin C, the relative risk was 1.02; 95% CI, 0.92-1.13. For vitamin E, the relative risk was 0.94; 95% CI, 0.85-1.04. For beta-carotene, the relative risk was 1.02; 95% CI, 0.92-1.13.