Vitamin C Fruits and Vegetables Highest in Vitamin C
Vitamin C | Your Body Does NOT Make It’s Own!
Vitamin C is THE most Popular Vitamin Supplement.
There are good reasons for that (health benefits!)
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Your body is not able to make vitamin C on its own. It doesn’t store vitamin C. Therefore it’s very important to include vitamin C-containing foods in your diet, vitamin C fruits and vegetables. And/or get it by way of a vitamin supplement.
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.
Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, so it is an essential dietary component.
Vitamin C is safe.
It is not expensive.
It’s a powerful vitamin.
Vitamin C | Health Benefits
Acute vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy. The timeline for the development of scurvy varies, but signs can appear within 1 month of little or no vitamin C intake (below 10 mg/day). Ultimately, scurvy is fatal.
Forms an Important Protein
The vitamin forms an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
Vitamin C helps to heal wounds and forms scar tissue.
Bones and Teeth
Repairs and maintains cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals. The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process. Free radicals may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and conditions like arthritis.
May Limit Formation of Carcinogens
Vitamin C can limit the formation of carcinogens, and, through its antioxidant function, possibly attenuate oxidative damage that can lead to cancer.
AMD and cataracts are two of the leading causes of vision loss in older individuals. Oxidative stress might contribute to the etiology of both conditions. Thus, researchers have hypothesized that vitamin C and other antioxidants play a role in the development and/or treatment of these diseases.
Brain function. Your brain has ~100 billion neurons which communicate with each other through ‘neurotransmitters’. Vitamin C is essential in their production. Neurotransmitters impact your ability to focus, concentrate, and remember.
Mood. Vitamin C specifically increases the neurotransmitter serotonin (the “happy molecule”) and therefore may be considered nature’s own natural antidepressant.
Flush toxic heavy metals (Mercury, Aluminum) from the brain. Vitamin C acts as a powerful detoxifier that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier to remove these metals from the brain.
Vitamin C Fruits
Fruits with highest vitamin C
Obviously the order changes depending on the size of serving that you choose to eat. But here’s the list…
Guava (377 mg | 1 cup)
Orange (98 mg | 1 large)
Papaya (95 mg | 1 small)
Pineapple (79 mg | 1 cup)
Kiwifruit (64 mg | 1 medium)
Mango (60 mg | 1 cup)
Strawberries (49 mg | 1/2-cup)
Grapefruit (39 mg | 1/2-medium)
Raspberries (32 mg | 1-cup raw)
Cantaloupe (29 mg | 1/2-cup)
Blueberries (14 mg | 1-cup raw)
From a preparedness standpoint, it’s a no-brainer to stock up on Vitamin C.
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Vegetables High In Vitamin C
Sweet Red Pepper (95 mg | 1/2-cup raw)
Sweet Green Pepper (60 mg | 1/2-cup raw)
Broccoli (51 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Brussels Sprouts (48 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Cabbage (28 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Cauliflower (26 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Potato (17 mg | 1 medium baked)
Tomato (17 mg | 1 medium)
Spinach (9 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Does Cooking Affect Vitamin C?
Yes, to an extent. Cooking fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C may reduce the amount. The National Institutes of Health recommends steaming or microwaving to lose the least amount. Though the best way to maximize it’s benefit is to eat raw.
Vitamin C Supplements
The USDA recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg for men.
However these numbers are widely considered extremely low for substantial health benefits.
Why is the RDA number so low? Because the RDA amount is just enough to prevent diseases like scurvy, but not the amount that many consider for optimal health.
Many experts recommend 1000 mg – 2000 mg per day. Note that taking more than 2000 mg may cause digestive upset for some people.
Sources of information for this article include:
National Institutes of Health
Alzheimers Research & Prevention Foundation
Continue reading: Top 100 High ORAC Value Antioxidant Foods
Sumac, for those out foraging, hunting, hiking etc. is currently ripe and high in vitamin c as well. Sucking the berries is the best and will help with dry mouth. Teas made with cold water is also good. I use the cheese cloth from deer bags while hunting to do so.
Really, I was ALWAYS told that sumac was toxic. I’ve never researched it, might have to.
There are 2 kinds. The poisonous one has white berries and gives off a reaction like poison ivy/oak.
The red berries are the good stuff.
It’s like any other plant in that you need to be sure. A little research from reliable sources and it’s a very easy plant to ID.
We’ve got a ton of the “red berry” kind around here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the white berry kind. My father and everyone I grew up around, always insisted; DO NOT EAT those red berries. I guess I need to check into it further. I’ve told my son and my grandson the same thing. Maybe, it’s been bad info all along?
we have some of the red berry kind here.. been intending to gather and plant some intentionally. supposed to taste like pink lemonade.. DH likes that.
Thanks for your input. You have FAR more knowledge about these things, than I can hope to learn. You are a tremendous asset. The sumac (pronounced shew-mack around here) grows everywhere. In pastures and hayfields. I hate it really, when hunting. Very stiff branches on a tough little mini-tree. Never gets big, maybe 5′ tall.
Make sure you also check that sumac when you hunt because deer will often use it on a scrap line where trees aren’t as abundant. You can tell how tall the buck is and look for depth of the tracks for weight.
The plant prefers open sun when possible but it does grow in wooded areas where it can get enough sun and the trees don’t kill it with poison falling sap.
– Just Sayin’,
Since I have had the stuff in question, I can say it does taste like pink lemonade. I have heard of a young man who collected up quite a bit of the stuff and put it in a (clean) automatic washing machine, ran it through a cycle and caught the stuff from the wash cycle after straining it through a bit of nylon stocking over the discharge drainpipe.(no soap, obviously). I had always intended to try this, but alas, it doesn’t seem to grow in this part of West Texas. It is quite good though.
– Papa S.
Interesting that guavas are higher in VC than anything else,,,
Going to look at those guava bushes on our farm a lot differently!
Grow New Zealand Spinach. In South Florida I get my crop in winter. It is just starting to sprout in my garden now and self-seeds annually. for Areas Zone 10 and further south. The British royal navy used this leafy veg to ward of scurvy when sailing around New Zealand and Australia.
We have it growing wild here on our place and now on neighbors place, quite funny actually because the dudes a total dick and doesnt know what land management or soil conservation mean,,,
But yep, it grows well, is actually quite tasty steamed and with butter and salt/pepper on it,
LOVE New Zealand Spinach! I save the seeds and re-grow.
Rose hips can be dried and used for a tea that is high in C. I wouln’t Store it for more than a year.
We have a lime and an Orange tree in large pots that we pull inside on frosty days. These along with veggies from the garden are some of our sources. I believe that rhubarb has a pretty high C content too, sure wish it grew here in N/C Florida.
Beets are a super source of antioxidants. Just canned my August-October crop and planted an October-December crop today along with yellow onions .
As they say in Mexico, Vit C ? ….Si’-si’ !
Pine needles brewed like tea, NOT boiled (turpentine result) is an excellent source of Vit C here in the north. Happily cabbage grows well here as well as Beets (4mg serving) and Apples 85 mg serving). Sauerkraut and Kimchee has plenty of Vit C due to cabbage.
Scurvy not a nice disease. Teeth falling out, weakened immune system and lack of healing in general.
Pine needles makes sense, we use them to mulch our Blueberries to make the soil acidic around them, which they need to grow.
Sorry messed up Apples 8.5 mg Vit C per medium apple.
Dandelions, blackberries come to ind a foragable foods as well as the sumac mentioned by Matt. Unfortunately none around me but lots of dandelions and blackberries.
Come to mind as. (got to proof read more) Any other suggestions for wild sources?
currants, gooseberries, Jostaberry, wild strawberries, fiddlehead fern, purslane, blueberries, huckleberries, wild rhubarb
Just a few to look over.
Thanks, didn’t know about the fiddleheads and they are abundant in our little clearing in the Redwoods. My nickname for the property is Fern Grotto.
Where are lemons on your list? Meyer lemons fall between papayas and strawberries. I grow Meyer lemons outside in summer (in pots) and indoors in the winter. I harvest the lemons and dehydrate the peel in strips (great in a a cup of tea) and freeze the juice as I harvest. Use it all the time incoming, beverages, and salad dressings, etc. Love them! Add them to your list….
Ah! Hate spell-check…. “use it all the time in beverages, salad dressings, etc…..”
Yikes, I rarely eat any tolerate none of the veggies, no fermented anything..and do not care for citrus., tomatoes., very limited. blueberry, huckleberry limited…. have some sumac avail. Potatoes + Purslane, we are going to plant come spring. guess i better find some… to add to something…Fruit Fresh is ascorbic acid…, so the fruits canned with ascorbic acid and lemon juice have some.
Re : pine needle tea.. any specific pine? are some not poison? we have a of of what is called lob lolly pine here. Are they safe?
Just Sayin’ a lot of information or should I say Infomercials for supplements out there about pine needle “toxicity”. Most seem related to animals eating it in bulk and bad results?
Most of what I’ve read from various sites about pine needle tea is stomach issues from the Turpentine from Boiling the needles instead of brewing them in Hot Water like well… Tea?
In all wild crafting for food and medicine positive identification of the plants used is critical. Sumac berries has been mentioned for vit. C but there is a poison look alike….
I looked up Lob lolly pine and aside from miscarriages possibility (a common theme in pine needle tea comments, again I suspect Turpentine is NOT good for unborn)) it was regarded as safe by Foraging Texas. A CUP of Pine Needle Tea is 50 mg Vit C and a good amount of Vit A.
One could also simply go to Wal-Mart and buy several YEARS worth of Vit C. Most bottles I look at the good by date is several years out. I personally have plenty as part of my personal stock BUT I like to have options for emergencies like say a lot of extra people needing Vit C?
I’ve had pine needle tea many times and like pine resin chewing gum is an acquired taste but pleasant.
Any plant with poison in the name like Hemlock and such I would tend to avoid.
me2, i am weird- stomach does not tolerate very well.little nightshades, tiny citrus, no brassica’s, not much sweet, sour, spicy or hot. need to see how much oregano has
Just Sayin’ when I first met my wife she had IBS so as an example that I had to peel her apples so she could eat them. Very weak stomach in general. I gradually increased her fiber and such until today she is almost normal, eating everything and much higher tolerance in general.
I said all that to say starting TODAY I suggest you try a little Lob Lolly Pine Needle Tea and gradually build up your ability to tolerate it given your reported stomach issues. Vit C deficiency (AKA Scurvy) is an evil nasty situation even today with supplements available.
As a Medical Historical Note when Britain taxed the Tea in the colonies it not only made it harder for poor folks to drink tea, the city water supplies were so bad with cess pool leakage that BOILING the Water for tea was a HEALTH Issue. The average person had NO Clue about germ theory just that drinking tea was a “Good Thing”.
Cholera and Dysentery two medieval Human Fecal bred diseases common in the era of the American and French Revolution and NOW in Social-Democratic Cities like San Fran and LA. SUCH Progress my Grandmother might say (heavy on sarcasm there).
Does anyone know to what extent Vit C is retained in dehydrated or freeze-dried food?
Freeze dry would have very near all a food starts with. dehydrated not quite as much- unless also was dipped in lemon juice like one would do to retard discoloration.