Food Sources of Vitamin C

Posted: Feb 25, 2014

Information about Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

 
  • Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It is not stored in large amounts in the body. Any extra amount is lost through the urine. You need to include vitamin C rich foods in your diet every day.
  • Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of bones, teeth, skin and other tissues.
  • Vitamin C has many other roles in the body and can also:
    • Increase your body's absorption of iron from plant-based foods.
    • Help to prevent cell damage and may reduce your risk for certain cancers and other chronic diseases.
    • Protect you from infections by keeping your immune system healthy.
  • Taking high does of vitamin C has not been proven to prevent colds. It may cause digestive problems.
 

How much Vitamin C Should I Aim For?

 
Most people can get enough vitamin C by eating a healthy diet. The following chart shows you how much vitamin C you need.
If you smoke you need an extra 35 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C per day.
 
Age in Years Aim for an intake of mg/day* Stay below *
mg/day
Males 19 and
older
90 2000
Females 19 and
older
75 2000
Pregnancy women 19 and older 85 2000
Breastfeeding women 19 and older 120 2000
*This amount includes sources of vitamin C from food and supplements

 

Vitamin C Content of Some Common Foods

 
Vegetables and fruits are the best sources of vitamin C. This table will help you choose foods that are high in vitamin C.
 
Food Serving size Vitamin C  (mg)
Vegetables and Fruit
Vegetables
Peppers (red, yellow) raw 125 mL (½ cup) 101-144
Peppers (red, green),  cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 121-132
Peppers, green, raw 125 mL (½ cup) 63
Broccoli, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 54
Cabbage, red, raw 250 mL (1 cup) 54
Brussels sprouts, cooked 125 mL (4 sprouts) 38-52
Kohlrabi, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 47
Broccoli, raw 125 mL (½ cup) 42
Snow peas, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 41
Cabbage, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 30
Cauliflower, raw or cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 26-29
Kale, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 28
Rapini, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 24
Potato, with skin, cooked 1 medium 17-24
Bok Choy, cooked 125 mL (1/2 cup) 23
Sweet potato, with skin, cooked 1 medium 22
Asparagus, frozen, cooked 6 spears 22
Balsam pear/bitter melon 125 mL (½ cup) 22
Turnip greens, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 21
Snow peas, raw 125 mL (½ cup) 20
Collards, cooked 125 mL (½ cup) 18
Tomato, raw 1 medium 16
Tomato sauce, canned 125 mL (½ cup) 15
Fruit
Guava 1 fruit 206
Papaya ½ fruit 94
Kiwifruit 1 large 84
Orange 1 medium 59-83
Lychee 10 fruits 69
Strawberries 125 mL (½ cup) 52
Pineapple 125 mL (½ cup) 39-49
Grapefruit, pink or red ½ fruit 38-47
Clementine 1 fruit 36
Cantaloupe 125 mL (½ cup) 31
Mango ½ fruit 29
Avocado, Florida ½ fruit 26
Soursop 125 mL (½ cup) 25
Tangerine or mandarin 1 medium 22
Persimmon 125 mL (½ cup) 17
Berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries) 125 mL (½ cup) 14-17
Juice
Juice (orange, grapefruit, apple, pineapple, grape) , Vitamin C added 125 mL (½ cup) 23-66
Fruit and vegetable cocktail 125 mL (½ cup) 35-40
Guava nectar 125 mL (½ cup) 26
Grain Products This food group contains very little of this nutrient.
Milk and Alternatives This food group contains very little of this nutrient.
Meats and Alternatives This food group contains very little of this nutrient.
Source: "Canadian Nutrient File 2010"
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/index-eng.php
[Accessed April 3, 2012].