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Health benefits of Vitamin C-rich food items (fruits and vegetables)

Dr. Rashmi ByakodiSept 15, 2023

Vitamin C helps your body create elements vital for the proper functioning of the heart, brain, and nerves. It also boosts immunity and prevents cell damage. However, Vitamin C is not produced naturally by the human body, so it has to be obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables. This article highlights the top 5 fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C, their function, and health benefits.

Vitamin C Rich Foods



Top 5 fruits rich in Vitamin C

Fruits are nutrient-rich, delicious, and juicy. Besides, most of them are a good source of Vitamin C. Here are some fruits rich in Vitamin C, along with their benefits.

1. Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit is loaded with nutrients, and 100 grams of this fruit contain 92.7 mg of Vitamin C, which is 155% of the daily value (DV). Other nutritional contents of this fruit include calcium, potassium, vitamins E and K, phosphorus, magnesium, and folate. Kiwifruit also contains phytonutrients, antioxidants, and enzymes.

This nutrient-rich fruit provides the following metabolic benefits.

  • Lowering cholesterol levels

  • Acting as immunity boosting agent

  • Reducing oxidative stress

Additionally, it elevates blood cell activities and decreases triglycerides and platelet stickiness to help prevent the risk of stroke or heart attack.

2. Oranges

When you mention Vitamin C-containing foods, people often think of oranges. One hundred grams of this tasty fruit contain 53.2 milligrams (mg) of Vitamin C, which is 89% of your daily value (DV). The oranges are also a good source of folate, flavonoids, carotenoids, and potassium, all of which may protect against heart disease and cancer. The same nutrients may even ease gout symptoms.

3. Papaya

The papaya is a sweet tropical fruit, containing 61.8 mg of Vitamin C per serving. This is 103% of the daily value! It is loaded with potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It's also rich in B-complex vitamins and folate. Eat papaya for the following benefits.

  • Better digestion

  • Good memory

  • Strong bones

And it also helps reduce risk factors for heart disease, protect against free radicals and lower cholesterol levels.

4. Guava

The guava fruit is another tropical, incredibly sweet, and fleshy fruit that contains 228 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams, which contributes to 381% of the DV. The guava also contains high amounts of lycopene antioxidant, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, folate, vitamin A and dietary fibre. Studies show that guava fruit without peel effectively reduces blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the body. It helps improve HDLs levels as well.

5. Lemons

Lemons are the most affordable source of Vitamin C, with one lemon containing 46 milligrams of the vitamin. That's 77% of your daily value. Lemons also contain flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have several benefits, as mentioned below.

  • Aids in reducing inflammation

  • Helps fight cancer and parasites

  • Eases cough and sore throat

Top 5 vegetables rich in Vitamin C

Just like fruits, some vegetables also contain Vitamin C. Let’s find out which vegetables are a great source of this nutrient and can be included in your diet to boost immunity.

1. Broccoli

A cruciferous super green vegetable, broccoli tops the list for being rich in Vitamin C. 100-gram broccoli gives out 89.2 mg of Vitamin C, which is about 149% of the daily value.

It also contains high amounts of vitamin K, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, glucosinolates, flavonoids, and dietary fibre. Broccoli is known for possessing anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

2. Brussels sprouts

One of the most delicious cruciferous vegetables is the Brussels sprout. It accounts for 85 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams which is about 94% of the DV.

These little green cabbages are not only loaded with Vitamin C, but they also pack a lot of other nutrients, including vitamins K and E, folate, dietary fibre, and B-complex vitamins. Adding Brussels sprouts to your diet may help protect against some types of cancer, such as breast, bladder, kidney, and prostate cancer. It may also help reduce cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

3. Chilli bell peppers

100 grams of green bell pepper provide 242 mg of Vitamin C, and red bell peppers provide 144 mg of Vitamin C. They are also rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron. 

Flavonoids, carotenoids, tocopherols, phenols, and pectic polysaccharides make up a large part of bell peppers' composition. Studies show these elements exhibit antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-diabetic properties.

4. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a seasonal vegetable that provides 48.2 mgs of Vitamin C per 100 grams, which is about 54 per cent of the Daily Value (DV). This nutrient helps with following body functions.

  • Prevent cellular damage

  • Lowers cholesterol

  • Promotes iron absorption

Cauliflower also contains Vitamin K, which helps blood clotting; B-complex vitamins, which are important for brain development and metabolism; dietary fibre, which aids digestion; and small amounts of iron, calcium, and potassium. 

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are very nutritious plant food. Every 100 grams of tomatoes contain 13.7 mg of Vitamin C, which is around 15% of the daily value. Additionally, tomatoes are an excellent source of bioactive compounds and nutrients that aid in preventing cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.

Tomatoes contain natural antioxidants like lycopene, beta-carotenoids, vitamin E, and bioactive phenolic compounds that help improve many chronic diseases. Lycopene in tomato and other phenolic compounds has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-cancerous, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, and cardio-protective effects. 

What is the role of Vitamin C in your body?

Vitamin C has comprehensive health benefits. Some of the significant benefits of consuming Vitamin C are mentioned below.

  • It helps boost immunity

  • It aids in maintaining the blood pressure level

  • Facilitates collagen synthesis for healthy skin, bones, and joints

  • Counters digestive tract issues

  • Improves iron absorption

  • Plays a vital role in brain functioning

  • Reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataract

  • Protects the body from cell damage caused by free radicals

  • It helps prevent several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis

  • Helps alleviate psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety 

Vitamin C deficiency

The deficiency of Vitamin C in your body can interrupt normal bodily functions and lead to various ailments, as listed below.

  • Bleeding gums

  • Delayed healing of the wound

  • Poor immunity

  • Weak bones and joints

  • Dry and rough skin

  • Iron deficiency anaemia 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions and answers related to food items rich in Vitamin C


Which fruits are rich in Vitamin C?

All citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, pomelo, and grapefruits are rich in Vitamin C. Moreover, kakadu plums, guava, papaya, and kiwis are also excellent sources of Vitamin C.

Do bananas contain Vitamin C?

Yes, bananas are a good source of Vitamin C. One medium-sized banana provides 33% of the daily value of Vitamin C.

How much Vitamin C is needed for a healthy adult?

The daily recommended limit of Vitamin C is 75 mg/day for women and 90 mg/day for men.


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions. 


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