Here are 6 non-citrus sources of vitamin C that are just as high (or even higher) in vitamin C as citrus fruits.
What is the first thing you think of when it comes to vitamin C? Chances are it’s a citrus fruit or your immune system. While citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C, they aren’t the only foods that are full of this powerful antioxidant. There are many other fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C to incorporate into your meals! These six non-citrus sources of vitamin C are full of color and are easy to add into meals you’re already making. Plus, they have many different health benefits!
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, otherwise known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in a number of foods. It is an essential nutrient, meaning the human body doesn’t produce enough on its own, and requires adequate amounts through the diet.
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
You may think of fighting off colds and boosting immunity when it comes to vitamin C, but this nutrient is important for a number of other functions in the body as well. This includes collagen production, protein metabolism, and wound healing. Vitamin C can also assist with the absorption of non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is the form of iron found in plant-based foods such as spinach, lentils, and chickpeas.
Daily Recommended Vitamin C
The daily recommended vitamin C amounts vary based on gender, pregnancy, and lactation. Here is a simple chart to compare to the values for the foods below. How are you doing with your intake of non-citrus sources of vitamin C, citrus foods, and other foods to reach these needs?
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C (Ages 19+)
Table Adapted from: National Institutes of Health Vitamin C Fact Sheet
6 Non Citrus Sources of Vitamin C
*Percent Daily Value (%DV) is based on 90mg.
- Bell Peppers (½ cup of yellow bell peppers = 153% DV of Vitamin C)
- Kiwi (1 medium kiwi = 71% DV of Vitamin C)
- Broccoli (½ cup cooked = 57% DV of Vitamin C)
- Strawberries (½ cup sliced= 54% DV of Vitamin C)
- Brussels Sprouts (½ cup cooked = 53% DV of Vitamin C)
- Potatoes (1 medium baked potato = 40% DV of Vitamin C)
Keep reading for more nutrition insight about each one!
If you want a powerful source of vitamin C, bell peppers will deliver. While all colors of bell peppers contain similar nutrition quantities, they do differ in the amount of vitamin C they provide. A yellow bell pepper contains the most vitamin C, followed by a red bell pepper, and then a green bell pepper. However, whatever color you choose, you are getting an excellent source of vitamin C, as well as adding a pop of color and crunch to meals and dishes.
Try adding bell peppers to a stir-fry, cut into strips and serve with hummus, or fill with seasoned rice and beans for a vitamin C-packed dish.
Vitamin C in Bell Peppers:
- ½ cup yellow bell peppers = 138 mg = 153% DV
- ½ cup red bell peppers = 95 mg = 106% DV
- ½ cup green bell peppers = 60 mg = 67% DV
Did you know that bell peppers can help combat colds? Here are 6 other foods that can too.
A subtropical fruit related to both the fig and pomegranate, the kiwi is another fruit chock full of vitamin C. Kiwis are higher in vitamin C per ounce than most other fruits, and 1 medium kiwi contains roughly the same amount of vitamin C as an orange.
Known for their fuzzy exterior, kiwis are best enjoyed when peeled prior to eating. Slice them up for a sweet snack or dessert, or blend into your morning smoothie for a boost vitamin C and natural sweetness.
Vitamin C in Kiwi:
- 1 medium kiwi = 64 mg = 71% DV
Kiwis can help ease constipation too, along with these 7 other foods.
You probably know that broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrition, and vitamin C is not excluded. A single cup serving of cooked broccoli provides well over your daily needs for vitamin C, and is also a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B-6.
Broccoli can be enjoyed both raw or cooked, such as roasted, steamed, or dipped in hummus. Try broccoli in a whole new way with this Red Kuri Squash and Quinoa Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing.
Vitamin C in Broccoli:
- ½ cup cooked = 51 mg = 57% DV
Whether sliced, chopped, or eaten whole, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. They exceed the daily value in a 1 cup serving. In fact, most berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are also excellent sources of vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber and antioxidants.
Add more strawberries and other berries to your diet by tossing them in your morning oatmeal or cereal, mixing them in a salad, or enjoying a handful for a quick snack.
Vitamin C in Strawberries:
- ½ cup sliced strawberries = 49 mg = 54% DV
Boost your mental performance with berries and these 6 other foods.
A relative of cabbage, cauliflower, and kale, Brussels sprouts deliver an impressive amount of nutrition in a small package. You can get well over your daily needs for vitamin C in 1 cup of cooked brussels sprouts, as well as vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate.
Most often, Brussels sprouts are enjoyed roasted, sautéed, or baked. But they can also be enjoyed raw, such as shredding into a salad.
Vitamin C in Brussels Sprouts:
- ½ cup cooked brussels sprouts = 48 mg = 53% DV
Up your intake of Brussels sprouts in the form of these Pomegranate Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios.
The humble and versatile potato isn’t the first food most people think of when it comes to vitamin C. However, it shouldn’t be undermined for delivering nutrition. A medium potato is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a good source of potassium, fiber, and magnesium.
Potatoes can be used in a number of ways – roasted, mashed, baked, or pan-fried.
Vitamin C in Potatoes:
- 1 medium baked potato = 36 mg = 40% DV
Harness the power of purple potatoes with this Purple Power Bowl with California Prunes and Spiced Vinaigrette Dressing.
Other Non Citrus Sources of Vitamin C – Fruits and Vegetables
Looking to incorporate more vitamin-C packed fruits and vegetables into your snacks and meals? Here are a couple of other foods that are either excellent or good sources of vitamin C. Grab any of these next time you head to the grocery store. Don’t forget that herbs and spices like thyme and parsley pack a punch!
- Acerola cherries
- Green peas
Which of these non citrus sources of vitamin C is your favorite?