Fruits With High Vitamin C Content

For most of recorded world history, sailors on oceangoing vessels had to contend with the very real risk of scurvy, a potentially deadly disease that is one of the consequences of a lack of vitamin C. It wasn’t until 1753, however, that a Scottish surgeon named James Lind discovered a solution; he found that adding citrus fruit to a person’s diet could reliably prevent the disease. In the centuries since then, vitamin C has become recognized as an essential nutrient that does far more than just prevent scurvy and can be found in foods other than citrus fruits.

What Is Vitamin C? 

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important part in a number of bodily functions. Vitamin C is considered an essential nutrient, which means that it is required for the body’s normal physiological function. Most other animals can synthesize the correct amount of vitamin C that they need, but humans need to acquire it from nutritious food sources. Fortunately there are a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that can be an excellent source of vitamin C.

In the years since the health benefits of vitamin C were first truly understood, various government agencies have continued to revise daily value recommendations. Currently, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 90 mg of vitamin C per day for adult men and 75 mg per day for adult women (and 120 mg per day during pregnancy). And while vitamin C supplements can help meet daily intake requirements and avoid a vitamin C deficiency, it is generally considered better to get it from food on a regular basis.

Health Benefits of Vitamin C  

Apart from preventing scurvy, vitamin C is a key compound in keeping the body healthy and functional. While it’s possible to get too much vitamin C (more than 2000mg per day), it’s far more likely for a person to get too little; this can lead to symptoms like fatigue, anemia, and a general increase in aches and pains. But even aside from mitigating a potential deficiency, vitamin C has numerous other functions and health benefits:

  • Immune function: Vitamin C is perhaps best known for its role in supporting the immune system. One of the ways it supports immune function is by stimulating the production of white blood cells; white blood cells are important because they are the primary way the body defends itself against foreign pathogens. There is also evidence that sufficient vitamin C intake can reduce the duration of respiratory infections.
  • Antioxidant: As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect cells from free radicals, harmful particles that can cause damage to cells and can potentially lead to disease. By neutralizing these free radicals, vitamin C may help reduce the risk of inflammation and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Heart health: In addition to possibly reducing the risk of heart disease, vitamin C may have benefits for blood vessels and the circulatory system overall. This is partly due to the way that it can increase vasodilation, which in turn reduces blood pressure.
  • Collagen synthesis: Vitamin C is also essential for the synthesis of collagen, a protein that makes up the structural framework of skin, bones, cartilage, and other connective tissues. Adequate intake of vitamin C promotes healthy skin, wound healing, and overall tissue repair.
  • Iron absorption: People who are at risk of iron deficiency anemia can also benefit from vitamin C because of how it enhances the absorption of iron from plant-based foods.

Fruits and Veggies High in Vitamin C

The fact that vitamin C is water soluble means that it can’t be stored by the body, and that means it must be obtained through vitamin C-rich foods. Fortunately these foods are plentiful around the world since almost all fruits and vegetables have at least some. However, there are some that are known for being a good source:

  • Guava: With over 200% of the recommended daily value, guava is one of the richest sources of vitamin C. Guava is also high in folate, one of the B vitamins.
  • Kiwifruit: In addition to vitamin K, kiwifruit is also high in vitamin C; in fact, one serving of kiwifruit has over 100% of the needed daily value.
  • Oranges: Breakfast tables all across America routinely include orange juice or the actual fruit in large part because of their vitamin C content.
  • Strawberries: The strawberry is one of the most popular fruits because of its delicious flavor, but it also happens to have high vitamin C content.
  • Papaya: Papaya is another tropical fruit that is high in vitamin C, providing around 88% of the recommended daily value.
  • Pineapple: While pineapple doesn’t have quite as much vitamin C as some other fruits, it has a wide variety of phytochemicals with antioxidant properties.
  • Mango: Mangoes are not only sweet and flavorful but also contain an impressive amount of vitamin C.
  • Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe melons are one of the most nutritious types of melon, with high levels of both vitamin C and vitamin A.
  • Lemon: Even though they don’t have as much as oranges, lemons are still a good source of vitamin C.
  • Grapefruit: Grapefruit is another citrus fruit rich in vitamin C with about a third of the recommended daily amount.
  • Bell peppers: Both red bell peppers and green bell peppers are notably in vitamin C with over 150% of the daily value.
  • Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts are a type of cruciferous vegetable that is high in vitamin C.

Premium Ingredients from FruitSmart

Vitamin C is just one of the many nutrients that our bodies need, but there are fortunately many ways to get the recommended amount other than just eating raw pieces of fruit. At FruitSmart, we specialize in high quality juices, concentrates, and purees that can be tasty and nutritious ingredients in a wide range of commercial applications. If you’d like to learn more about any of our products, or if you want to find out about the benefits of partnering with FruitSmart, please contact our team today.

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