Top 5 Food Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps the body maintain healthy tissues and a strong immune system, and it aids in the absorption of iron. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 90 mg and for adult women it's 75 mg. Here are the top 5 food sources of vitamin C, according to the USDA's Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


Guava is rich in vitamin C--one half-cup of the fruit contains 188 mg of vitamin C and 56 calories. Eat the fruit raw, or try this recipe for a Hawaiian smoothie.

Red Sweet Pepper
You probably instantly think citrus when you think of immune system-boosting vitamin C, but red sweet pepper offers a solid dose of the nutrient. One half-cup of raw red sweet pepper contains 142 mg of vitamin C and 20 calories. If you cook the veggie, a 1/2 cup offers 116 mg of vitamin C and 19 calories.

You can always chop up a red pepper into salads and for crudite, but for a different take on the brightly hued vegetable, try this recipe for Garlicky Spinach with Red Peppers and Golden Raisins.

Kiwi--the fruit, not the bird that's the national symbol of New Zealand--is rich in vitamin C. One medium kiwi contains 70 mg of the nutrient and 46 calories.

The fruit is typically eaten raw, but you could always attempt to make New Zealand's national dessert, the Pavlova, which is often topped with kiwi.

Who doesn't want an injection of acidic orange when in need of a vitamin C boost? You're justified. One medium orange contains 70 mg of vitamin C and 62 calories.

If you prefer it in liquid form, 3/4 cup of orange juice contains 61-93 mg of vitamin C and 79-84 calories.

Green Sweet Pepper
Green sweet peppers offer 60 mg of vitamin C per half-cup, with only 15 calories. When cooked, the vegetable provides 51 mg of vitamin C.

Use green peppers in this recipe for a Vegetable Grill with Balsamic-Red Wine Glaze.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.