The top 10 sources of vitamin C … and spoiler alert, oranges aren’t on the list!
Which foods contains the highest amounts of vitamin C? Number one is one you’ll have to search out in tropical regions, but the rest are available in Tasmania, and all except one, over winter. And a surprising fact – oranges don’t make the top 10! Read on to find out more.
Vitamin C is absolutely essential for human health. Vitamin C deficiency can depress our immune system. Without vitamin C we can develop diseases like scurvy, hyperthyroidism, anaemia, bleeding gums, and skin conditions. It protects our cells against oxidative stress and in turn can provide protection against diseases including cancer. It has also been shown to shorten the duration of colds. Guidelines suggest a recommended daily intake of 40mg per day of vitamin C, which you should be able to get from a normal healthy diet. Boost your chances by eating from this list of vitamin C’s Top 10.
1. Guava tops the list with a whopping 228mg per 100g of fruit. Guava isn’t a fruit we have in Tasmania but travel to tropical climes like northern Queensland and you can eat your fill.
2. A close second is blackcurrants with 200mg per 100g of fruit. Not a huge commercial crop here, although we do stock fresh blackcurrants in punnets for a few weeks in summer. Of course, everyone in Tassie grew up with Ultra-C blackcurrant cordial but its vitamin C content is unlikely to be as high as fresh blackcurrants and then there is all that added sugar...
3. 4 & 5. Next are capsicums, whose vitamin C content varies with colour – best are yellow capsicums with 183.5mg, then red capsicums with 126mg and green capsicums at 120mg.
6. Kiwi fruits are a vitamin C powerhouse with 93mg of vitamin C per 100g of fruit. Given they are available over winter and generally throughout the year, kiwis may be your best fruit source of vitamin C.
7. & 8 Broccoli with 79mg and its close relative, kale with 71mg, are excellent sources too.
9. & 10 The next best fruit sources are papaya with 60mg and strawberries with 57mg per 100g of fruit. A colourful and delicious vitamin C-charged breakfast fruit salad is papaya, strawberries, and kiwi fruit, with a squeeze of lime.
Oranges, much revered for their vitamin C content, actually come in at number 11 with 53mg per 100g fruit. Nevertheless, they’re still a great source and of course in plentiful supply over the Tasmanian winter.