photo of vitamin C
1 / 12

Vitamin C

Sometimes called ascorbic acid, it supports your immune system and helps your body use the iron you get from food. Your body also uses it to make collagen, a springy type of connective tissue that makes up parts of your body and helps heal wounds. And it’s an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage. Men need 90 milligrams per day, and women need 75 milligrams. A medium orange has about 70 milligrams, but many other foods are good sources, too.

Swipe to advance
photo of red pepper
2 / 12

Red Pepper

They have loads of vitamin C, up to 95 milligrams per 1/2 cup. They’re also a good source of vitamins A, B, E, and K, as well as potassium, folate, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Slice one into strips to scoop up a dip, or dice it into a salad or an omelet.

Swipe to advance
photo of kiwi
3 / 12


These fuzzy fruits pack a punch, with around 70 milligrams of vitamin C per medium kiwi -- ounce for ounce, more than oranges. They have fiber as well as flavonoids and carotenoids, which are antioxidants that help protect your cells. Most people peel them first, but the skin has good nutrients and fiber. You can try rubbing off the fuzz and eating them with the skin on. Just be sure to wash them first.

Swipe to advance
photo of strawberries
4 / 12


A cup of these bite-sized treats has about 85 milligrams of vitamin C. They’re also low in calories and high in fiber and a variety of antioxidants. Look for plump berries with bright red color, fresh green caps, and no sign of mold. Wash them in cold water and keep the cap on so the juice stays inside.

Swipe to advance
photo of woman cooking broccoli
5 / 12


A 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli has about 50 milligrams of vitamin C. It also has loads of fiber and plenty of other antioxidants that, among other things, seem to keep inflammation down. The best way to cook it? Steam broccoli for 5 minutes or less. It may help the veggie keep more of the vitamin C inside compared to other methods like boiling. Look for brightly colored stalks and a dark greenish head that feels firm to a light squeeze.

Swipe to advance
photo of cantaloupe
6 / 12


This melon has a big variety of nutrients -- carotenoids, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, copper, flavonoids -- in addition to its 30 milligrams of vitamin C per 1/2 cup. Double that to a cup and you’ll get twice the vitamin C in about 50 calories.

Swipe to advance
photo of tomato sandwich
7 / 12


You’ll get around 20 milligrams of vitamin C out of a medium tomato -- if you eat it raw. Vitamin C levels go down when you cook tomatoes. But an antioxidant called lycopene goes up. So to get all the benefits, you might try fresh tomatoes on your sandwich at lunch and cooked tomato sauce on your pasta for dinner.

Swipe to advance
photo of baked potato
8 / 12


A medium baked potato has about 20 milligrams of vitamin C. And they’re good for you in other ways. They’re an excellent source of potassium and fiber. Instead of frying them in oil, try them oven-roasted in olive oil. On a baked potato, swap the butter for healthier toppings, like fresh salsa and low-fat cheese.

Swipe to advance
photo of cauliflower
9 / 12


A cup of florets has about 40 milligrams of vitamin C. It’s also a decent source of vitamin K, folate, and fiber. You can eat it raw, steam it, or roast it with a bit of olive oil. Dress up the flavor with fresh herbs, like thyme, which has about 4 milligrams of vitamin C in a tablespoon.

Swipe to advance
photo of papaya
10 / 12


A cup has all the vitamin C you need for the day, around 90 milligrams. It’s also rich in carotenes, flavonoids, B vitamins, folate, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. This combination of nutrients is good for your heart and might even help protect against colon cancer. Scoop out the seeds, sprinkle a bit of kosher salt, and squeeze some fresh lime on top.

Swipe to advance
photo of brussels sprouts
11 / 12

Brussels Sprouts

They’ve got 50 milligrams of vitamin C per 1/2 cup cooked, along with plenty of vitamin K, fiber, and other nutrients. Roast them with bacon and onions or just a bit of olive oil for a tasty, satisfying side dish.

Swipe to advance
photo of grapefruit juice
12 / 12

Grapefruit Juice

A 6-ounce glass should give you 70 to 95 milligrams of vitamin C, about what you need for the day. If you can’t stand the sour taste, the same amount of orange juice should do just as well. 

Swipe to advance

Up Next

Next Slideshow Title

Sources | Medically Reviewed on 10/08/2020 Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on October 08, 2020


1) Getty

2) Getty

3) Getty

4) Getty

5) Getty

6) Getty

7) Getty

8) Getty

9) Getty

10) Getty

11) Getty

12) Getty

13) Getty

14) Getty

15) Getty



Advances in Nutrition: “White Potatoes, Human Health, and Dietary Guidance.”

Mediators of Inflammation: “Enhancing the Health-Promoting Effects of Tomato Fruit for Biofortified Food.”

National Foundation for Cancer Research: “Tasty Tomatoes: Anti-Cancer Attributes & A Healthy Recipe.”

NIH Office Of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin C.”

Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute: “Vitamin C.”

USDA: “Picking a Winner - Tips and Insight to Selecting Seasonal Produce.”

USDA Agricultural Research Service

World’s Healthiest Foods: “Potatoes,” “Papaya,” “Thyme,” “Cantaloupe,” “Broccoli,” “Strawberries,” “Kiwifruit,” “Bell peppers,” “Cauliflower.”

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on October 08, 2020

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.