Vitamin C might be the nutrient that fruits are most well-known for.
If you look at the top sources of vitamin C, fruits only come second to vegetables.
Eating just 1-2 servings of fruit per day can get you close to the RDA for vitamin C.
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How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?
You only need a very small amount of vitamin C on a regular basis.
The RDA for vitamin C is:
- 90 mg for adult men
- 75 mg for adult women
Because vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that your body can’t store, it’s important to consume it on a regular basis.
There’s very little risk of consuming too much vitamin C, as any excess is easily flushed as long as a person is healthy.
Fruits High in Vitamin C
Now that you have some context, let’s look at the amount of vitamin C in several fruits.
I gathered the data from the USDA’s nutrition database per 100 gram serving, and the RDA column is based on 90 mg (the higher value).
|Food||Vitamin C (mg)||Vitamin C (% RDA)|
As you can see, not all fruits are high in vitamin C, although many are.
Most surprising to most is that apples are quite low in vitamin C, even though they are a food that most people think are very high in the nutrient. Grapes, peaches, and cherries are other common fruits that are relatively low in vitamin C.
Which Fruits Are Highest in Vitamin C?
There are 4 fruits that contain more than 50% of the RDA for an adult male in a single 100 gram serving:
Is Getting Extra Vitamin C Good For You?
In a healthy person, any vitamin C that the body doesn’t have a use for is flushed out through waste products (i.e. urine).
So while it’s important to get enough vitamin C, there’s no significant benefit to getting extra in most cases.
However, vitamin C can improve non-heme iron absorption, which can be important for vegans and vegetarians. Having extra vitamin C alongside iron-rich foods could be beneficial for some.
There are some concerns over long term high dose vitamin C causing adverse health effects.
This is an area still being researched, but for reference, the tolerable upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 mg per day for adults. So unless you’re eating an incredible amount of fruit and vegetables, along with supplementing vitamin C, it’s not something that the vast majority of people need to worry about.