A large variety of foods rich in vitamin C are available. These include a large number of fruits and vegetables, some herbs, and a few animal sources. Some fruits rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruit, raspberries, cantaloupe, and pineapple. Vegetables include cabbage, spinach, mustard greens, peppers, and cauliflower. Some herbs, such as garlic and oregano, are also good sources of vitamin C.
People typically think of citrus fruits as containing high levels of vitamin C. Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit are all foods rich in vitamin C, but many other fruits also contain high amounts of this vitamin. Cranberries, papaya, clementine, nectarines and tomatoes are also vitamin C rich fruits. Rose hips are one of the richest sources of vitamin C. Vegetables that are rich in vitamin C include Brussels sprouts, kale, and peas.
There are many unexpected sources of vitamin C. Some unexpected fruits include black and red currants, persimmons, and plums. Vegetables that many may not expect to have high vitamin C content include potatoes, sweet potatoes, and gourds. Other slightly surprising sources of vitamin C include raw oysters, boiled lamb brain, roasted lamb heart, fried cod roe, stewed lamb tongue, and fried chicken livers. Fresh goat, camel, and cow milk also contain vitamin C.
With such a large selection of foods rich in vitamin C available, daily requirements of vitamin C are generally met through a healthy diet that includes an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables. Individuals who may have difficulty meeting daily requirements through diet can obtain vitamin C requirements in supplemental form. Some risks, however, are involved with receiving too much vitamin C in the form of a supplement.
Adverse effects associated with an overdose of vitamin C in supplemental form include headache, nausea, insomnia, and diarrhea. Studies indicate, however, that it is extremely rare to consume too much vitamin C through the consumption of foods. It is therefore generally preferred to receive recommended daily amounts through a diet high in vitamin C.
Foods rich in vitamin C can easily lose a large part of their nutritional value if not prepared properly. Fruits and vegetables should be consumed raw and as fresh as possible in order to receive the highest amounts of vitamin C from them. Vitamin C is water soluble. Freezing, boiling, and canning foods rich in vitamin C content can cause them to lose a large portion of their dietary value.