Your Go-To Vitamin C Guide: Benefits, Side Effects, Foods Rich In Vit-C, and More!

Have you been looking for the best vitamin C foods? Whether you’re following a plant-based diet and struggling to reach your daily recommended vitamin C and need a little help, or you’re just worried about meeting or avoiding vitamin C benefits and side effects, we’re here to help! As such, today, we’ll be considering how much vitamin C you should be having per day, the role of vitamin C in the body, and give some suggestions for great vitamin C foods that will help you live a healthy and happy lifestyle.


Why is Vitamin C important in the body? There are several functions of Vitamin C within the body. Indeed, the role of vitamin C can help with aspects such as maintenance of bones, teeth, and cartilage; immune system function and would repair; ensuring good energy levels, and overall keeping your body working effectively.

How much vitamin C should you be having per day? This will depend on several factors. But, as standard, the NHS recommends that adults between the ages of 19 and 64 years of age need around 40mg of vitamin C per day. However, Healthline suggests a higher dose per person of 90mg of Vitamin C.

This might not sound like overly high doses of Vitamin C, but it’s well worth remembering the old tales of sailors with scurvy. Indeed, without fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, it’s easy to suffer side effects from a lack of vitamin C. Similarly, consuming too much vitamin C may also result in side effects, which is well worth considering.


What are the key vitamin C benefits and side effects? There are several reasons why you might want to increase your consumption of vitamin C, but the benefits are primarily because they help you live a healthy lifestyle. Indeed, a lack of vitamin C in the diet can lead to ill thrift, susception to disease, and more. It’s often also believed that Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant compound. As such, this is well worth considering to help you make the right choices for your diet.

But what about vitamin C side effects if you’ve consumed too much? There are several potential vitamin C side effects if you consume too much, such as stomach pains, diarrhea, and rather ripe flatulence! Fortunately, this is generally only seen with extreme vitamin C overdoses of around 1000mg per day or more, usually the result of taking vitamin C supplements. Indeed, in most cases, you should get most of, if not all, of your vitamin C from your normal diet.


At this point, we’ve outlined the importance of meeting your daily recommended vitamin C allowance and the potential side effects if you consume too much. However, how can you find the best vitamin C-rich foods to carefully balance your diet? If you’ve been wondering which foods you should include, some of the following options may be good considerations.

Acerola Cherries

Acerola cherries are among the highest sources of vitamin C; in fact, it only takes a very small number of cherries to meet your entire daily requirement of vitamin C. To give a little context to just how vitamin C-rich these delicious fruits are, half a cup (that’s not overly much!) provides around 9X your daily recommended vitamin C requirement.

Of course, you should avoid eating that many – but a couple of cherries a day will set you in good stead to meet your Vitamin C requirements. Plus, it’s also believed that Acerola cherries may offer cancer-fighting properties as well.

Not sure where to find Acerola cherries? Before spending hours searching through local shops for this admittedly niche fruit, why not try the Fish app? Fish helps you connect with local businesses to place orders or check stock levels quickly. As such, it can save you loads of time and hassle!

Chili Peppers

Did you know that chili peppers can actually offer a good dose of vitamin C? In fact, just one chili pepper can offer most of your daily required Vitamin C value. They’re often also delicious options, and the capsaicin content may help reduce inflammation and pain too.

Yellow Peppers

They’re a lot milder than chili peppers, for those who can’t handle the hot taste, but yellow peppers still provide excellent Vitamin C content. They are also believed to be good for promoting eye health and reducing the progression of cataracts too. So, this may be worth considering.


If you’re looking for a great and versatile source of Vitamin C, guava fruit is an excellent option. A single guava fruit offers more than your daily minimum for Vitamin C, making it an excellent fruit to help enjoy the benefits of vitamin C. It’s great blended into a smoothie, too!

Paleo Strawberry Guava Smoothie (Vegan)

Other Notable Vitamin C High Foods

The above four options are some of the highest sources of natural vitamin C, and it’s clear that meeting the daily recommend Vitamin C without supplements doesn’t need to be hard. However, they’re not the only vitamin C-rich foods. Some other great options include:

  • Orange
  • Blackcurrants
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Kiwi fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Lemon
  • Lychee
  • Persimmons
  • Papaya
  • Turmeric
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet potato
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Strawberries
fresh lemons and limes arranged on table with plate and water glass
Photo by Enric Cruz López on

A Word of Warning

We should point out here that the levels of vitamin C in even high foods will vary with the age of the food. Indeed, to get the most vitamin C from your diet, you want to be sure that the food is kept fresh, as older or poorly stored foods will often lose some of their nutritional content and may make them lower in Vitamin C than they might be naturally. Furthermore, Medical News Today warns that cooking foods may also reduce their vitamin C content, in some cases. As such, ideally, to increase your Vitamin C consumption, you should try to include raw fruits and veggies in salads and fruit salads within your diet.

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