10 vegetables high in vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients. It is a powerful antioxidant that is needed in the body for a wide range of functions; these include wound healing, iron absorption, tissue repair, protecting heart health and scurvy prevention.

It is often thought that citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are the only potent sources of vitamin C. However, this is not the case; there are plenty of other foods that contain a lot of vitamin C. In fact, some of the vegetables mentioned in this article contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits do, when compared weight for weight.

Below are some of the best vegetable sources of vitamin C.

1. Chili peppers

65 mg (108% DV) vitamin C per 1 red chili pepper (45g)

A single chili pepper will provide you with all of your daily requirement of vitamin C. In fact, if you take a look at our article on vitamin C foods, you will see that chili peppers contain the most amount of vitamin C when compared to other foods weight for weight.

There are many types of chili pepper out there, with varying levels of spiciness. The Scoville scale gives you an indication of how hot a pepper is.

For example, bell peppers score 0 on the scale and are considered to be a neutral pepper, whereas cayenne peppers score 50,000 – much hotter! This is good news because it means whether you enjoy eating spicy food or not, there is a vitamin C rich pepper for you to enjoy.

2. Kale

80 mg (134% DV) vitamin C per cup of kale (67 g)

Kale is one of the most nutritious foods there is and has long been touted for the health benefits eating it brings. If you take a look at its nutritional profile, you will notice that it contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals. This includes vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, iron, manganese and of course, vitamin C. Kale is also a source of powerful antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol.

Kale does have a slightly bitter taste, but can be combined with other ingredients to make it more palatable. You can use it in lots of recipes, including salads, smoothies and soups.

3. Broccoli

81 mg (135% DV) vitamin C per cup of broccoli (91 g)

Broccoli is another food that comes to mind when people think about eating healthy. A one cup serving of this green cruciferous vegetable will fulfil your daily vitamin C requirements.

If you are trying to lose weight, broccoli is one of the best vegetables you can eat. Not only is it low in calories (having just 31 calories per cup!), it is also an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein, which help to satisfy appetite.

You can steam, stir fry, grill and bake broccoli, which means it can be used in all kinds of delicious recipes.

4. Brussels sprouts

75 mg (125% DV) vitamin C per cup of Brussels sprouts (88 g)

These crunchy, fiber-rich vegetables are usually in high demand during Christmas and Thanksgiving. But if people realised just how nutritious Brussels sprouts are, they would make them a more regular part of their diet. Like with kale and broccoli, they are a source of all kinds of nutrients.

Brussels sprouts are a versatile ingredient and if you search on Youtube, you will find no shortage of mouth-watering recipes. If you are looking for quick inspiration, give this video a watch.

5. Kohlrabi

84 mg (140% DV) vitamin C per cup of kohlrabi (135 g)

Kohlrabi is a vegetable that you may not have encountered before. It is also known as turnip cabbage, having a pale green outer skin and white inner flesh, as seen in the picture above. A cup of cooked kohlrabi contains close to 90 mg of vitamin C, which is a significant amount.

You should be able to purchase kohlrabi somewhere near you. If it is not available at the grocery store, ask around at your local farmers market.

6. Cauliflower

47 mg (77% DV) vitamin C per cup of cauliflower (100 g)

Like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, cauliflower is a member of the brassica family. Because it has such a simple appearance, people often assume that cauliflower has little nutritional value. This is not the case because it is a source of vitamins C & K, the B vitamins, potassium and magnesium.

Cauliflower has become increasingly popular over recent years, especially among the gluten-free community. One of the reasons for this is because you can use it instead of wheat to prepare healthy crusts for pizza.

7. Bok choy

44 mg (74% DV) vitamin C per cup of bok choy

Also known as pak choi or Chinese cabbage, this leafy green vegetable is very popular in Asian cuisine and is a common ingredient used in dishes in China and Southeast Asia. Luckily, bok choy is widely available, so you don’t have to travel to Asia to enjoy it!

Besides vitamin C, it is one of the best vegetable source of calcium, with one cup of cooked bok choy providing you with 16% of your daily requirement.

8. Watercress

15 mg (24% DV) vitamin C per cup of watercress (34 g)

The name ‘watercress’ is an excellent choice because this vegetable is made up of 95% water! And since water has no calories, watercress only has 4 calories per cup, making it the least energy dense food in our list of 140 healthiest foods.

Despite being made up of large amounts of water, watercress is still nutrient rich. A cup serving provides you with 106% of your daily requirement of vitamin K, 22% of vitamin A and 22% of vitamin C. You can easily grow watercress on your kitchen windowsill, so as to ensure you always have a fresh supply.

9. Cabbage

33 mg (54% DV) vitamin C per cup of cabbage (89 g)

Cabbage has a variety of culinary uses, and is a popular ingredient used when preparing soups and salads. Types of cabbage include Savoy and Napa.

Both the green and red varieties of cabbage are rich in vitamin C, with the latter having around one and a half times the vitamin C content of the former. Eating just 1 cup of chopped red cabbage will ensure that you get almost all of your daily vitamin C requirement.

10. Collard greens

13 mg (21% DV) vitamin C per cup of collard greens

Yet another leafy green vegetable, collard greens are highly nutritious. They have a similar nutritional profile to kale and are one of the best sources of vitamin K. They also contain a decent amount of vitamin C, providing you with around a fifth of your daily requirement per cup.


Other vegetables

Besides the vegetables mentioned above, there are others that have vitamin C in smaller quantities (shown in the table below, which compares the vitamin C content of 100 g of various vegetables). The average adult needs around 75 – 90 mg of vitamin C per day, so eating a variety of the vegetables shown in the table below will ensure you don’t suffer from deficiencies.

VegetableVitamin C
Chilli Peppers242.5
Brussels Sprouts85
Bell Peppers80.4
Mustard Greens70
Bok Choy45
Collard Greens35.3
Dandelion Greens35
Swiss chard30
Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)20.2
Green Beans12.2
Sweet Potato2.4
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