Article written

  • on 07.09.2012
  • at 01:36 PM
  • by Jessy Troy

7 Surprising Sources of Vitamin C


Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that almost animals make – except humans.  Although we require vitamin C to live, we are one of the few species in the animal kingdom that do not produce it on our own.  That means that we must get all of our vitamin C from outside sources.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways for us to get our fix.  When we think of vitamin C we typically think of citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits, but there is a wealth of other sources that hardly get any attention – until now.  Here’s a look at some unexpected foods that are surprisingly high in vitamin C.

1: Chili Peppers

Green chili peppers contain on average a whopping 244 mg of vitamin C (by comparison, the average orange has about 50 mg).  Red peppers have around 140 mg, leaving many of us to wonder how the orange ended up being the poster child for vitamin C.

2: Parsley

You may want to reconsider leaving that parsley on your plate as a mere garnish; parsley weighs in with an impressive 130 mg of vitamin C.  As an added bonus, it’s also a great source of antioxidants and vitamin K.

bouquet Magni

Photo by Stromnessdundee

3: Garlic

The health benefits of garlic have been known for centuries, but we rarely think of this tasty little bulb as a source of vitamin C.  But numbers don’t lie, and garlic has a respectable 31 mg of vitamin C, not to mention a whole lot of flavor.


Photo by Glenn

4: Potatoes

The potato often gets a bad rap for being too high in starch, especially with the rising interest in low carb foods.  However, a medium sized potato with the skin can supply as much as 27 mg of vitamin C.

Colorful Heirloom Potatoes

Photo by Chiot’s Run

5: Oysters

Not all vitamin C comes from fruits and vegetables.  Seafood lovers will be pleased to know that oysters contain around 30 mg of vitamin C.

Oysters on Ice

Photo by Robert

6: Liver

When it comes to meat sources, liver contains the highest amount of vitamin C. Raw beef liver contains around 31 mg, with pork and chicken following suit (23mg and 13mg respectively).

Liver and Onions!

Photo by Jason Ternus

7: Brain

We’re not encouraging a zombie apocalypse, but brain (particularly lamb’s brain) does contain around 17 mg of vitamin C.  If you’re feeling brave, this is a good way to get your daily dose of vitamin C.

Unadulterated brains - Dukkah Crusted Lamb Brains - d'Arry's Verandah AUD17.50

Photo by Alpha

Aside from being an essential nutrient, vitamin C also provides us with plenty of other benefits as well.  It can improve collagen and elasticity in the skin, improve immune function and acts as an antihistamine.  Hopefully this information inspires you to think outside the juice box when it comes to vitamin C.

Kiyo is a culinary student and freelance writer based in Las Vegas who enjoys combining healthy options and flavor. She is always looking for new sources of food that are high in vitamin C, especially as fall and school approaches.

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