Easy Recipes to Make with Foods High in Vitamin C

Although always important, vitamin C has gained new popularity and mystique in the media recently. With health being prioritized throughout the world, many look to vitamin C for potential prevention and treatment of illness.

Vitamin C offers a long list of health benefits and there are surprising sources of it in the diet. Keep reading to discover unexpected foods high in vitamin C and easy recipes you can make to get your recommended daily intake.   

vitamin c rich foods
The best sources of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables.


Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is considered essential in the human diet since our bodies can’t make vitamin C on its own. (1) Some of the benefits of vitamin C include:

  • skin health (1,2)
  • antioxidant support (1)
  • iron absorption (3)
  • immune function (4)
strawberries vitamin c
Vitamin C provides iron absorption as well as skin, antioxidant, and immune support.


Vitamin C Recommended Intake

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C for adults is:

  • 90mg for men
  • 75mg for women (85mg if pregnant, 120mg if lactating)
  • 35 mg/day more vitamin C for smokers

The vitamin C RDA for kids is:

  • 15mg for 1-3 year olds
  • 25mg for 4-8 year olds
  • 45mg for 9-13 year olds
  • 75mg for 14-18 year olds 

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, fruits and vegetables are the best source of vitamin C- not supplements. (1)

Although vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, meaning any excess should be excreted out, there is some evidence that excessive vitamin C can be toxic.(1) The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends meeting nutritional needs primarily through foods both to maximize absorption of the vitamin, as well as to minimize the risk for toxicity.(1)


Do strawberries have vitamin C?

You betcha! A serving of 8 large strawberries are packed with a full day’s worth of vitamin C.

Research is ongoing to examine the effects of strawberries’ vitamin C working in synergy with their fiber, nitrates, and other antioxidants to positively impact type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s dementia risk factors.

vitamin c rich foods
Strawberries have 100% of your recommended daily value of vitamin C.

Other Foods High in Vitamin C

The best way to get the right amount of vitamin C is to enjoy vitamin C-rich foods every day. Here’s what you can eat to get enough vitamin C:

  • 8 large strawberries
  • 2 small-medium oranges (or 1 large navel orange)
  • 3 cups of kale
  • 2 kiwifruit
  • 1 guava
  • 1 medium green or red pepper (hot or sweet)
  • 1 cup of raw broccoli
  • 1 cup of Brussels sprouts


Recipes with Vitamin C-Rich Foods

May is National Strawberry Month and California strawberries are in peak season from April to August. Strawberries’ natural sweetness make it enjoyable to eat your vitamin C daily.

If plain fruits and veggies are getting boring, here are three easy recipes to help you get a full day’s worth of vitamin C:

Use strawberries in place of tomatoes for this caprese-inspired summer flatbread! This is a fun recipe that the entire family can help create using a pre-made pizza dough.

Sometimes you just need something quick and easy to give you that much-needed energy boost. This Simple California Strawberry Smoothie contains  ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

The vitamin C comes from both the strawberries and jalapenos in this sweet and spicy salsa. Since it’s a no-cook recipe, Strawberry Jalapeno Salsa can be made quickly and enjoyed as a snack or on top of your favorite fish or nachos.


1: Office of Dietary Supplements. (2020). Vitamin C: Fact sheet for health professionals. National Institutes of Health.

2: Linus Pauling Institute. (2020). Skin health. Oregon State University.

3: Ems, T,, St Lucia, K., & Huecker M.R. (2020). Biochemistry, iron absorption. National Institutes of Health. Treasure Island: StatPearls Publishing.

4: Jacob, R.A. & Sotoudeh, G. (2002). Vitamin C function and status in chronic disease. Nutrition in Clinical Care, 5(2): 66-74.