Some traditional food sources of vitamin C include:
1 large: 82 mg (over 100% DV)
- Red peppers
½ cup chopped, raw: 95 mg (over 100% DV)
1 cup: 80 mg (134% DV)
- Brussels sprouts
½ cup cooked: 48 mg (80% DV)
½ cup cooked: 51 mg (107% DV)
½ cup: 42 mg (70% DV)
½ cup: 43 mg (71% DV)
1 fruit: 125 mg (over 100% DV)
1 piece: 64 mg (33% DV)
- Green peppers
½ c chopped, raw: 60 mg (100% DV)
You can see from the above list that many fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C. However, there are some new kids on the block that contain far higher levels of vitamin C than citrus fruits and peppers.
Camu Camu – the best food source of vitamin C?
According to a review published in the journal Food Research International, the vitamin C content of camu-camu fruits has been shown to range from about 1,882mg to about 2,280mg per 100g of fresh fruit.
It’s hard to verify these claims – but most brands selling camu camu powder do have a value given on the back of the pack for vitamin C. (Bear in mind that over time the vitamin C degrades and so the longer the powder sits on your shelf the less vitamin C is likely contains).
You can buy organic Camu Camu powder which you can add to juice or smoothies. Sevenhills brand says it contains 12,000mg of vitamin C per 100g and 600mg per 5g serving.
Acerola – which has long been considered the champion of vitamin C containing foods – contains around 1,678mg per 100g of fresh fruit. You can see, however, that acerola perhaps does not contain as much vitamin C as camu camu (1882-2280mg/100g fresh fruit).
The advantage of acerola cherry over camu camu is that it tastes better. Camu camu has a bitter taste.
Organic Acerola Cherry Powder from Time Health contains 18,000mg of vitamin C per 100g and 1000mg of vitamin C per rounded teaspoon. This was the highest strength I could find among similar brands and is actually higher than any camu camu brand I could find.
Time Health also sell a product that is even higher in vitamin C called Acerola Cherry extract powder and is made from concentrated acerola cherry extract powder. On the packaging this claims it contains 27,090mg per 100g! They do say that this product is more bitter than the above product, and that the lower concentration product is milder in taste.
Sevenhills Wholefoods Organic Raw Acerola Powder contains 10,000mg per 100g and 500mg per 5g serving.
If you want to take a vitamin C supplement, I would recommend taking a food-based supplement so that you get the bioflavonoids and other compounds that help the body to absorb the vitamin C.
There are lots of other wholefood vitamin C supplements available, but none come anywhere close to the levels of vitamin C from either camu camu or acerola cherry powders.
My product of choice for price, taste and (claimed) vitamin C levels is Organic Acerola Cherry Powder from Time Health.