7 Foods With More Vitamin C Than Oranges (And With Less Sugar!) - Save Our Bones

When the first sniffles of the season arrive, you might turn to a tall glass of orange juice. After all, oranges are packed with flavonoids, minerals, fiber, and a multitude of Vitamins, including the powerful multi-tasking antioxidant, Vitamin C.

While refreshing and delicious, orange juice contains high levels of bone-depleting sugar – a whopping 21 grams, and one medium-sized orange contains 9 grams of sugar. Savers know that excessive sugar intake is unhealthy, since among other detriments, it causes bone loss and depresses the immune system.

Fortunately, oranges are not the only good source of this vital Foundation Supplement. Today we bring you seven foods that contain more Vitamin C than oranges. Further, each one is low in sugar, and some are cruciferous vegetables that help to cleanse the body.

More About The Nutritional Powerhouse: Vitamin C

Listed as a Foundation Supplement in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is crucial for strong immunity, bone health, and much more. Here are some of the essential functions it performs:

  • Fights oxidative stress
  • Is essential for collagen synthesis and integrity of connective tissue
  • Builds and maintains a healthy immune system
  • Is necessary for the synthesis of neurotransmitters
  • Stimulates the formation of osteoblasts
  • Promotes assimilation of calcium into bone
  • Suppresses bone-destroying osteoclasts

Does Vitamin C Prevent Colds and The Flu?

Studies showing whether Vitamin C prevents colds and the flu have had conflicting results so far.1,2 However, it decreases both their severity and the duration, with some studies pointing to a one-day reduction in symptoms.3

Vitamin C supports several immune-system functions including cytokine production by white blood cells, leukocyte protection from oxidative damage, T and B-lymphocyte proliferation, and the detoxification of histamine, just to name a few.

How Much Vitamin C Should I Take?

The Osteoporosis Reversal Program recommends a minimum intake of 500 mg of Vitamin C per day, preferably in the form of ascorbic acid. An ideal dose is 2,000 mg per day. Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, the body is capable of ridding itself of excess, as needed.

A good way to gage your reaction should you wish to increase your Vitamin C dosage is to consume it to “bowel tolerance”. This is a method of utilizing Vitamin C in increasing doses, stopping just short of the amount that would produce gas, bloating, or loose stools.4

A recent study published in 2017 analyzed the findings of two randomized control trials, each of which examined the effect of various doses of Vitamin C on the common cold. Both studies revealed a significant dose-response relationship between the common cold and duration of symptoms. In fact, those individuals who consumed 8 grams of Vitamin C per day had a 19% decrease in length of symptoms than those who had consumed 4 grams of Vitamin C.5

Breaking News On Vitamin C And Fracture Prevention

A major study published just this week adds to the already-existing body of knowledge that Vitamin C is essential for healthy bones.

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of six studies, consisting of 2,899 hip fracture patients and 7,908 healthy volunteers. The scientists found that for every 50 mg increase in Vitamin C intake, the risk of hip fracture decreased by 5 percent.6 The study concluded that increasing daily Vitamin C can significantly reduce the risk of hip fractures.

Foods With More Vitamin C Than Oranges And With Less Sugar

While oranges are a healthy fruit when consumed in moderation, as noted earlier, they are not considered a low sugar fruit. Excess sugar has been shown to suppress the immune system.7

Further, excess sugar in the diet reduces Vitamin C concentration in cells. Sugar and Vitamin C are in direct competition with each other, since insulin is the carrier that transports both across the cell wall. Too much sugar means that insulin is “too busy” to deliver Vitamin C into the cells, where it needs to be to do its job.

While oranges are a strong source of this important antioxidant, containing approximately 52 mg of Vitamin C, there are several foods that exceed the amount of Vitamin C in an orange, including vegetables, and they are listed here:


One large zucchini boasts a whopping 58 mg of Vitamin C. Further, this low-glycemic food will not spike your blood sugar, with only 2.9 grams per cup. Zucchini is also a good source of bone-essential nutrients such as manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, and iron. It’s best to consume them unpeeled, as it is the most nutrient-dense portion of the vegetable.

Red and Green Bell Peppers*

The highest amount of Vitamin C is concentrated in the red variety of bell peppers with one medium-sized red bell pepper containing approximately 152 mg of Vitamin C. You would need to eat three oranges to total the amount of Vitamin C that you consume in one red bell pepper! It’s trusty sibling, the green bell pepper, contains 96 mg of Vitamin C.

Further, a red bell pepper contains only 3.9 grams of sugar, whereas a green bell pepper contains 2.9 grams of sugar, nearly three times less than that of an orange. This antioxidant-rich food is also packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin E.

When consuming bell peppers, be certain to buy organic as they are heavily sprayed with pesticides and for that reason are included in this year’s Dirty Dozen list.


Kale is a nutritional powerhouse that contains 80 mg of Vitamin C per cup while yielding only 1.6 grams of sugar. This cruciferous vegetable is also packed with Vitamins A and K, as well as iron. Rich in antioxidants, kale protects your bones and body from oxidative damage.


This detoxifying vegetable contains 78.4 mg of Vitamin C per cup. As with other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is low in sugar with only 1.4 grams per cup. Also, it’s an excellent source of calcium, Vitamin K, and antioxidant flavonoids.

Brussels sprouts*

Brussels sprouts are so nutritious that they can be considered a superfood. Rich in several Foundation Supplements, such as Vitamin K, folate, and manganese, Brussels sprouts are known for their cancer-fighting properties. One cup of Brussels sprouts contains 75 mg of Vitamin C per cup, and only 1.9 grams of sugar.


This bone-building vegetable is closest to the orange in its Vitamin C content, at 52 mg of Vitamin C per cup. However, cauliflower contains only a third of the amount of sugar compared to an orange, at a mere 2.4 grams.

When purchasing cauliflower, it is acceptable to buy conventional, as it has low pesticide levels, and is listed in the Clean Fifteen.

*Alkalizing Foundation Food

An Easy Way To Boost Your Immune System And Build Your Bones

Along with making sure you take adequate amounts of Vitamin C and limit your sugar consumption, to ensure your immune system and bone remodeling can function at optimal levels, you should consider a twice-yearly cleanse.

Studies have confirmed that toxins circulating in the body suppress the immune system.8 Additionally, the liver and the kidneys play an important role in detoxification, and the more toxins they need to handle, the less efficiently they can perform the functions necessary to build your bones.

That’s where the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse: the 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator plays an important role.

Accelerated Bone Remodeling In Just 7 Days!

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Till next time,


1 Douglas RM, Chalker EB, Treacy B. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Systematic Review. 2000; (2). Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1079656
2 Ströhle A, Hahn A. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2009 Feb;32(2):49-54. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263912
3 Hemilä H1, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;(1). Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23440782

4 Cathcart. RF. Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Med Hypotheses. 1981 Nov;7(11):1359-76. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7321921
5 5 Hemilä H. Vitamin C and Infections. Nutrients. 2017; 9(4):339. Web: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/4/339
6 Sun Y, et al.Dietary vitamin C intake and the risk of hip fracture: a dose-response meta-analysis. Osteoporos Int. 2017. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29101410/?i=1&from=You%20J[Author]
7 Sanchez A., et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 26(11). 1180-1184. Web: https://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/11/1180.abstract
8 Biologic Markers in Immunotoxicology. National Research Council (US) Subcommittee on Immunotoxicology. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1992. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235670/

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Elene Gusch

    Brussels sprouts, not Brussel sprouts!

  2. Pat

    I take Ester C time released. It keeps the C replenished iny body.

  3. shula

    Thank you for the information about foods containing vit. C, especially the zucchini.

  4. Mario

    Vivian,I am a 78 year old male(and i believe in “LET THY FOOD BE THY MEDICINE and LET THY MEDICINE BE THY FOOD!!!!!!! HIPPOCRATES(THE FATHER OF MEDICINE).I have just DESROYD stage 4 non- hodgkin lymphoma (naturally and…..ALONE).My question is about NATURAL VITAMIN “”C””:i have been taking up to 2 teaspoons(powder) 2 times a day for about 3 years ,the syntetic kind.Now i intend to make my own by combining : rose hip+ your suggested- vitamin C rich vegetables;by drying them in the oven at a maximum temperature of 80degrees F (seemingly there is NO LOSS of nutrients in oven-dryid vegetables up to a maximum of 140F.Your opinion please.Thank you very much.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s wonderful news, Mario!
      Yes, as long as low temperatures are used, drying Vitamin-C rich foods (like camu camu) can preserve some of this vitamin. However, Vitamin C is water-soluble, so some loss is inevitable in the drying process.

  5. Nala

    Hi Vivian! What are your thoughts on camu camu? It is very high in vitamin C, is natural, and it comes in a powder form that you can add to healthy smoothies among other things….thanks for your thoughts on this! keep up the great work!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Nala,

      Camu camu is a great source of Vitamin C, and the powdered form makes it easy to use as a supplement. At the Save Institute we encourage the consumption of Vitamin C-rich foods and taking a supplement to reach the recommended daily dosage.

  6. Donna Adams

    Hi Vivian,

    Does the state of being cooked or raw, affect the vitamin c levels?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Donna,

      Yes, cooking definitely does affect the Vitamin C content. Excessive heat destroys Vitamin C, so you’ll get more of this vitamin if you eat raw or very lightly cooked versions of C-rich foods.

  7. Kristy

    How about yellow peppers, which is what I eat? I’ve read conflicting results about whether the yellow bell pepper has the most vitamin c.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Kristy,

      All bell peppers contain Vitamin C; there is indeed conflicting information as to whether red or yellow peppers have the highest Vitamin C content. An interesting experiment using starch and iodine showed that red bell peppers actually have more Vitamin C than yellow peppers.

      But the bottom line is, eating plenty of yellow bell peppers provides a decent amount of Vitamin C and other bone-healthy nutrients. 🙂

  8. Aidan Gribbin

    I heard a Vit C expert on the BBC a few years ago, saying there’s no point in taking any more than 500mg of vit C in one go because that’s approximately the maximum amount the body can use. Better to take several doses of 500mg throughout the day than all in one go.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That is a good idea, Aidan. Spreading out the doses through the day is a more natural way of taking in Vitamin C, and it optimizes uptake.

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