Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


The fruit that contains more vitamin C than any other food in the world

If you’re search for food that’s rich in vitamin C, look no further than the kakadu plum. The Australian fruit holds up to 600% of your necessary daily intake.

The fruit that contains more vitamin C than any other food in the world
Getty Images

The kakadu plum, whose alternative names include the billy goat plum, the muringe and the gubinge, has been described as “Australia’s star superfood performer”. Native to the Oceanian country, the fruit is immensely nutritious; most notably, it is credited with having the highest recorded natural vitamin C content of any food worldwide.

Grown in Australia between March and June, the kakadu plum is about 2 to 3 cm in length and can be eaten fresh, or used to make things like jams, sauces, juices and smoothies. It can also be purchased as a powder or as an extract, and can be an ingredient in recipes for baked items such as this kakadu plum brownie.

What do kakadu plums taste like?

The fruit’s taste is “sour with some astringency”, notes Australian Native Food and Botanicals, adding that it has “a stewed apple and pear aroma, [with] cooked citrus and a floral-musk note”.

How much vitamin C does the kakadu plum contain?

According to Healthline’s Caroline Hill and Erin Kelly, the kakadu plum contains up to around 2,900 mg of vitamin C per 100 g, with about 440 mg present in one 15 g plum. That means that a single kakadu plum carries approximately 500% to 600% of an adult’s required daily vitamin C intake.

How much vitamin C do we need?

This depends on factors such as age and sex. Per the United States’ National Institutes of Health (NIH), an adult woman generally needs 75 mg of vitamin C per day, while an adult man requires 90 mg. Children and teenagers need less vitamin C, while individuals such as pregnant or breastfeeding women need a higher than normal dose. Check out the full breakdown of people’s recommended vitamin C intake on the NIH’s website.

Can you overdose on vitamin C?

Yes: it’s important to note that you can have too much. The NIH places an adult’s daily upper vitamin C limit at 2,000 mg, so if you eat kakadu plums, you’ll need to be careful not to overdo it. According to the NIH, taking too much vitamin C can lead to “diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps”.

What are the health benefits of vitamin C?

The NIH explains that vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, enhances the body’s healing process when we suffer wounds. It also has a beneficial effect on our immune system and helps us to absorb iron from plant-based foods. Iron, in turn, is used to make haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Vitamin C operates as an antioxidant, too, working to protect cells. Per WebMD’s Dean Shaban, antioxidants guard against the harmful effects of unstable molecules, known as ‘free radicals’. If we have too many of these in our body, Shaban explains, they can damage cells and may make us more vulnerable to illnesses and conditions like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

If you don’t take on enough vitamin C over a prolonged period, you can get scurvy, which is fatal if it isn’t treated. “Scurvy causes fatigue, inflammation of the gums, small red or purple spots on the skin, joint pain, poor wound healing, and corkscrew hairs,” the NIH says.

What other foods are rich in vitamin C?

While kakadu plums may not be readily available where you are, there are a number of more common types of food that are excellent sources of vitamin C. For example, consuming citrus fruits such as oranges is a prime way of getting the vitamin C you need.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, navel oranges contain around 60 mg of vitamin C per 100 g, with one 140 g navel orange providing a little over 80 mg of the nutrient. While that is much less vitamin C than you’ll find in a kakadu plum, it is still enough to meet most or all of your daily requirement in one fell swoop.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) also lists peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli and potatoes as good everyday sources of vitamin C.