Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that mops up the damaging free radicals that run around our systems. It is also an essential vitamin for helping to build and maintain connective tissue. Our bodies don’t make vitamin C, so we need to get it from fruit and veg.
The amount of vitamin C varies from one type of fruit to another but many of the fruits that we can grow in our gardens are surprisingly high in this essential vitamin – here are 10 of the best. Eat them as soon as possible after picking for the maximum benefit.
Not surprisingly, blackcurrants are very rich in vitamin C. They’re easy to grow – plant bare-root in winter and enjoy the fruits of your harvest in July. Prune into a goblet shape in winter to maintain vigour. Discover how to grow blackcurrants.
Vitamin C content: 180mg per 100g of fruit
Redcurrants are also high in vitamin C and are as easy to grow as blackcurrants; grow as a bush or as a standard if you are short on space. They are ornamental, too, with pretty trusses of red fruits. Use the fruits in jellies, jams or summer pudding. Discover how to grow redcurrants.
Vitamin C content: 80mg per 100g of fruit
Choose a mix of varieties and you could enjoy strawberries all summer. They’re easy to grow, in the ground or in containers – discover the different ways of growing strawberries in containers.
Vitamin C content: 60mg per 100g of fruit
Grow a mix of summer-fruiting and autumn-fruiting raspberries and you can enjoy these tasty fruits from midsummer to the last frosts. They take up quite a bit of space, but some varieties are suitable for pots.
Vitamin C content: 60mg per 100g fruit
Hedgerows are bursting with blackberries in late summer but if you fancy growing your own, thornless varieties are available to make picking easier. The fruits are bigger and juicier, too. Discover how to grow blackberries.
Vitamin C content: 20mg per 100g fruit
Blueberries are easy to grow and are attractive, too – the small, white, bell-shaped flowers in spring are followed by beautiful autumn foliage. They need an acid soil – if you don’t have this, grow them in pots in ericaceous compost. Grow several varieties for a bumper crop. Discover how to grow blueberries and cranberries.
Vitamin C content: 10 mg per 100g fruit
Nothing beats the flavour of a ripe, homegrown peach. They need a sunny spot and can also be grown in a greenhouse. Discover how to grow peaches and nectarines.
Vitamin C content: 7mg per 100g fruit
There are many ways to grow apples – as trees, cordons, espaliers and stepovers – discover three ways to train a fruit tree. There are hundreds of different varieties – why not choose a variety that is local to your area? Most of the nutrients are found in the skin, so don’t peel the fruits.
Vitamin C content: 5mg per 100g fruit
Pears can also be trained in a variety of ways if you are short on space. They prefer a sheltered, sunny site. They tend to crop later in the season; pick them just before they are fully ripe and allow to ripen fully before eating.
Vitamin C content: 4mg per 100g
Grapes can be grown successfully outdoors in the southern half of the UK; further north they are best grown under glass. Grapevines can be trained over pergolas, up trellis or along walls. Watch our video guide to establishing a grapevine.
Vitamin C content: 4mg per 100g