The conversation around daily vitamin C intake can be a bit nuanced, but here’s the simple facts: According to the National Academies, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women. Some people, such as pregnant women (85 milligrams) and breastfeeding women (120 milligrams), need extra vitamin C every day. These are basic daily minimums for vitamin C intake.
What does this mean in practice? Well, according to the USDA Nutritional Analysis of Major Food Sources, a whole orange has 68 milligrams of vitamin C, a whole kiwi has 64 milligrams, and a whole grapefruit has 78.6 milligrams.
So while you can eat a side dish of fruit or a vitamin C-rich snack daily, you may not be meeting the recommended nutrient intake, especially for those with higher vitamin C needs.
“As a nation, our vitamin C deficiency is directly correlated to our low fruit and vegetable intake, so it’s a sad correlate that needs improvement, since 88% and 90% of American adults don’t meet the recommendations. when it comes to fruits and vegetables, respectively,” says nutrition scientist Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN.