Vitamin C, scientifically known as Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in maintaining the health of the body’s connective tissue as well as acting as an antioxidant.
It is essential that we include Vitamin C in our daily diet as our human body cannot store it.
Our system uses only the required amount of Vitamin C on a daily basis, eliminating the rest via urine.
A severe vitamin C deficiency will result in scurvy, a disease resulting from the breakdown of collagen.
Scurvy is rarely seen today, as only a very small amount of vitamin C is needed to prevent it.
But even mild vitamin C deficiency symptoms include: easy bruising, bleeding gums, slow wound healing, dry splitting hair, nosebleeds, and dry red spots on the skin, where blood has leaked out of the capillaries.
Benefits of consuming vitamin C rich foods include:
- Improves skin health and collagen formation
- Improves mineral absorption
- Fights free radical damage thereby preventing oxidative stress
- Boosts immunity fighting colds and flu
- Improves health of gums and teeth
- Vital for circulation and heart health
The RDA for vitamin C is 90 mg/day for men and 75 mg/day for women. The Daily Value is 60 mg.
Sources of Vitamin C
There are a number of fruits and vegetables which contain Vitamin C in a natural form.
It is also available in a supplement form like powder, drink mixes, tablets, capsules & crystals.
Some commonly vitamin C rich foods include
While plants are generally a good source of Vitamin C, the amount of vitamin C in it depends on the origin, variety, soil and climatic conditions where the plant was grown.
Check out the list of vitamin C loaded foods you should be all up in 🙂
Raspberries, Strawberries and Blackberries are a powerhouse of nutrition.
Bursting with healthy compounds like folate, fiber and phytochemicals, they are extremely high in Vitamin C as well.
Berries help to improve memory and protect our body against cancer & heart diseases.
Strawberries make an ideal snack with their tangy taste and high nutrient value. They are delicious and make a great addition to desserts.
Strawberries are high in fiber and antioxidants which are responsible for reducing oxidative stress and protecting the heart against bad cholesterol.
There are number of dishes you can make from Strawberries like strawberry shake, strawberry ice cream or a wonderful smoothie.
Blackberries have around 180 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of serving. They are also rich in Potassium, Iron and Vitamin B5.
This colourful, tasty and most loved fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C. An average mango contains 54 mg of Vitamin C which is nearly the entire recommended amount of for a day.
Apart from Vitamin C, mangoes also contain a number of other Vitamins and Minerals to keep you healthy.
It contains Vitamin A, E, B6, Copper and Potassium to name a few.
3. Citrus fruits
Oranges, grapefruits, lemon and limes all contain a healthy dose of Vitamin C
One medium sized orange contains 70 mg of Vitamin C and 62 calories. Oranges are preferred in their juice form, as they contain 61 to 93 mg of Vitamin C and 80 calories. This is one of our favourite Vitamin C foods.
A small glass of grapefruit juice has up to 70 mg of vitamin C and 70 calories.
A whole lemon contains around 40 mg of Vitamin C.
Even though oranges are probably the most popular vitamin C food, they don’t have the highest amount.
Papayas (paw paw) are another food with high Vitamin C content.
One medium papaya contains a whopping 182 mg of Vitamin C, which equals to three times more than what an average person needs.
Papayas are also loaded with Vitamin A, Potassium and Fiber. They are also very good in curing blemishes, when applied to your face.
You can make a smoothie or just eat it raw for your daily dose of vitamin C.
Fresh pineapples have 79 mg of Vitamin C in a medium size cup serving. It constitutes about 131 of the recommended daily requirement for us.
Apart from Vitamin C, pineapple also helps to relieve constipation and stomach troubles. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which promote healing and boosts immunity.
Tropical pineapple makes a healthy addition to fruit salad and smoothies.
6. Bell peppers
Red bell peppers is among the top sources of Vitamin C as well as beta-carotene. One cup of raw bell pepper contains 142 mg of Vitamin C and just 20 calories.
Cooked red bell pepper contains 116 mg of Vitamin C per cup with only 15 calories.
Green bell peppers are known to have maximum amounts of Vitamin C. Cooked green bell pepper provides 51 mg of Vitamin C.
Yellow bell peppers come second highest in nutritional value with 124 mg per 100 gms.
This exotic fruit is another great vitamin C food.
One guava provides as high as 228 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams serving. These are considered as a super food by many due to its nutrients like Folic acid, Potassium, Manganese, and Fiber.
Many supermarkets are now importing these fruits from the tropics, so they are easy to find.
West Indian Cherries and regular cherries are one of the best sources of Vitamin C. These colourful fruits provide 300 of the daily requirement for us. 1 cup of West Indian cherries contains 1650 mg of Vitamin C.
These cherries are also high in fiber and are great if you are planning to lose weight or feeling bloated.
Eat to your heart’s content if you can find these fruits in your local market!
9. Brussels Sprouts
Whether raw or cooked, broccoli contains an excellent amount of Vitamin C.
One serving of cooked Brussels sprouts has almost 50 mg of vitamin C. Brussels sprouts are also high in vitamin K, folate, vitamin A, manganese, potassium, and dietary fiber.
Broccoli provides 89 mg of Vitamin C in 100 grams serving, enough to cover your daily Vitamin C requirement. Try having Broccoli particularly in the flu season to boost your immune system.
Bright red and cute looking tomatoes are also a common and rich source of Vitamin C. Sun-dried tomatoes are particularly concentrated with this nutrient.
100 grams of tomatoes contains more than 100 mg of Vitamin C in it.
This equals to 170 of our daily Vitamin C requirement. They can be added to sandwiches and salads apart from its typical use in curries and food preparations.