Vitamin C | Importance, Deficiency, and more…

Vitamin C | Importance, Deficiency, and more…بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم  

Vitamin C is an important vitamin that is essential for our general health. This is a kind of antioxidant that shields our body from oxidative damage and also supports the proper functioning of our immunity system.

Here I will discuss vitamin C’s importance its deficiency, vitamin Crich foods recipes, and more.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, which is also called ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that you have to take from food or supplements, it cannot be produced in the body. It has antioxidant power that enables it to fight off free radicals that lead to inflammatory reactions resulting in other severe conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disorders, inflammatory diseases, etc.

Why is Vitamin C Important?

Vitamin C plays an important role in keeping the body fit and healthy. It supports the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections and diseases. Besides, it enhances the absorption of iron which is an important nutrient required in making red blood cells.

Vitamin C is also important in the formation of collagen, which acts as connective tissue for skin, bones, hair, and nails among other body tissues. Various research indicates that vitamin C might prevent chronic disorders including cancer, coronary sickness, and mental deficiency

Deficiency  

In most developed countries most foods are fortified with Vitamin C, and there are numerous supplements, Vitamin C deficiency is quite unusual in most developed countries. On the other hand, some people may fall short of vitamins if they have very low consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin C deficiency manifests in the form of fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle pains, and bleeding or swollen gums. Severe deficiency results in scurvy, which manifests as skin rashes, joint pain, and teeth loosening among other symptoms.

Daily Requirements

Age GroupDaily Recommended Amount
Infants (0-6 months)40 mg
Infants (7-12 months)50 mg
Children (1-3 years)15 mg
Children (4-8 years)25 mg
Children (9-13 years)45 mg
Teens (14-18 years)65-75 mg
Adults (19+ years)75-90 mg 
Pregnant women85 mg
Breast feeding women120 mg

The best way to obtain vitamin C is through diet, as vitamin C supplements can cause gastrointestinal distress in high doses. 

Top 15 Vitamin C-Rich Foods

Here are 15 vitamin C-rich foods that you can incorporate into your diet:

Guava

One cup of fresh guava provides 377 mg of vitamin C, which is more than four times the daily recommended intake.

Red bell pepper

One medium-sized red bell pepper contains 152 mg of vitamin C, which is more than twice the daily recommended intake.

Kiwi

One medium-sized kiwi provides 64 mg of vitamin C, which is more than the daily recommended intake.

Orange

One medium-sized orange contains 70 mg of vitamin C, which is almost the daily recommended intake.

Strawberries

One cup of strawberries provides 98 mg of vitamin C, which is more than the daily recommended intake.

Papaya

One medium-sized papaya contains 88 mg of vitamin C, which is more than the daily recommended intake.

Pineapple

One cup of fresh pineapple provides 79 mg of vitamin C, which is more than the daily recommended intake.

Broccoli

One cup of cooked broccoli contains 101 mg of vitamin C, which is more than the daily recommended intake.

Brussels sprouts

One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains 96 mg of vitamin C, which is more than the daily recommended intake.

Mango

One medium-sized mango provides 122 mg of vitamin C, which is more than the daily recommended intake.

Tomatoes

One medium-sized tomato contains 23 mg of vitamin C, which is almost one-third of the daily recommended intake.

Cantaloupe

One cup of fresh cantaloupe provides 67 mg of vitamin C, which is almost the daily recommended intake.

Kale

One cup of cooked kale contains 80 mg of vitamin C, which is more than the daily recommended intake.

Cauliflower

One cup of cooked cauliflower contains 55 mg of vitamin C, which is almost the daily recommended intake.

Lemon

One medium-sized lemon contains 30 mg of vitamin C, which is almost half the daily recommended intake.

By incorporating these vitamin C-rich foods into your diet, you can support your overall health and reduce the risk of hronic diseases.

How to Incorporate Vitamin C-Rich Foods into Your Diet

Incorporating vitamin C-rich foods into your diet is easy and delicious. You can enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables that are packed with vitamin C

There are some great options for fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.

  • Begin your day with a glass of orange or grapefruit juice.
  • You can add sliced kiwi or strawberries to your morning breakfast, cereal, or yogurt.
  • Eat sliced bell peppers together with any other dips including hummus.
  • Pan-roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli as a dinner side dish.
  • Have fresh fruit salad as the dessert such as papayas, pineapples, and kiwis.

How to Consume Vitamin C

The best way to eat vitamin C is through food to avoid having a deficit of this vital nutrient in your body.

Here are some tips on the right way to consume vitamin C:

Eat a variety of vitamin C-rich foods

The only way to have an adequate intake of vitamin C is by eating different types of fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to consume over 5 portions of fresh fruit and vegetables each day.

Cook your food properly

Vitamin C is very fragile and easily destroyed by heat, therefore you should cook your food right. Steaming or
however, cooking vegetables through the microwave retains more than half as much vitamin C compared to boiling.

Don’t overcook your food

Vitamin C is among the most degradable of nutrients during cooking. Therefore, try to cook your food for less time and retain more of the nutrients.
short a time as possible.

Avoid processed foods

Processed food has low vitamin C therefore try eating fresh, whole foods.

Take supplements if needed

Supplementing will be necessary if you are unable to take enough Vitamin C in a day. However, you should consult your doctor about taking any kind of new supplements.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are consuming vitamin C in the right way to support your overall health.

Vitamin C Rich Recipes

Here are some vitamin C-rich recipes that you can try:

Orange and spinach salad

Put baby spinach leaves, sliced oranges, sliced red onion, and crumbled feta in a big bowl. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar and sprinkle on some coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Roasted red pepper hummus

Place canned chickpeas, roasted red pepper, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and tahini into a food processor and pulse to a puree. Garnish with whole wheat pita bread or sliced vegetables.

Broccoli and cauliflower stir-fried.

Put some oil to heat in a wok or any large skillet, and stir fry chopped broccoli and cauliflower with chopped garlic and freshly grated ginger to get the result that they will be tender yet a little crispy. Add soy sauce and serve with brown rice.

Pineapple and chicken grills.

Cut fresh pineapple into threads and chicken into cubes and impale them on the skewer before brushing them all over with a mixture of orange juice honey, soy sauce, and pepper sauce. Cook chicken well and slightly overcooked pineapple on a grill.

Berry smoothie

Place frozen mixed berries, plain Greek yogurt, orange juice, and honey in the blender and blend until it becomes smooth. Serve immediately. They are tasty and provide vitamin C thus you get the recommended amount of it per day.

Summary

Vitamin C is an important nutrient that helps keep you healthy. It is one of the most potent antioxidants in the field of nutrition, which helps in boosting your immune system and also helps prevent your body from any form of damage. Vitamin C deficiency results in many diseases; therefore, it is essential to maintain sufficient levels of it in the daily food intake. Adding vitamin C-rich foodstuffs to your diet will help you promote your healyh and avoid developing any of these chronic illnesses.

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