Vitamin C Food
Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin which gets dissolved in water and can not be stored in the body. Unlike plants and other animals, vitamin C cannot be produced in the human body. Also when in excess it gets excreted from the body, thus a daily supply of this vitamin is required through food or supplements.
Vitamin C is one of the potent antioxidant which helps to reduce the oxidative stress in the body. When our body transfers food into energy, the byproduct of this process that is free radicals are formed. Vitamin C deficiency causes oxidative stress in the body which is largely responsible for aging process and other health conditions like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Antioxidant helps to scavenge these free radicals and protect against these conditions. Vitamin C when taken along with iron helps in better uptake and absorption by the body. Vitamin C is also benefits in the formation of collagen, wound healing and maintenance of bones, cartilage and teeth.
Vitamin C is found widely in most of the fruits and vegetables. A daily intake of a variety of fresh raw fruits and vegetables will ensure or fulfill the daily recommended dosage. Vitamin C food includes citrus fruits and fruit juices like oranges, limes, lemons, tangerines, Indian gooseberry and guava. Other vitamin C foods include green peppers, papaya, mangoes, strawberries, cantaloupe, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is 75 mg for adult women and 90 mg for adult man. The requirement of vitamin C increases during pregnancy, breastfeeding, among smokers, people with gastrointestinal diseases and hyperthyroidism.
Keep the following points in mind for better availability of vitamin C -
- Cooking can destroy vitamin C to a large extent. So it is preferable to include fresh and raw fruits and vegetables in the form of whole fruits, fruit juices or salads to ensure maximum availability.
- Vitamin C is a very fragile vitamin and can be oxidized easily. So cut a fruit or vegetable only when needed because if left open then there is loss of this vitamin.
- Vitamin C is water soluble so can be easily lost in water. Don’t cut a fruit or vegetable after chopping.
- Vitamin C is present in small amounts in animal tissues but before reaching the table it is either destroyed due to exposure to air or during processing or cooking.