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Vitamin C Sources

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that is absolutely essential in the formation of a protein known as collagen.  This protein gives structure to blood vessels, cartilage, bones and muscles. Vitamin C is also important for the proper maintenance of teeth, capillaries and bones, as well as the proper absorption of iron. The high consumption of foods that are rich Vitamin C sources has also been associated with a reduction in medical hazards, such as cancer, strokes, hypertension, cataracts, and coronary heart problems. Therefore, everyone should follow a diet that contains an adequate amount of Vitamin C sources. According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), the daily intake of Vitamin C is between 75 and 90 mg/ day in adults, and between 15 to 45 mg/ day in children.
Of course, the values may change, for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Therefore, in order to meet the RDA, health experts recommend that a diet should consist of several Vitamin C sources of food.

When people are asked to increase their intake of Vitamin C, most of them reach out for oranges and orange juice. However, there are several other Vitamin C sources in foods too, which include vegetables, fruits and meat. Given below is a list of all the foods that are good Vitamin C sources:

Vitamin C sources in vegetables

• Asparagus
• Bell peppers (red, green and yellow)
• Broccoli
• Brussels sprouts
• Cauliflower
• Kohlrabi
• Red cabbage
• Snow peas
• Spinach
• Sweet potato
• Tomatoes

Vitamin C sources in fruits

• Apple
• Cantaloupe
• Cranberry
• Grapefruit
• Grapes
• Honeydew Melons
• Kiwifruit
• Lemons
• Limes 
• Mandarin oranges
• Mangos
• Oranges
• Papaya
• Peaches
• Pears
• Pineapples
• Strawberries
• Tangelo
• Watermelon
• Tangerine

Vitamin C sources in meat

• Chicken
• Seafood
• Pork
• Liver
• Beef

Even though some of the foods mentioned above are fairly good Vitamin C sources, the may lose some of their nutritional value, when they are cooked. Hence, people should follow certain steps while cooking, so that the foods retain as much of their nutritional value, as possible. Given below are some of the recommendations put forth by health experts:

• Consume the fruits and vegetable in their fresh and raw form as often as possible
• In case the vegetables or meats need to be cooked, they should be steamed, boiled, or simmered in minimal amounts of water or they can be cooked in a microwave over for a short period of time.
• Fruits and certain vegetables like potatoes should be eaten with their skin
• Fresh fruit or even vegetable juices should be consumed as soon as possible. If the juice has been stored for over 2 days, even in a refrigerator, it should not be consumed.
• Once the fruits or vegetables have been cut, they should not be soaked in water, as the Vitamin C present will dissolve in water. In case the foods need to be stored, they should be placed in an airtight container.

In case a person suffers from Vitamin C deficiency even after including an adequate amount of Vitamin C sources and following steps to prepare and store the foods in the right manner, it may be best to consult a doctor.

Submitted on January 16, 2014
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