Vitamin C is one of the essential nutrients needed to maintain a healthy immune system, so it’s important to make sure you include adequate sources of vitamin C in your diet. But in addition to supporting our immune system, vitamin C also plays other roles in ensuring we stay healthy.
According to dietitian Helen Bond, vitamin C plays a key role in making collagen (a component of our blood vessels, bones, cartilage, gums, skin and teeth), so it’s vital to aid in wound healing.
“It’s also necessary for our nervous system, it helps support and strengthen our immune system, and as an antioxidant, it helps scavenge cell-damaging free radicals,” she adds.
A lack of vitamin C can lead to scurvy, “a condition that’s practically unheard of today,” Bond said. She adds that in the US it is very rare to suffer from a deficiency of vitamin C and that most age groups can get enough from their daily diet. the daily RDA (opens in new tab) (Recommended Daily Allowance) Vitamin C for adults is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.
What About Vitamin C Supplements? Bond warns that large amounts of vitamin C – that’s more than 1000 mg/1 g per day – can cause side effects such as stomach pain, diarrhea and flatulence, but you are more likely to get these from taking supplements.
“Symptoms usually go away once you stop taking the supplements,” she says. “You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. Therefore, if you take vitamin C supplements, do not take too much as it can be harmful.”
She also says there’s “very little evidence that vitamin C supplements prevent the common cold or speed recovery,” which is why “it’s even more important to focus your attention on enjoying a balanced and varied diet, including plenty of vitamin C-rich.” food”.
1. Oranges (and other citrus fruits)
These brightly colored fruits are known for their vitamin C content. In fact, one orange contains a dizzying 87mg (opens in new tab) vitamin C – more than 100% of the daily recommended amount for women.
Oranges also contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. These help protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals in the body. Free radicals can be produced in the body due to external factors such as pollution, chemicals and UV light.
Other citrus fruits such as lemons, limes and satsumas also contain healthy amounts of vitamin C. Just 100 g of grapefruit contains approximately 37mg (opens in new tab) of vitamin C, while limes pack 29mg (opens in new tab) per 100 grams. Lemons are a good source of vitamin C, which is about 53mg (opens in new tab) per 100 grams.
Just one medium potato, weighing about 240 g, packs in a healthy 42 mg of vitamin C, about half the RDI of vitamin C. Plus, the skin of the humble hoe also contains minerals, including magnesium and potassium. Potassium has been shown to aid in heart health.
Potatoes are also a good source of fiber, which can aid digestion.
However, it’s worth noting that potatoes don’t contribute to your recommended intake of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, while sweet potatoes do.
A 100 g serving of strawberries contains 59mg (opens in new tab) vitamin C, which is two-thirds of the RDA of vitamin C for men.
This sweet fruit is packed with antioxidants, especially anthocyanin and quercetin, which are said to help protect against heart disease. There are also fiber and potassium in these small, tasty fruits.
Other berries such as raspberries and blackberries also contain healthy amounts of vitamin C.
Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, contains a dizzying 89mg (opens in new tab) of vitamin C, which is well above the RDA of vitamin C for women.
In addition, broccoli does contain some protein necessary for muscle growth, as well as a wealth of processes that take place in the body; 1 cup provides about 3g (opens in new tab) protein, which is low, but surprising for a green vegetable.
Vitamin K is another nutrient found in broccoli; this vitamin aids in blood clotting and supports bone health.
Only one kiwi contains a healthy 56mg (opens in new tab) vitamin C, more than half the RDA of vitamin C.
Since kiwis are smaller than oranges, a similar weight of kiwi to an orange contains a similar amount of vitamin C. It is the skin of kiwis that also contains vitamin C. You may want to opt for a smooth kiwi if you plan on skin; it might be a little more fun!
Kiwis also contain fiber, to support healthy digestion, and many antioxidants.
Often mistaken for a vegetable, 100g contains tomatoes 27mg (opens in new tab) of vitamin C, which is about a third of the RDI for men.
Tomatoes also contain an abundance of lycopene (opens in new tab) – this antioxidant gives tomatoes their red hue. It is said to be good for supporting the heart.
A leafy vegetable, spinach contains 28mg (opens in new tab) of vitamin C per 100 g, which is just under a third of the RDA of vitamin C for men.
However, this is not the only nutrient found in spinach. It is filled with vitamin K and calcium, both of which support bone health. In addition, there is a lot of iron in spinach, which is needed to make red blood cells in the body. These red blood cells carry oxygen and provide us with energy.
Another cruciferous green vegetable, contains 100 g of cabbage 37mg (opens in new tab) of vitamin C, half the RDA for women and over a third of the RDA of vitamin C for men.
Cabbage also contains fiber, as well as bone-supporting vitamin K. Potassium in cabbage also contributes to heart health and helps maintain healthy blood pressure.
9. Black Streams
These little berries contain more than 122mg (opens in new tab) of vitamin C per 100 g, according to studies. This is well above the RDA for both men and women.
Blackcurrants are also filled with antioxidants, as well as omega-6, which are necessary for heart health. studies (opens in new tab) have shown that blackcurrants can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, brain and eye disorders.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.