Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that our body needs to function properly. It is also known as ascorbic acid and has various health benefits. Here, we will discuss what foods have vitamin C and how much of it your body actually needs.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps in protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals . It plays an important role in preventing scurvy, which was once known as the sailor’s disease because sailors often lacked fresh fruits and vegetables on long voyages.
Apart from helping in collagen production , it also enhances brain function, reduces blood pressure, boosts immunity, and fights against cancerous cells .
How Much Vitamin C Do You Need Daily?
The amount of vitamin C needed varies depending upon age, gender, and lifestyle factors like smoking or drinking alcohol. Based on research from the National Institutes of Health , here are some dietary recommendations for different people groups:
- Children 1-3 years: 15 mg/day
- Children 4-8 years: 25 mg/day
- Children 9-13 years: 45 mg/day
- Adolescents 14–18 years: Boys –75 mg/day; Girls -65mg/day
- Adults above age19: Men -90mg/ day; Women -80mg/ day
However, pregnant women require at least85 mg /day whereas lactating mothers would need up to120mg/ day because they pass more nutrients through breastmilk.
Why don’t you need high doses?
While taking large doses of vitamin c may not necessarily be harmful since excessive amounts can be easily excreted , too much of it can cause digestive discomfort like diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
What Foods Contain Vitamin C?
Here are some foods that are high in vitamin C:
- Papayas: A serving of papaya contains 61. 8 milligrams of vitamin C.
- Oranges: One medium-sized orange contains approximately 70 mg of vitamin C.
One cup strawberry provides more than 98% the recommended daily intake for adults.
Kiwi: A single kiwi fruit has about 64mg of Vitamin-C
- Half a cup pineapple delivers40mg or half the daily value required for an adult.
- Bell Peppers: Green varieties contain more than other colors with one cup chopped peppers delivering up to119 mg per serving.
- Broccoli: This green vegetable provides103g Vitamin-C for every standard portion measurement size.
- Cauliflower: half a cup would provide around28mg
- Other examples such as arugula/rocket can still provide at least15mg per3 cups that they are being cooked or taken raw.
Some juices available in stores today like lemonade -55. 1gm; grapefruit juice-94 mg; guava juice, 30g.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vitamin C
Q: Is it better to take vitamin c supplements or get it from food sources?
A: It is better to obtain vitamins and minerals through whole foods as consuming very high doses of supplements might lead to toxicity over time.
Q: Can too much intake affect your kidneys ?
A: No. But the excess amount would just be flushed out with your urine instead of staying in the bloodstream.
Q: Which people might experience slow wound healing and other symptoms related to scurvy?
A: Older adults, those that don’t consume fruits or vegetables frequently and heavy smokers
In essence, Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that our body cannot produce. It has numerous benefits from improving skin health to reducing one’s risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease. It can be obtained from various sources like fruits, juices and vegetables. Just ensure you stick to the standard required daily intake and remember always opt for whole-food sources over supplements.
So stock up on food choices rich in Vitamin-C today!