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The Complete Guide to Vitamin C Rich Foods

Good skin health is positively associated with vitamin C rich foods!

Whenever we think regarding our health, the first vitamin comes in mind is Vitamin C, this is not only because of its contribution to our skin beauty, but it also pays equal attention towards our overall wellness. A deep understanding of Vitamin C is essential for the whole well being.

Here we discuss, a complete guide to vitamin C rich foods, hope this writeup will help you to get more information about vitamin C.

What to expect in this article:

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid, a water-soluble vitamin having potent antioxidant properties and an essential cofactor for the metabolism of collagen synthesis. It does a lot for us, i.e. from boosting our immune system by reducing the risk of cancer and cardiac diseases to giving you a healthy and glowing skin.

Chemical Name of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also available in other forms such as ascorbyl palmitate, calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, ethyl ascorbic acid and many more. The clinical marker of severe and prolonged-term vitamin C deficiency is Scurvy (impaired wound healing, tooth loss, gingivitis (bleeding gums), anaemia). Other symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are fatigue, malaise, loss of appetite, lethargy and weight loss.

Vitamin C Daily Requirement

Vitamin C found naturally in some foods, and available as a dietary supplement. As such, the human body is unable to synthesize it internally; that’s why it is an essential nutritional component. As per the United State Institute of Medicine (IOM), the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 75 mg/day for women and 90 mg/day for men.

Age Male Female Lactation Pregnancy
0-6 month 40 mg/day 40 mg/day
7-12 month 50 mg/day 50 mg/day
1-3 yrs 15 mg/day 15 mg/day
4-8 yrs 25 mg/day 25 mg/day
9-13 yrs 45 mg/day 45 mg/day
14-18 yrs 75 mg/day 65 mg/day 80 mg/day 115 mg/day
19+ yrs 90 mg/day 75 mg/day 85 mg/day 120 mg/day

Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C, the world’s healthiest food!

Fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, kiwifruit, red and green peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts and strawberries are rich sources of vitamin C.

From a survey by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) in the general population, more than 90 % of vitamin C comes from the daily intake of these foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables may give you approx. More than 200 mg/day of vitamin C  whereas, this concentration get decreases after cooking because of the nature of ascorbic acid (as it gets destabilize in the presence of heat).

The most abundant source of vitamin C is Kakadu plum (3100mg/100gm), Acerola cherries (1600 mg/100gm) and Indian gooseberry (700mg/100gm).

Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables

Eating a couple of fresh raw fruits and vegetables every day will be able to fulfil your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C. So, if your daily diet is enriched with fruits and vegetables, then additional intake of vitamin C supplements may not be needed.

  • Vitamin C rich fruits: Citrus fruits such as kiwi, lemon, orange, guava, kakadu plum, grapefruit, rose hips, perrismons, papayas, strawberries and cantaloupe.
  • Vitamin C rich vegetables:vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, capsicums, mustard spinach, yellow peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.
Foods Mg/100gm
Vitamin C rich fruits Vitamin C content
Kakadu plum 3100
Rosehip 2000
Acerola Cherries 1600
Indian gooseberry 700
Guava 100
Kiwifruit 90
Perrismons 60
Papaya

Orange

60

50

Strawberries 60
Lemon 40
Grapefruit 30
Cantaloupe 40
Raspberry 30
Cranberry 13
Pineapple 10
Vitamin C rich vegetables
Blackcurrant 200
Red pepper 190
Broccoli 90
Brussels sprout 80
Cauliflower 40
Garlic 31
Spinach 30
Potato 20
Tomato 10
Cabbage raw green 30
Carrot 9

Health Benefits of Vitamin C : 

Vitamin C serves a vast number of health benefits, from boosting the immune system, wound healing, preventing common cold to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Along with these, it is a superstar skincare ingredients.

So let’s discuss the role of vitamin C in the overall well being of health,

Vitamin C and the Common Cold 

At a higher dose (1-3 gm) vitamin C has the potency to relieve and prevent the symptoms of the common cold. During the rhinitis condition, vitamin C enhances the proliferation of T-cells in response to infections and provide relief from common cold symptoms.

Vitamin C Wound Healing 

Vitamin C stimulates the process of collagen synthesis. Collagen is a tissue protein that provides tensile strength and elasticity to tissue. During the process of wound healing, this collagen protein accumulates at the site of damaged tissue and subsequently form cross-linking of fibre overwound and speed up the process of healing. The administration of vitamin C at a dose of 500mg to 1.0 gm/day during the post-operative period effectively boost the process of wound healing.

Vitamin C and Cancer Prevention 

The anticancer activity of vitamin C is due to its pro-oxidant property. At higher concentration, it mediates the synthesis of hydrogen peroxide that shows potential antitumor effects. From a study, it is found that a diet enriched with a higher dose of vitamin C enhance the survival rate of cancer patients. Vitamin C prevents metastasis (spread) of tumour cells, reduce the toxicity related to chemotherapy and have free radical scavenging property.

Vitamin C and Fertility 

Vitamin C serves a vital role in maintaining the structural as well as functional integrity of androgen-dependent reproductive organs. A well-known benefit of vitamin C is, it is used for the management of male infertility caused due to non-specific seminal infections. From a study, it is reported that the antioxidant properties of vitamin C can significantly decrease Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) concentration in semen; thus, improves the quality of sperm. 

Vitamin C benefits for brain 

Schizophrenia is multifactorial and one of the most prominent neurological diseases. A large class of medicaments are available for their treatment, but still, an effective treatment is not yet possible. From a study, it is found that dietary intake of vitamin C in schizophrenic patients decreases free radical generation and lipid peroxidation in the brain (a primary culprit behind schizophrenia) thus improves the disease conditions. 

Vitamin C has neuroprotective property; its balance level in the body facilitates protection against age-related cognitive decline. 

Vitamin C and Diabetes 

From a study, it is found that vitamin C decreases the risk of diabetes mellitus (DM). Generation of ROS and oxidative stress is one of the prime reason behind hyperglycaemia. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that decrease the production of ROS, thus reduces the risk of DM. 

Vitamin C benefits for skin

Skin is the largest organ of the body; it acts as a natural barrier and protects internal body parts from environmental and microbial damage. During the normal lifetime, skin faces a wide variety of challenges, that alter their structural appearance. 

Vitamin c acts as skin superstar agent and provides complete protection to the skin. Regular dietary intake of vitamin C rich food pays more to your skin health. 

Here we discuss, the potential benefits of vitamin C for skin

Anti-ageing property 

Vitamin C increases collagen production. Collagen is a cell protein which helps in holding the cell together, provide strength and elasticity to the skin. Thus vitamin C provides anti-ageing properties by reducing earlier fine lines and wrinkles and prevent the formation of new ones. 

Fight against hyperpigmentation 

Vitamin C inhibits tyrosinase enzyme (responsible for melanin production by conversion of tyrosine into melanin) thus prevent excessive melanin production, lightens dark spots and rejuvenates the dull and lifeless skin.

Sun damage protection 

Vitamin C protects the skin from damage caused by sun UV radiation both UVA (premature ageing and wrinkles) and UVB (pigmentation and tanning) along with sunscreen.

Anti-acne property 

Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory property, thus removes acne problem and reduce the redness of the skin caused due to acne. Due to enhanced collagen and elastin protein, it reduces scars formed by acne and wound healing property. 

Concluding, Vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient, acts like a protective sheath that provides you with complete protection and gives you a healthy and happy life. 

Regular dietary intake of vitamin C rich food gives you all!

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