We have all studied the importance of vitamins and minerals during our school days and from our parents.
Among those essential vitamins comes Vitamin C.
But what is Vitamin C? What are the benefits of Vitamin C? What is vitamin C daily dose? What are Vitamin C rich foods? Which are the vitamin C rich fruits? What are the vitamin c side effects?
Let’s first understand some basics about vitamin C after which we will see the vitamin C daily dose. Also, at the end of this article we will study of the common vitamin c side effects and deficiency symptoms.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is also called Ascorbic acid and helps play an important role in the body by strengthening the immune system and preventing infections and fighting diseases.
It is water-soluble and so easily exits our body through urination.
Vitamin C cannot be stored in our bodies, so the vitamin C daily dose must be maintained.
This can be done by including some vitamin C rich foods and vitamin C rich fruits in our diet.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin C?
Some of the many benefits of Vitamin C are:
Antioxidant lowers cancer risk
As discussed earlier, vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects our body from harmful diseases.
Free radicals damage the cells in our body that can even cause cancer. Vitamin C protects the body’s cells.
Vitamin C deficiency can lead to a shortage of a protein called collagen in our bodies.
This protein is necessary for building and maintaining bones, joints, skin, and tissues of the digestive tract.
Vitamin C and the immune system
Vitamin C is an integral part of our body’s defense mechanism, the immune system.
Protects from Scurvy
A deficiency of Vitamin C can result in Scurvy.
Some symptoms of Scurvy are:
- Joint pain
- Bleeding gums
- Tooth loss
- Boosts heart health
Vitamin C lowers the risk of heart-related diseases.
Making vitamin C rich foods, vitamin C rich fruits and drinks an integral part of your life can reduce your risk for future heart diseases or other complications.
Helps in iron absorption
Vitamin C transforms iron into a state that is readily absorbed by our intestines.
What is Vitamin C Daily Dose?
You have seen the benefits of vitamin c but what is the daily dose of vitamin c that an adult should consume.
This is important because excess of vitamin C is also harmful to the body.
The dietary allowance for the Vitamin C daily dose for adults is:
- Males: 90 mg
- Females: 75 mg
- Pregnant: 85 mg
- Breastfeeding: 120 mg
- Smokers: Add 35 mg extra
However, many experts believe that the vitamin c daily dose should be approximately, 200mg which is much more than the recommended amount.
Now, that we know about Vitamin C, its benefits, and the vitamin c daily dose, let’s see some vitamin C rich foods and vitamin C rich fruits.
What is Vitamin C Rich Foods?
Brussels sprouts or miniature cabbages are vitamin C rich foods and vegetables.
They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
1 cup of raw brussels sprouts contains 74.8 mg of Vitamin C which is 79.8% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
How to make: Boil brussels sprouts for 5 min then sauté them with some onion and garlic. Next, add fresh lemon juice, and the tasty and healthy vitamin c rich foods are ready.
Broccolis are a miniature tree resembling vegetables belonging to the cabbage family.
Broccolis are a great source of vitamin K and vitamin C rich foods and vegetables.
1 cup of raw broccoli contains 81.2 mg of Vitamin C which is 90.2% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
How to make: Broccoli can be eaten as boiled or can be sautéed with other vegetables such as bell peppers.
Potatoes are known are the king of all vegetables as it is easily produced, is tasty and inexpensive.
They are vitamin c rich foods and vegetables that help reduce the blood sugar level, improve immunity and reduce the risk for heart diseases.
However, they must be eaten in moderation as they can lead to weight gain.
1 large potato contains 72.7 mg of Vitamin C which is 80.8% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
How to make: There are innumerable ways to make potato recipes. However, the easiest way to eat potatoes is by boiling them.
Cauliflowers are vegetables that are naturally high in fiber, B-vitamins and are considered vitamin C rich foods.
It is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that help protect against cancer.
1 cup of raw cauliflower contains 51.6 mg of Vitamin C which is 57.3% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
How to make: They can be boiled or sautéed as per your preference. Cauliflowers can also be roasted and then garnished with lemon and parmesan.
Kale is a member of the cabbage family that is both liked and disliked around the world.
Kales are vitamin C rich foods that contain fiber, antioxidants, vitamin K, calcium, and iron among other vitamins and minerals.
1 cup of raw kale contains 120mg of Vitamin C which is 133% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
How to make: Kale can be eaten raw or can be used to make a very healthy green smoothie. You can also boil, sauté, or bake it.
Which are the Vitamin C Rich Fruits?
Lemons are very refreshing vitamin C rich fruits that along with water helps our body stay hydrated.
Lemon juice is about 5% to 6% citric acid that gives it a sour taste that wakes up our intestines in the morning and helps in removing the bodily toxins.
1 lemon contains 44.5 mg of Vitamin C per serving which is 49.4% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
Guavas are vitamin C rich fruits that are generally red and yellow containing a lot of seeds.
They are also low in calories and so are perfect for you to include in your daily routine.
1 cup of raw guava gives you 377 mg of Vitamin C which is 419% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
We all eat and make use of tomatoes in our everyday cooking.
You have been eating tomatoes in your salads, burgers, sandwiches, etc. but did you know that tomatoes are vitamin C rich fruits?
1 cup of tomato juice (canned) contains 190 mg of Vitamin C which is 188.9% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
Oranges are the world’s most famous citrus fruits that are also vitamin C rich fruits.
They are very nutritious and tasty.
Orange juice is the most commonly drunk fruit juices around the world.
1 cup of raw guava contains 124 mg of Vitamin C which is 137.8% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
Who doesn’t love these little red heart-shaped fruits?
Strawberries are very tasty vitamin C rich fruits that also contain magnesium, potassium, folic acid, and fiber in high amounts.
1 cup of sliced strawberries contains 97.6 mg of Vitamin C which is 108% of the 90mg daily recommended value.Source: Medical News Today
Now that we know about the vitamin C rich foods ad fruits and vitamin C daily dose needed for our body, let’s see some Vitamin C side effects.
What are the Vitamin C Side Effects?
As we have seen so far, Vitamin C is a very essential part of our diet.
However, like everything else in this world, excess vitamin C is harmful to our bodies.
Although, serious vitamin C side effects are very rare but amount greater than 2000mg/day is harmful for our body.
Some of the common vitamin C side effects can be upset stomach and diarrhea.
Now, these were the vitamin C side effects when we take it in excess amount, but too little vitamin C is also harmful.
A few symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are:
- Bleeding gums
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Painful joints
- Weakened tooth enamel
The more severe vitamin C deficiency can lead to a disease known as scurvy.
Vitamin C is a very essential nutrient that is needed by our body and immune system to function at it’s full potential.
However, if your are taking Vitamin C supplements instead of the above specified natural sources make sure that you take it in the prescribed amounts to prevent yourself from the vitamin C side effects.