Have you at some point felt any of these questions arise in your mind? A, B, C, D, E, K – the list of essential Vitamins is bigger than one can remember. Each of these Vitamins contributes in their own way to the human body. In this article, we look at what Vitamin C is and how it is helpful to us.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is important for normal growth and development of the human body. It is essential that we include Vitamin C in our daily diet as our human body cannot store it. Vitamin C scientifically known as Ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient serving a number of important functions in our body.
Sources of Vitamin C:
There are a number of fruits and vegetables which contain Vitamin C in a natural form. It is also available in a supplement form like powder, drink mixes, tablets, capsules & crystals. While plants are generally a good source of Vitamin C, the amount of vitamin C in it depends on the origin, variety, soil and climatic conditions where the plant was grown.
Another of the Vitamin sources are animals. They usually synthesize their own Vitamin C. Vitamin C is highly concentrated in the liver part.
Some commonly found vitamin C rich foods:
Oranges are one of the most recognized citrus fruits having a healthy dose of Vitamin C. One medium-sized orange contains 70 mg of Vitamin C and 62 calories. Oranges are preferred in their juice form, as they contain 61 to 93 mg of Vitamin C and 80 calories. This is one of our favorite Vitamin C foods.
There are 3 varieties of chilies we find in the market: red, green and yellow. Green chilies have very high amounts of Vitamin C in them. They provide 182% of our daily recommended requirement. Chilies are also a great source of several antioxidants and minerals.
Red bell peppers are among the top sources of Vitamin C. One cup of raw bell pepper contains 142 mg of Vitamin C and just 20 calories. Cooked red bell pepper contains 116 mg of Vitamin C per cup with only 15 calories.
This plant has one of the highest Vitamin C contents. Fresh rose hips contain 200 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams serving. This plant cannot be consumed in its uncooked form. Often these are available as supplements in capsule, powder and syrup form.
Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry contains high levels of Vitamin C. It has 600 to 1800 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of serving.
Raspberries, Strawberries, and Blackberries are a powerhouse of nutrition. Bursting with healthy compounds like folate, fiber, and phytochemicals, they are rich in Vitamin C as well.
One medium papaya contains a whopping 182 mg of Vitamin C, which equals to three times more than what an average person needs.
Fresh pineapples have 79 mg of Vitamin C in a medium size cup serving. It constitutes about 131 % of the recommended daily requirement for us.
One-quarter of a medium cantaloupe has 47 mg of Vitamin C and 51 calories. It also contains Vitamin A and Potassium. To best preserve the nutritional content, never buy this fruit in cut form.
Guavas provide as high as 228 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams serving. These are considered as a super food by many due to its nutrients like Folic Acid, Potassium, Manganese, and Fiber.
Thyme and other herbs
Fresh and dried themes are packed with high levels of vitamin C and other nutrients. They can be used in a number of food preparations like soups, stews, and salads. Thyme contains the highest level of Vitamin C with 160 mg per 100 grams.
Broccoli provides 89 mg of Vitamin C in 100 grams serving, enough to cover your daily Vitamin C requirement. It tastes delicious either in raw or in cooked form. Try having Broccoli particularly in the flu season to boost your immune system.
Cauliflower provides 46 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of serving. Cauliflower makes a great addition to the diet for its Vitamin C, folate and dietary fiber in it.
West Indian Cherries and regular cherries are one of the best sources of Vitamin C. These colorful fruits provide 300% of the daily requirement for us. 1 cup of West Indian cherries contains 1650 mg of Vitamin C.
One serving of Brussels sprouts contains 550 mg of Vitamin C. They also contain a good level of Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin A, Potassium and dietary Fiber.
Bright red and cute looking tomatoes are also a common and rich source of Vitamin C. Sun-dried Tomatoes are particularly high in this nutrient.
Apricots are a good source of Vitamin C and have very few calories in them. They help in lowering Cholesterol which helps against Heart diseases.
Cabbages are loaded with nutrition and are rich in Vitamin C. Cabbage contains 34 mg of Vitamin C per cup, half of the total recommended value for humans. Cabbages also help to fight off cancer and heart diseases.
These earthy-rooted, smoky-flavoured and pretty looking turnips are surprisingly full of vitamin C and essential Amino acids. It also contains complex carbohydrates and Fibre which adds to its healing power.
Fresh green peas are a good source of plant-based proteins. An excellent source of Iron, Vitamin C, and other nutrients, peas helps to reduce the risk of developing cancer, depression, high cholesterol and macular degeneration.
Cloves and other spices used in our daily cooking are a good source of Vitamin C. One spoon of ground cloves provide 6 mg of Vitamin C. These are a sure addition in Indian and Asian cuisines.
This colorful, tasty and most loved fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C. An average mango contains 54 mg of Vitamin C which is nearly the entire recommended amount of for a day. Apart from Vitamin C, mangoes also contain a number of other Vitamins and Minerals to keep you healthy. It contains Vitamin A, E, B6, Copper, and Potassium to name a few.
This super food is not just a good source of vitamin C and Iron but it also contains a host of carotenoids and phytochemicals. These help in protecting against several health diseases and Macular degeneration.
Potatoes are easy to store, inexpensive and easy to prepare. Along with Vitamin C, Potatoes also contain carotenoids, flavonoids, and fiber.
Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet to develop a healthy body and a healthy life. Next time you see the weather change, stack up Vitamin C in your diet and stay safe from Cold and Cough!
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