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Food Sources High In Vitamin C

Author:   Peter Sedesse MD

Vitamin C recommended daily amounts and controversy

Most people associate Vitamin C with citrus fruits, however, it also comes from many different other food sources. The recommended amount of Vitamin C we should get from our food is 60mg per day. However, this minimum amount was established mainly to prevent the most common disease caused by Vitamin C deficiency, Scurvy. Although this amount will prevent Scurvy, there is ample evidence to suggest that as much as 90 to 120mg per day is required for good health and many prominent scientists urge the FDA to reconsider this amount. Vitamin C can be found in almost all fruits and vegetables, and in small amounts in meat and dairy products.

Food sources rich in Vitamin C, citrus fruits and vegetable

The highest quantities of Vitamin C are found in certain citrus fruits, including lemons, oranges and kiwi fruit. There are other high food sources of Vitamin C such as tomatoes, broccoli and other dark green vegetables. While most meat contains small amounts, liver actually has quiet high levels. Since Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient, excess amounts are not stored very long in the body. For this reason, Vitamin C food sources should be consumed daily.

Cooking and Storage instruction to retain Vitamin C content in foods

It is important to note that Vitamin C degrades at room temperature, for this reason fresh fruit will contain more nutrients than older fruit. By storing fruits and vegetables in a cool, dry place, more of the nutritional value of the food will be preserved. Finally, heating vegetables will also result in the destruction of some of the Vitamin C and other nutrients. Along with this, boiling vegetables results in much of the nutritional value being lost unless the water used to boil is also consumed. Many times water-soluble vitamins and minerals are unknowingly discarded along with the cooking water.

Functions of Vitamin C

Vitamin C has many important functions in the body, including it´s use as an antioxidant. One of the major uses of Vitamin C is in the immune system, especially during stressful times. It is also an important nutrient for after surgery as it aids not only in preventing infection, but also for collagen production needed for wound healing. Vitamin C is important for health of mucous membranes throughout the body, which is why bleeding gums, noses and ultimately Scurvy are the result of long term deficiencies.

Summary of Information about Vitamin C Food Sources

Almost everyone knows the food sources that are high in Vitamin C. The list contains citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, kiwi and lemons as well as other fruits and vegetables like broccoli and tomatoes. The recommended amount of Vitamin C is 60mg per day, but higher amounts are needed for optimal health. The freshest fruit contains the highest amount of Vitamin C, while cooking and boiling fruits and vegetables can greatly decrease the amount of Vitamin C available.

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