The ABC’s of Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for proper functioning of the immune system, absorption of iron, and maintaining healthy skin. It is required for synthesis of the structural protein collagen, which is the building block of bones and helps boost calcium absorption. Since our bodies can’t produce vitamin C on their own, we must obtain sufficient amounts from food. The recommended daily value for adults is about 90mg.
While Vitamin C deficiencies are relatively rare, symptoms include fatigue, rashes, internal bleeding, gingivitis and impaired wound healing.
Contrary to common belief, citrus is not the best nor the only source of Vitamin C. Of course, oranges and lemons do contain plenty of this vitamin and are great options, but here is a list of foods that contain even more Vitamin C than an orange.
Guavas: These tropical fruits, originating from Central America, contain four times as much Vitamin C as oranges! Besides boosting immunity levels, guavas have been found to help prevent the growth of cancerous cells.
Bell peppers: One cup of bell peppers contains 211% of the daily value for Vitamin C, making it one of the richest
sources. Bell peppers are also beneficial for optimizing eye health and reducing the risk of anemia.
Brussel sprouts: Brussel sprouts are not only loaded with Vitamin C, but also Vitamins A, K and folate. Consuming Brussel sprouts is a great way to improve bone strength and function.
Strawberries: These juicy, red fruits are an optimal source of Vitamin C and manganese. Consisting of 91% water, they are also great for for keeping you hydrated.
Kiwis: The abundant Vitamin C in kiwis fights aging and helps the growth and repair of body tissues. In addition, Kiwis have lots of dietary fiber, which is important for digestion and the regulation of blood sugar levels.
While Vitamin C might not be the magical “cure” for colds, it certainly plays a significant role in keeping the immune system functioning properly. These five foods are excellent sources that will help you meet daily intake requirements and promote overall health.
Contact Gini Warner, Nutritionist www.healthbygini.com for help with healthy meal planning and weight control.