Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that supports normal growth and development and helps your body absorb iron. It’s important to include vitamin C in your diet because your body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C.
The Health Benefits of Vitamin C
- Boost immunity as firstly, vitamin C supports the production of white blood cells, which can help protect the body against infections.
Secondly, vitamin C helps white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, including the free radicals.
Thirdly, vitamin C strengthens the skin’s defense system and skin barriers.
Finally, vitamin C may shorten wound healing time
- Good for heart health as it lower heart disease risk factors, such as the reduction of LDL, the bad cholesterol and increase of blood triglycerides level
- Improve the absorption of iron from the diet and reduce the risk of iron deficiency. Iron is important for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body.
- Lower blood pressure level by relaxing the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart
- Lower the risk of cataracts as well as age-related macular degeneration, an aging-related eye disorder characterised by vision loss
- Promote healthy hair through the increase in collagen production in the body, and fight off free radicals that cause brittle hair and hair follicle damage
- Reduce inflammation by increasing blood antioxidant level
- Support healthy skin being rich in vitamin C which promotes the production of collagen and may protect your skin from sun damage
Best Vitamin C Fruits
1. Acerola Cherries (vitamin C: 1677.6mg)
Acerola cherry is a plant that is native to tropical regions of the Western Hemisphere. Its common names include Barbados cherry and West Indian Cherry. Acerola cheery produces cherry-like berries, and is extremely rich in vitamin C.
The fruit is most commonly found in supplement form as the berry decomposes within five days of harvest, losing much of its nutrition.
2. Guava (vitamin C: 228.3mg)
Guavas are tropical trees originating in Central America. The fruit is oval in shape with light green or yellow skin and contains edible seeds.
The common types of guava are apple guava, yellow-fruited cherry guava, strawberry guava, and red apple guava.
Guava is mostly eaten raw (when ripe or semi-ripe) or consumed in the form of juice, jams, and jellies.
3. Blackberries (vitamin C: 181mg)
Blackberry is a delicious and versatile fruit, belonging to the Rubus genus in the Rosaceae family which also consists of raspberry and dewberry.
Each individual blackberry, when ripe, is made up of 20-50 single seeds known as drupelets. The drupelets are small, juice-filled and a deep purplish black.
4. Kiwi (vitamin C: 92.7mg)
Kiwi, also known as the Chinese gooseberry, is a nutritious, sweet-tart fruit. There are different varieties of kiwi, such as with or without seeds, fuzzy or smooth, green, brown, purple or red skin and green or golden yellow fleshed fruits.
5. Lychee (vitamin C: 71.5mg)
The lychee, also known as litchi or lichee, is a small tropical fruit from the soapberry family. Other popular fruits in this family include rambutan and longan.
Lychees have an inedible, pink-red, leathery skin, which is removed before consumption. The flesh is white with a dark seed in the center.
6. Persimmon (vitamin C: 66mg)
Persimmon, the orange tomato-shaped fruit, is well-known for its sweet, honey-like flavor.
Persimmons can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked and are commonly used in jellies, drinks, pies, curries and puddings.
7. Papaya (vitamin C: 62mg)
Papaya is the fruit of the Carica papaya plant that grows in tropical climate, it is also known as papaws or pawpaws.
Papayas are shaped similar to pears and can be up to 20 inches (51 cm) long. The skin is green when unripe and orange when ripe, while the flesh is yellow, orange or red.
The fruit also contains many black seeds, which are edible but bitter.
8. Strawberries (vitamin C: 58.8mg)
Strawberry is a sweet, red heart-shaped fruit that belongs to the rose family and has a distinct aroma. It can be eaten fresh and are popularly used in desserts, drinks and other baking products due to their bright colour and juicy taste.
9. Orange (vitamin C: 53.2mg)
Orange is a type of citrus fruit popular due to their natural sweetness. The family also includes other related species of oranges such as pomelo, tangerine, yuzu, lemon, and grapefruit.
10. Lemon (vitamin C: 53mg)
They grow on lemon trees and are a hybrid of the original citron and lime.
Lemons are a popular fruit that people use in small quantities to add flavor to food. However, due to their intense sour taste, they are rarely consumed alone.
|Fruits (per 100g)||Vitamin C|
How Much Vitamin C You Need?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended vitamin C daily allowance (RDA) for adults over age 19 is:
- Men, 90 mg per day
- Women, 75 mg per day
- Pregnant women, 85 mg per day
- Breastfeeding women, 120 mg per day
The RDAs of vitamin C for teens and children are:
- Toddlers 1-3 years old, 15 mg per day
- Children 4-8 years old, 25 mg per day
- Children 9-13 years old, 45 mg per day
- Male teens 14-18 years old, 75 mg per day
- Female teens 14-18 years old, 65 mg per day
The recommended Adequate Intakes (AIs) for infants is:
- Infants 0-6 months old, 40 mg per day
- Infants 7-12 months old, 50 mg per day
For most people, a healthy diet provides an adequate amount of vitamin C. If you struggle to get enough vitamin C from your diet, vitamin C supplements are a great and simple way to boost your vitamin C intake.
The maximum recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adult males and females is 2,000 mg.
High doses can cause adverse effects, including heartburn, nausea, headaches, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Doses over 2,000 milligrams are considered extreme and may increase the risk of severe diarrhea and kidney stones.
There is no one best vitamin, mineral, or nutrient. It is all about the big picture and what your body needs. Eating a varied diet rich in all the nutrients is the best strategy for good health.