Vitamin C is one of the most essential nutrients for the human body. During the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, many health experts are advising people to consume Vitamin C every day. The recommended Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C for an adult is about 90 mg for males and 75mg for females per day. However, a breastfeeding mother requires an extra 30 mg, and an individual who consumes tobacco needs an extra 35 mg per day. You can easily consume the required amount of Vitamin-C by eating a variety of fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Read this article to know the benefits and food sources of vitamin C.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Improves the Immunity System
As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C tries to protect the body cells from getting damaged by free radicals which are usually developed from air pollution, tobacco smoke, excessive sunlight, regular process of metabolism, etc. Free radicals accelerate rapid aging and enhance the risk of various diseases like cancer, heart disease, etc. It also involves a number of biochemical processes, which boosts up immunity.
Vitamin C promotes the movement of the immune cells called phagocytes which can “swallow” destructive bacteria and other particles. Furthermore, it supports the formation and spread of another kind of immune cell called lymphocytes, which contributes to increasing the process of proteins and antibody circulation, which can attack and kill harmful as well as foreign substances in your blood-flow.
Some studies found that vitamin C may help an individual to recover from colds faster and restricts the level of symptoms at mild or less severe stages. Some case studies in humans revealed that vitamin C can decrease lung inflammation and treat severe respiratory diseases caused by H1N1 (“swine flu”) or other kinds of viruses.
Contributes to Collagen Formation
Vitamin C plays a great role in the process of Collagen synthesis which contributes to the growth of new tissues. Collagen also forms connective tissues of diverse organs like muscles, gums, blood vessels, bones, cartilage, etc. In addition to this, Collagen formation makes the skin healthy and promotes the healing process of cuts and wounds.
Improves Iron Absorption
Iron is a vital nutrient that plays diverse essential functions in the human body. It is necessary for the production of red blood cells and the transportation of oxygen to cells throughout different organs of the body.
If you are suffering from anemia, or iron deficiency, add Vitamin-C enriched foods and vegetables to your regular diet. Vitamin C promotes the absorption of non-heme iron contained by plant-based sources like vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
Per 100g of Green chili peppers can deliver about 242 mg of vitamin C. One piece of green chili pepper includes about 109 mg (121% of DV) of vitamin C, while one piece of red chili pepper contains 65 mg (72% of DV).
Chili pepper is a rich source of capsaicin. Though Capsaicin is responsible for the Chili’s unique hot taste, this compound can contribute to lessening pain and inflammation. Furthermore, Evidence shows 10g of red chili powder can increase the process of fat burning.
Per 100g amount of Parsley contains about 133 mg of vitamin C. 2 Tbsp (8g) of fresh parsley contains about 10 mg (11% of DV) of vitamin C. The leafy green vegetable parsley is a great source of plant-based non-heme iron dietary iron.
Vitamin C enriched Papaya consumption can boost up the absorption process of non-heme iron which can prevent and cure iron-deficiency anemia. In a study, people were given a vegetarian diet containing 500 mg of vitamin C twice a day for two months. The result found an increase in iron level by 17%, hemoglobin by 8%, ferritin by 12%.
Broccoli is a green cruciferous vegetable. Per 100g amount of Broccoli contains about 89 mg of vitamin C. One-half cup amount of cooked broccoli can provide about 51 mg of vitamin C (57% of DV). Researches show that a regular consumption of vitamin-C enriched Broccoli can lower oxidative stress, cuts down the risk of cancer, heart disease, and improves immunity.
A study reveals that 27 heavy smokers were served with 250-gram steamed broccoli (146 mg of vitamin C) every day. After 10 days, a 48% decrease was found in their inflammatory reacting compound. Therefore, regular consumption of broccoli may reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases.
Per 100g amount of Lemon delivers about 77mg of Vitamin-C. One whole raw lemon including skin contains about 83 mg (92% of DV) of vitamin C.
The vitamin C in lemon juice also acts as an antioxidant, which can neutralize unstable compounds (free radicals) from your body and prevents cellular damage.
100g amount of Lychee contains about 72 mg of vitamin C. One single lychee contains about 7g (7.5% of DV) of vitamin C, while one-cup of Lychee servings can provide about 151% of DV on average.
This summer fruit contains plenty of vitamin C, which contributes to collagen synthesis and benefits the health of blood vessels. Moreover, Lychees are enriched with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid compounds, which can improve your brain activities, heart functions, and blood circulation.
A study found over 196,000 people found that participants who consumed maximum concentration of vitamin C intakes experienced about 42% reduced risk of stroke.
100g servings of Papaya can deliver about 62 mg Vitamin-C. One cup (145 grams) of papaya contains about 87 mg (97% of DV) of vitamin C.
In a study, 20 mild-Alzheimer patients were given a concentrated papaya juice for a period of 6 months. The results discovered about a 40% decrease in oxidative stress with a reduced level of inflammation. So, regular consumption of Papaya may improve your memory and result in anti-inflammatory effects.
100g servings of Orange provide about 53g of Vitamin-C. One medium-sized orange can deliver about 70 mg (78% of DV) of vitamin C.
In simple words, the citrus food orange can cover the lion’s share of dietary vitamin C intake. The antioxidant activity of Vitamin-C can reduce inflammation and boost up your immune function.
Besides the aforementioned fruits and vegetables, Vitamin C can be found in many other food sources like Guava, Strawberries, Kiwi fruit, Thyme, Mustard Spinach, Kale, American Persimmons, Brussels Sprouts, Tomatoes, Blackcurrants, Rose Hip, Kakadu Plums, Acerola Cherries, etc.