Vitamin C, a water-soluble compound, is one of the most essential nutrients. It is highly needed for the normal growth and development of humans. Vitamin C is also involved in various functions
Since the body cannot make or properly store, it is highly essential to include it in our everyday diet. The best way to do so is to add foods that are high in vitamin C. Before we get into the foods, let us look at the functions of it, and illnesses and the symptoms associated with vitamin C deficiency.
Vitamin C Foods Benefits
As mentioned above, vitamin C is one of the most essential compounds for natural growth and repair of various tissues in the body. It helps in:
- Making or maintain skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels
- Help the body in healing wounds
- Regulates blood pressure
- Repair and maintain bones, teeth, and cartilage
- Facilitate iron absorption
Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant that can help the body in blocking or inhibiting the damage caused due to free radicals. It could otherwise lead to various chronic diseases, including cardiac disorders or arthritis.
Vitamin C is also known to support the immune system (1).
Deficiency of Vitamin C
Like any other nutrient deficiencies, a lack of vitamin C can disrupt the regular body functions and lead to various chronic diseases.
Scurvy is a disease or illness that is associated with a lack of vitamin C. Early signs of vitamin C deficiency include loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, lethargy, and irritability.
As the condition progresses, the symptoms can become worse, and new symptoms may start showing up. Below listed are a few such symptoms associated with vitamin C deficiency.
- Bone pains
- Small red spots (bleeding under the skin)
- Damaged hair
- Damaged gums
- Loss of teeth
- Shortness of breath
- Poor immune response
- Slower wound heal
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent mood swings
- Poor concentration
Foods High in Vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables are some of the best natural sources of vitamin C. Check the below list for such best sources:
Fruits High in Vitamin C
100 grams of guava contains 228.3 mg of vitamin C.
Guava also has various health benefits to the body. They help in lowering blood sugar levels, boosting heart health, improving digestive health, relieving painful symptoms of menstruation, and supporting weight loss.
Guava also supports the immune system, improves skin condition, and also exhibits anti-cancer properties.
100 grams of orange contains 53.2 mg of vitamin C.
Other than being one of the tastiest fruits, oranges are also one of the highly nutrient-dense fruits. They are famously known for exhibiting excellent antioxidant properties that may help in alleviating or even preventing inflammation. They help in lowering the risk of kidney stones, heart diseases, diabetes, and also in lowering blood pressure. Oranges are also good for skin health.
100 grams of pineapple contains 47.8 mg of vitamin C.
They are also loaded with various essential nutrients that can support various systems in the body. The enzymes in pineapple can ease digestion, reduce the risk of cancer, boost immunity, suppress inflammation, and ease the symptoms of arthritis.
Besides, pineapple also may help in speedy recovery after a workout or even after surgery.
Other Fruits That Contain Vitamin C:
- Kiwi fruit
- Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries
Vitamin C Vegetables
1. Chili Peppers
100 grams of chili peppers contain 143.7 mg of vitamin C.
Besides enriching the body with vitamin C, chili peppers also improve digestion, metabolism, cardiovascular health, cognitive functions, and longevity. They can also help in reducing the risk of fungal infections, cold & flu, inflammation, joint pains, and certain types of cancers.
100 grams of Kale delivers around 120 mg of vitamin C.
Kale is one of the highly nutrient-dense superfoods. Alongside vitamin C, it is also rich in fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin K, iron, and various other essential nutrients.
It supports bone health, digestion, improves the condition of skin & hair, and is also good for eyes. Besides, they can also prevent or improve the treatment of cardiac diseases, diabetes, and certain types of cancers.
3. Brussels Sprouts
100 grams of Brussels Sprouts contain 85 mg of vitamin C.
Brussel Sprouts is also a good source for fiber, vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. All these and other nutrients in Brussels Sprouts can regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestive health, enrich immunity, improve vision, and regulate healthy psychological or mental levels.
These are also known to be the powerhouse of antioxidants.
Other Vegetables That Best Sources of Vitamin C:
- Green and red peppers
- Leafy greens
- Sweet and white potatoes
Side Effects of Vitamin C:
As discussed above, vitamin C foods have various health benefits. However, the overloading of vitamin C can have some adverse effects on the body. Below listed are a few such side-effects:
- Digestive disorders
- Nausea or vomiting
- Redness of the skin
- Iron accumulation in the body
Vitamin C supplements may also lead to kidney stones.
Vitamin C Dosage:
It is wise to maintain the daily intake of vitamin C for up to 90mg in adult males and 75mg in adult females.
Vitamin C is surely an essential component. It is always best to include vitamin C foods in everyday diet, as they also enrich the body with other essential nutrients. If you are on a diet and unable to get them through your foods, make sure to inform it to your nutritionists, diet expert, or a physician.
In such cases, they can help you find the alternates either with supplements or by incorporating vitamin C foods in your diet. Besides, make sure not to overload yourself with it, which can otherwise have serious side-effects on the body.