In which foods do we find Vitamin C and how important is it?

Mango Jam - Photo By Thanasis Bounas
Mango Jam - Photo By Thanasis Bounas

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that serves several essential functions in the body. It’s a powerful antioxidant, meaning it helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, a protein that plays a crucial role in wound healing, skin health, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. Vitamin C also enhances the absorption of non-heme iron from plant-based foods and supports the immune system’s function.

Foods that are rich in vitamin C include:

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits
Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries
Bell peppers (particularly red and green peppers)
Brussels sprouts
Leafy greens such as spinach and kale

Since the human body cannot produce or store vitamin C, it’s essential to consume an adequate amount of this vitamin daily through diet. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, a condition characterized by fatigue, weakness, swollen and bleeding gums, joint pain, easy bruising, and poor wound healing. While scurvy is rare in developed countries due to the widespread availability of vitamin C-rich foods, suboptimal intake of this vitamin can still result in compromised health and immune function. Therefore, maintaining a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables is key to ensuring sufficient intake of vitamin C for overall health and well-being.

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