In this blog, we discuss the importance of Vitamin C to our health and where it’s found naturally in your diet.
All vitamins are compounds required by the body that are used for normal metabolic processes such as producing energy. Vitamin C is classified as an essential vitamin, meaning it cannot be made in the body, and therefore needs to be consumed from our food intake.
Vitamin C is also water soluble so it cannot be stored in the body. This means it is really important we get it from our diet, in small amounts every day.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for all aspects of our health, it helps maintain healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage, and aids in wound healing.
More commonly known, Vitamin C is useful in supporting our immune system. It has been shown to reduce the severity and length of the common cold by helping produce the white blood cells used to fight off infections.
Vitamin C is also involved in the formation of collagen which is the connective tissue in our skin and around our bones. When there is a wound in the body, collagen glues the separated tissue together.
It is well documented that people who smoke have lower levels of Vitamin C in their body as they have lower absorption uptake of the vitamin. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant in the body. This means it can repair damaged cells, similar to a slice of apple left out that eventually turns brown.
With a balanced and varied diet including fruits and vegetables, everyone should be able to achieve the recommended daily intake all year round.
Adults are recommended to have 40mg per day, children 25-35mg and pregnant women 50mg.
To put this into context, here is a list of foods that contain a good amount of Vitamin C.
One portion of red pepper may contain up to 110mg of Vitamin C, and 100g of kiwi fruit could have around 75mg.
Vitamin C also helps to increase the absorption of iron from plant sources only, such as spinach. It can be a good idea to combine plant sources of iron and foods containing Vitamin C if you are prone to having low levels of iron. Some examples would be having spinach with lentils, or eggs with pepper.
Always aim for at least 5 portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day and it’s more than likely you will cover your daily intake for Vitamin C.
Food is always preferable to supplements and will have a bigger impact on your health.
So, add a chopped pepper to your dinner, grab a couple of kiwis as a snack and if you like them, eat your sprouts!
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