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Foods High in Vitamin C


Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin which is essential for normal functioning of the body. Unlike most mammals, humans don't have the ability to make their own vitamin C. We must therefore obtain vitamin C through our diet.

Because it isn't stored in the body, you should eat foods high in vitamin C every day. The FDA recommends that we get 60 mg of vitamin C per day. It should be noted, however, that the RDA is not based on what is required for optimum health, says Hans Larsen in an article entitled Vitamin C: Your Ultimate Health Insurance. “The RDA is simply the amount required to avoid scurvy, the most obvious deficiency disease.”

“Many experts are now realizing that the RDA of 60 mg/day is far too low to provide for optimum health and protection against disease,” says Larsen. “A team of medical researchers at the National Institutes of Health in the USA recently completed a study designed to determine the vitamin C requirements of healthy, young men. They found that a minimum intake of 1000 mg/day was required to completely saturate the blood plasma with vitamin C. They also found that vitamin C should be taken in divided doses throughout the day as urinary excretion increases rapidly when individual doses exceed 500 mg.
The researchers conclude that the RDA should be raised to 200 mg/day. This amount of vitamin C can be obtained from a diet containing five daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables; unfortunately, less than 15 per cent of children and adults in the USA actually consume such a diet.”

Most of us think of citrus fruits as being the best source of vitamin C. You'd get 60 mg/day from about 3/4 cup of orange juice. Although citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, other not so obvious foods contain vitamin C as well. Here are some ways to put vitamin C on your table, says Robyn Webb in an article to the Diabetes Forecast:

  • Eat more broccoli. A 1/2-cup serving provides 45 mg of vitamin C.
  • Add a slice of tomato to your sandwiches. A small tomato provides 25 mg of vitamin C.
  • Slice up a papaya or mango for dessert. Half a medium papaya or mango provides 95 mg of vitamin C.
  • Think peppers! Red, yellow, and orange peppers have about twice the vitamin C of green peppers.
  • More obscure vegetables, like kohlrabi and jicama, provide about 45 mg of vitamin C per half cup. Just grate each into a green salad.
  • Believe it or not, potatoes contain vitamin C, too! A small baked potato has 25 mg.
  • Kiwi fruit, the fuzzy little brown fruit with the deep green interior, has about 55 mg of vitamin C.

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