Vitamin C Foods-Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C Foods- This article is dedicated to Vitamin C Foods and benefits of Vitamin C.

It is also known as L-ascorbic acid. It is originated from two words “A- meaning no” and second part ascorbic from “scorbutus (scurvy)” – named due to the disease Scurvy caused by the deficiency of vitamin C. It is a water-soluble vitamin and is easily dissolved in water. It is found naturally in food and is also available in the form of supplements. Humans are unable to synthesize this vitamin so it must be supplied to the body through diet or in severe cases through supplements.

Vitamin C Sources
Vitamin C Sources

Synonyms of Vitamin C

  • Ascorbic acid
  • Ascorbate
  • Calcium ascorbate
  • Sodium ascorbate
  • L-ascorbic acid

Sources of Vitamin C: Vitamin C Foods List:

Best Sources of Vitamin C
Best Sources of Vitamin C

The main (Vitamin C Foods) sources of Vitamin C are plant sources. The richest sources are citrus fruits. Foods enrich in vitamin C are listed below:

  • Guava
  • Avocados
  • Oranges (orange juice)
  • Lemon (lemon juice)
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Tomatoes (tomato juice)
  • Potato
  • Figs
  • Red chilli
  • Green chilli
  • Bell pepper
  • Black currant
  • Kale
  • Green peas
  • Pappaya
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cran berries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mango
  • Apple peel
  • Granny smith apple (peel)
  • Milk (small amount)
  • Coriander leaf
  • Amla
  • Mushrooms
  • Algae
  • Oysters
  • Modified milk powder
  • Condensed whole milk
  • Skimmed milk powder
  • Yogurt
  • Green turnip
  • Melons
  • Rosehip

Vitamin C Functions:

Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here I have mentioned some major Vitamin C Functions.

·        Maintenance of connective tissue:
It plays an important role in the maintenance of connective tissue health in the body. It is useful in the collagen synthesis, which has a major role in wound healing.

·        Synthesize neurotransmitters:
It also synthesizes some neurotransmitters such as L-carnitine which is a short chain ester and has the beneficial effect on muscle and brain health and is used in the treatment of depression.

·        Vitamin C- antioxidant:
It is one of the major antioxidants and plays important role in the prevention of cancer. As an antioxidant, it reduces the damaging effects of free radicals. Read here about Sources of Vitamin E.

·        Role of Vitamin C in the immune system

It improves the immune system as it supports:

  1. Production of interferons
  2. Function of phagocytes
  3. Cytokine production by white blood cells
  4. Cell-mediated immune responses
  5. Nitric oxide production by phagocytes
  6. T-lymphocyte proliferation
  7. B-lymphocyte proliferation
  8. Antibody production and complement activity
  9. Cell activity of natural killer cells
  10. Prostaglandin formation
  11. Cyclic GMP levels in lymphocytes
  12. Detoxification of histamine
  13. Neutralization of oxidative stress
  14. Immune response to vaccination
  15. Mucolytic effect
  16. Function of antibiotics

·        Role in CVD:
It prevents Cardiovascular diseases.

·        Good skin:
It is useful for maintaining the good and healthy skin.

·       Vitamin C helps in iron absorption:
It also improves the absorption of nonheme iron (found in vegetables, fruits, beans, grains etc)

·        Maintain bones health:
The adrenal steroid hormone is formed through vitamin C which maintains bone health after menopause when ovaries stopped production of hormones or after surgical removal of  ovaries

·        Helps in the absorption of calcium & Vitamin D:
It enhances Calcium and Vit D absorption and stimulates cells that build up bones

·        Role in tissue growth

It supports tissue growth and repair to maintain the healthy life.

·        Vitamin C helps in anti-aging:
It also acts as anti-aging because it prevents the formation of free radicals.

·        Wound healing:
It helps in the healing of wounds.

·        Forms tendons & ligaments:
The body uses vitamin C  in the formation of tendon, ligaments, and skin

·        Maintain healthy teeth:
It also helps to maintain teeth and their formation

·        Vitamin C Prevents cataracts:
It is also used to treat muscle degeneration and cataracts along with other beta carotenes, Vit E and zinc supplements

·        Prevents vision loss:
It reduces Age-related vision loss along with beta-carotene, zinc, and Vit E. Read here about Sources of Vitamin E.

·        Prevents hardening of arteries and helps avoid cardiac diseases:
It reduces the risk of hardening of arteries

·        Prevents protein loss:
It reduces protein (albuminuria) in urine along with vitamin E

·        Use in fractures:
Taking Vit C after any fracture (wrist fracture) reduces the pain

·        Prevents redness of the skin:
Using Vitamin C containing skin creams reduces the redness (erythema) after laser use for wrinkle and scar removing

·        Prevents hemolysis:
Hemolytic anemia (abnormal breaking of red blood cells)  can be treated or improved through vit C

·        Vitamin C prevents stomach ulcers:
Side effects of ulcers caused by H.Pylori in the stomach can be decreased by using Vit C. It decreases the risk of cancerous lesions in the stomach

·        Use after dialysis:
It has been observed that consuming vit C before and after dialysis reduces the chances of ascorbate deficiency in these patients

·        Treatment of tyrosinemia with Vitamin C:
Tyrosinemia- high blood levels of tyrosine (a genetic disorder in newborns) can be likely treated with Vit C

·        Prevents gallbladder disease:
In females Vit C can likely treat gallbladder diseases, however, in men, there is no effect

·        Inhibits histamine:
It also inhibits histamine that is released during allergic reactions

·        Helps in folic acid metabolism:
It helps in folic acid metabolism.

·        Act as a cofactor:
It is a cofactor of proto collagen hydroxylase, which is important for connective tissue proteins such as cartilage, dentin, and bone

·        Oxidation of proline:
It is responsible for the oxidation of proline and lysine into hydroxy-proline and hydroxy-lysine

·        Act as prophylactic:
It acts as prophylactic against neurolathyrism

·        Vitamin C reduces uric acid levels:
It reduces uric acid in the blood and as a result, provides protection against gout attacks.

Vitamin C Deficiency:

Vitamin C Deficiency can cause major issues.

The deficiency of vitamin C or lack of vitamin C in your body can be caused by following risk factors.

Risk factors for Vitamin C Deficiency: Vitamin C Deficiency Causes:

  • Poor diet
  • Malabsorption
  • Diet high in meat and low in fruits and vegetables
  • Malnutrition
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Anorexia
  • Mental illness
  • Depression
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Tobacco consumption
  • Dialysis
  • Beverages intake
  • People who eat fast food
  • Celiac disease (the immune reaction to eating gluten-containing diets and the intestinal lining is destroyed)
  • Ulcerative colitis (long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract)
  • Crohn’s disease (inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract)
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers. Here is the guide about Vitamin B12 Foods.

Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms:

The early signs or symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are:

  • Weakness and tiredness
  • One feels Lethargic
  • Fatigue
  • Easily bruising of wounds
  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • Inflammation of gums (gingivitis)
  • Bleeding through nose
  • Prolonged period in wound healing
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Red spots on skin
  • Dry hair
  • Hair can easily be pulled out
  • Splitting ends of hair
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Weak immune system
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Arteriosclerosis or Atherosclerosis
  • Strokes
  • Diseases of gallbladder
  • Radicals formations
  • Wrinkles on skin
  • Arthritis
  • Repeated common cold

Complication due to deficiency of vitamin c:

If the deficiency of Vit C is not treated it leads towards Scurvy

  • What is scurvy?

“ Scurvy is a disease caused by the deficiency of vitamin C. It is characterized by bleeding and spongy gums, loss of teeth and bleeding under the mucous membrane or skin.” The following picture shows scurvy teeth and bleeding of gums. Read here about Sources of Vitamin A.

How vitamin C provides you energy?

As it is a micronutrient so it does not give the high amount of energy. As a vitamin, it is required in minute amounts but plays the significant and important role in strengthening the bones. It incorporates calcium into Bone Tissue.

It helps in the formation and maintenance of good quality and high-density bone material which requires vitamin C as a precursor and a major component. Vitamin C initial assimilation of calcium into the bone and also serve as a protective micronutrient in preventing leaching of calcium out of bones and help in the fight the oxidative stress that works against assimilation. Read here about Rich Sources of Iron.

In nourishing the bones it performs other functions too, some of which are listed below

Vitamin C stimulates the formation of the cells (osteoblasts) which incorporate calcium into bone tissue (osteoblasts).

To maintain the adequate amount of calcium in bones for its strength and density Vitamin C inhibits the development of cells that dissolve calcium out of bone tissues (osteoclasts).

About the author:

My name is Sabahat Khalid and I am doing BS in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. In this article, I have given detail about vitamin C.

’To eat is the necessity but to eat intelligently is an art’’

The reason for writing this article is to generate awareness among people about Vitamin c. It is a vitamin that your body needs to form vessels, cartilage, muscles and collagen and aids in the healing process. As an antioxidant, it should be used for the prevention of cancer. So vitamin C rich foods must be added to your diet for maintaining health.

Thank you!

Team Nutrition Lab

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  1. Hey my name is Aneeqa Ilyas .as I know vitamin C is very important for my health so I consume alot of fruits and vegetables containing vitamin C like broccoli cabbage tomatoes milk and yogurt sometimes .and in fruits I consume mango and apple .

  2. In winters we use oranges in other days we use mostly green leafy vegetables n green chilli as vit C source

  3. My name is Maryam Gul and I am student of BS human nutrition and dietetics..I consume salad of some green veggies , cherries, mango and potatoe as sources of vitamin C ..

  4. Hii.. My name is Zernaab Waseem..Very informative article.. Well written and well informed..l consume a lot of fruits and vegetables as a source of vitamin C.. Mainly included oranges, cabbage, lemon, spinach, tomato, potatoes, red chilli, green chili, mango, yoghurt.

  5. A.o.a! My name is Alina Ejaz. i am student of BS human nutrition and dietetics.The source of vitamin c that i consume on daily basis is yogurt. Moreover i consume potato,red chili,orange,strawberries and mango as a source of vitamin c.

  6. We use vitamen c sources on daily basis are
    Red pepper
    Green chilli
    While other fruits nd vegetables.. We can’t say that we use them on daily basis..!

  7. Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so informative that I never stop myself to say something about it.
    You’re doing a great job saba,Keep it up…..

  8. AoA…my name is rimsha nazir….Vitmn C is good for health…i consume many fruits n vegetables for vitamin C…potato oranges mango green leafy vegetables etc….thanku

  9. On regular basis we consume lemon, yogurt, chilli…
    On seasonal basis; in winters our richest source for of Vit C is oranges!

  10. Well done Sabahat!
    It is interesting to know about the benefits of Vitamin C.
    I consume oranges , mango, apple, lemon, melon, green leafy vegies, chilli, guava…. as a source of vitamin C but according to their season.

  11. Green chilli being the richest source of Vit C is consumed on daily basis in the cooked meal . Citrus fruits like lemon is also consumed on week and daily basis ..thanks

  12. Strawberries,lemon,guava and oranges and green leafy vegtables and chillies are good source and are consumed daily to meet body need of vitamin C
    Good one article

  13. Really a well written article…
    I consume all the citrus fruits & green leafy vegetables to meet the requirement of vitamin C…

  14. My name is Rabeea Latif…chillies are used on daily basis in cooking foods as a good source of vit c lemons ,spinach,potatoes,oranges and strawberries are goodv source of vit c so i try to use them…

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