Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, helps to repair body tissues, fight diseases and infections and is an antioxidant (substance that may help the body fight diseases such as cancer and heart disease).
How much do we need?
The recommended amount of this vitamin for most healthy people is 60mg/day. A glass of orange juice gives you your full day’s supply!
Vitamin C mg
|One 8-ounce glass of orange juice||97|
|One cup of strawberries||75|
|1 medium kiwi fruit||85|
|1/2 cup raw green peppers||45|
|1/2 cup cooked broccoli||37|
|1 baked potato||26|
|1 raw tomato||24|
What foods are the best sources of Vitamin C?
Fortunately, if you like fruits and vegetables, it can be pretty easy to get the recommended amount. Fruits, especially citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, contain lots of vitamin C. Vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli and potatoes are also great sources of vitamin C. If you are not a fruit and vegetable eater, it will be much harder to get your vitamin C. The other food groups, such as milk and meat, are not good sources of vitamin C. Eating at least 5 – 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day is a great way to get enough vitamin C as well as other important vitamins and fiber.
What about supplements?
Consuming extra vitamin C in the form of supplements is a common practice these days. Vitamin C is often taken to ward off a cold or taken when someone feels they may be getting a cold. While the research is not definite on the real benefits of this practice, extra vitamin C is usually safe in amounts up to twice the RDA of 60 mg. Excess vitamin C not needed by the body will just be excreted in the urine. While vitamin C is generally not considered toxic (e.g. poisonous), large amounts over 1000 mg can cause stomach upset, and kidney or other problems.