Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an essential substance to life, it is water-soluble and should be introduced in our body with diet or through supplements because the body isn’t able to produce it. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, according to scientific studies (Vojdani et al, Cancer Detect Prev, 2000 or Padayatty et al, J Am Coll Nutr, 2003), supports immune system and protects the cells from the dangerous action of the free radicals. Vitamin C is able to lower the blood pressure by promoting the relaxation of the blood vessels (Ettarh et al, Can J Physiol Pharmacol, 2002), in this way it protects also the health of the cardiovascular system. In addition to this, this type of vitamin promotes also the production of energy on a cellular level, supports the work of the muscles, improves the production of noradrenalin, that is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in determining the good mood, it neutralizes the toxic substances by promoting their removal and makes easy the absorption of iron that comes from diet and that can be in a poorly assimilable form, as in the case of legumes. But vitamin C plays also a role in maintaining the body weight and in counteracting the abdominal fat caused by stress or blood sugar, in fact vitamin C is able to increase the stress resistance and to balance the amount of glucose present in the blood (Afkhami-Ardekani, Indian J Med Res, 2007 but also Kodama et al, In Vivo, 1993). Finally, vitamin C stimulates the collagen production for the health of skin, bones, teeth and cartilages (Boyera et al, Int J Cosmet Sci, 1998). Thanks to all these benefits of vitamin C, it is also possible to understand the importance of its daily intake, that should be from 65 mg to 90 mg per day thourgh diet or, in case of a lack of vitamin, supplements. Vitamin C doesn’t accumulate in the body because it is water soluble, however, an excess of vitamin C, over 200-300 mg, may cause side effects, such as an increased production of oxalates and therefore a higher risk of kidney stones, but it can cause also nausea, stomach pain or cramps. In general, a varied diet should be protective against this risk. Let’s see the foods that contain vitamin C (From Natural Medicine from A to Z, Bruno Brigo).
Food highest in vitamin C (more than 100 mg per 100 g)
Green cabbage, Brussels sprouts, black currant, rose hips, paprika, horseradish and broccoli.
Food high in vitamin C (50
100 mg per 100 g) - papaya, kiwi fruit, strawberry, orange juice, lemon, orange, watercress, fennel, cauliflower.
Foods with a medium content in vitamin C (10-50 mg/100g)
garlic, leek, grapefruit, parsley, mango, red currant, raspberry, tomatoes, asparagus, blackberries, avocado, turnip.
Foods with a low content in vitamin C (less than 10mg/100 g)