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Sources and benefits of vitamin C


Vitamin C rich foods

Did you know? Citrus fruits aren’t the only, and not even the best, source of vitamin C.

Best sources of vitamin C are:

  • Kakadu plum – 100g: 2907mg Just one plum (about 15g) packs 436mg of vitamin C

  • Red acerola cherries – ½ cup (49g): 825mg

  • Red capsicum – ½ cup: 95mg

  • Green capsicum – ½ cup: 60mg

  • Strawberries – ½ cup: 49mg

  • Kiwi fruit – 1 medium: 64mg

  • Orange – 1 medium: 70mg

  • Broccoli – ½ cup: 51mg

  • Brussel sprouts – ½ cup: 48mg

  • Kale – 1 cup: 80mg

  • Small lemon – 45mg

  • Black currants – ½ cup (56g): 102mg

  • Blueberries – 1 cup: 15mg

  • Watermelon – 1 cup diced: 12mg; 1 wedge: 23mg

  • Rock melon – 1 cup diced: 57mg; 1 wedge: 20mg

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in some foods. Humans, unlike most animals, cannot make vitamin C in their bodies, so it is important to make sure you are getting it from your diet.

Vitamin C is important for:

  • a healthy immune system

  • helping prevent and shorten duration of colds and flus

  • collagen production to help maintain firmness and elasticity of the skin

  • healing of cuts, abrasions and bruises

  • forming and maintaining connective tissue including bones, blood vessels, and skin

  • aiding the absorption of iron from the diet

Cooking and storage of vitamin C foods

Heat and storage can affect vitamin C content of foods. Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, light and oxygen. Cooking foods high in vitamin C can lead to some loss of this nutrient and prolonged storage can also reduce its potency.

Note: Excessive intake of vitamin C, especially via supplements, can cause stomach upset and diarrhoea.



References:

Kirschmann G, et al. Nutrition Almanac. 4th ed, McGraw Hill, 1996.

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