If there were a popularity contest among vitamins, Vitamin C would probably win the tiara and first place. No other vitamin has become such a household name, but what do you actually know about it in addition to the conventional wisdom of munching on Vitamin C when you’re getting a cold?
Vitamin C can prove useful in a large number of cases. Actually, it requires a decent dosage of Vitamin C to fight most forms of cancer, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, eye disease, thyroid disease and joint disease. In addition, there are a number of specific medical conditions that may be improved by elevated Vitamin C levels, like Parkinson’s, irritable bowel disease, diabetes, depression, autism, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and acne. Vitamin C also improves iron absorption and acts against free radical damage.
But how can you recognize a deficiency? The usual indicators are frequent colds, poor wound healing, and lung-related problems. Luckily, the Paleo diet provides a myriad of sources for obtaining Vitamin C in the form of whole fruits and vegetables.
How much Vitamin C do you need in your diet?
The recommended daily amount is 60mg, but the natural requirement of each individual can vary.
Which foods can you get Vitamin C from?
The actual content of Vitamin C in food can vary greatly, with ripe foods containing more than unripe ones, and when it comes to ripe food, there’s probably more Vitamin C in it if it’s been harvested when younger. A good Paleo diet however provides a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C, so this variation shouldn't become an issue. Below are some great sources with their average content of vitamin C.
- Papaya – Papayas probably aren't the first fruit that comes to mind with Vitamin C, but this exotic fruit is an excellent source. One medium sized fruit will provide you with 313% of your daily Vitamin C need. Whoa!
- Capsicum/ Bell peppers – The amount of vitamin C that is packed in capsicum/ bell peppers depends on their colour. While green capsicum/ peppers have the least Vitamin C in them, yellow capsicum/ peppers have the most, providing 206% of your daily need in a 100g serving.
- Kiwi – another delicious fruit, kiwi provides as much as 141% of your daily Vitamin C need per just one fruit. Small but powerful!
- Strawberries – Not just a delicious mid-summer dessert, strawberries also provide a great source for Vitamin C. A serving of 100g will give you 98% of your daily need.
- Broccoli – Another great vegetable source for Vitamin C, broccoli provides 135% of your daily need in one cup of florets.
- Kale – Vitamin C content is among the health benefits of dark leafy greens, with kale including the most. In 100g of raw kale, there’s 200% of your daily need of Vitamin C. That’s a great reason for sautéing some kale with your meal, preparing a salad or even making kale chips – because chips full of vitamins are just phenomenal!
- Orange – One medium orange contains 116% of your daily Vitamin C need. There’s quite a lot of vitamins in the peel as well, so if you have organic oranges, don’t hesitate to use their peels to season your meals!
- Thyme – if you want to enhance your meal’s Vitamin C content with seasonings, thyme is your best choice. A single tsp provides 3% of your daily intake need – this might not sound like much, but for just a dash of herbs it is quite remarkable.
What else do you need to know about Vitamin C?
It is best to consume Vitamin C-containing fruit and vegetables when they’re fresh and raw – this way you’ll be able to absorb as much of the vitamin as possible. Some loss of the vitamin occurs in food when it is briefly boiled, steamed or frozen, while the loss is significant after longer periods of boiling, or if the food has been canned.
So, did you learn something new about vitamin C from reading this? Do you have any good tips when it comes to Vitamin C? Please share in the comments!