Vitamin C is one of the most critical nutrients in the body, playing a key role in immune system function and the production of white blood cells, as well as the creation of collagen, which is necessary for every tissue, cell, and muscle in the body. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is also critical to the cardiovascular health and the prevention of blood clots.
Top Food Sources of Vitamin C
Some of the best foods high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, peas, grapefruit, and pineapple, among others. Depending on how these foods are cooked, stored and cultivated, the amount of vitamin C could differ, but these are the standard amounts for these well-known and easily accessible foods.
In 100 grams of black currant berries, you can access 180 milligrams of ascorbic acid, roughly 300% of your daily requirement.
You only need a half cup of red peppers to knock out your daily requirement of vitamin C, thanks to its more than 181 milligrams (+300%).
Despite not having quite as much ascorbic acid as red peppers, one cup of green peppers will deliver 200% of your daily requirement – approximately 120 milligrams.
Famed for its vitamin C content, one small orange actually only has 51 milligrams of ascorbic acid; that still represents 85% of your daily intake, but drinking orange juice is the best way to get your vitamin C boost.
A single strawberry can offer 7 milligrams of vitamin C, which is more than 10% of your daily requirement.
1 cup of cauliflower will offer roughly 50 milligrams of ascorbic acid, which is about 85% of what your body needs every day.
Eating half a grapefruit will pucker your lips and deliver about 2/3 of your daily requirement of vitamin C.
A single cup of peas will deliver nearly 60 milligrams of ascorbic acid, putting it just under your full daily requirement of ascorbic acid.
1 small papaya offers roughly 150% of your daily requirement of this critical nutrient.
Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms
If you are suffering from vitamin C deficiency, your doctor may prescribe an increase in foods high in vitamin C. A deficiency in ascorbic acid may manifest in:
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Slow healing time
- Dry hair
- Brittle nails
- Weakened immune system
- Sore muscles
Severe Deficiency Signs
Scurvy is the condition that occurs after severe vitamin C deficiency, which can result in lethargy, bone pain, small spots of red under the skin, and swollen or bleeding gums. If you see any of these symptoms, it is important to speak with a doctor and adjust your diet accordingly.