Vitamin C is one of the most important sources of antioxidants. It helps to prevent many diseases related to the heart and cardiovascular system. Vitamin C gives us strong teeth and healthy gums. It also helps in preventing heart attacks, strokes, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and cataracts. There are a large number of natural sources of vitamin C. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Citrus Fruits – Citrus fruit are the richest source of vitamin C; in fact they are the prime sources of this vitamin. Oranges, lemons, lime and grapefruits are the most common examples of citrus fruits. These fruits are very helpful in the formation of collagen and inter-cellular material. This collagen forming property is helpful for the quick healing of scars and wounds. Fresh juices extracted from these fruits should also be added in your daily diet, especially in breakfast. These prove to be very healthy starters adding freshness and health to your body systems. These fruits can also be consumed in the forms of jams, jellies, marmalade and fruit salads.
- Berries – Berries like blue berries, raspberries, cranberries and strawberries are very rich sources of this vitamin. They are available in many forms in the market. They are present as juices, jams, jellies and squashes. They are very helpful for the better development of bones and teeth and should be used, especially by growing children. Children should be encouraged to drink juices instead of fizzy drinks and carbonated water. Carbonated beverages do a lot of harm by demineralising the bones and removing calcium from them. This weakens the bones and teeth.
- Red Chillies – Although red chillies should not be used in excess, moderate amounts of red chillies and red peppers are good sources of vitamin C. The vitamin is also present in green chillies and black pepper. These herbs and spices are commonly used in your foods.
- Green Leafy Vegetables – Green leafy vegetables, beans and peas are full of vitamin C. These include cabbage, spinach, celery, broccoli, parsley and many other vegetables. So, salads and vegetarian sandwiches should be added into your daily diet as good sources of vitamin C.
- Other Fruits – Fruits like melons, watermelons, kiwi fruit and custard apples supply vitamin C in abundant amounts and also provide other health benefits. They are also rich sources of fibres, so they help to regulate the digestive system. They help in the proper digestion of food by slow passage through the intestines.
Guavas, peaches and plums help in providing resistance against infections. This improves the immune system of the body and makes the human body less susceptible to diseases.
- Bean Family – Brussels sprouts, peas, and beans also supply vitamin C. These vegetables can be used in any form and can be boiled, baked or toasted.
- Pulses – Young people are normally unaware of the benefits of pulses. Pulses and grains are rich sources of many vitamins, especially vitamin C. They aid in the development of bones and teeth and prevent scurvy (bleeding gums).
These are some of the most important natural sources of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. In case of a chronic deficiency, you should consult your health physician to give to additional Vitamin C supplements.