Do you want to know more about vitamin C? Are you interested in knowing how this vitamin functions in your body? Did you know that your best defense against a deficiency is a diet that is rich in C vitamin (in Denmark, the people commonly refer to it as C vitamin fødevarer)? To clearly understand everything about C vitamin, here are 10 important things that you may want to know.
- Vitamin C was first successfully isolated in 1928 by a Hungarian biochemist. It paved the way for better understanding of the impact of C vitamin in the body. However, the presence of ascorbic acid was detected much earlier. 18th century researchers detected a so-called food factor present in citrus fruits. The British Navy also successfully used lime juice in 1795 to fight scurvy even though ascorbic acid was not yet known during those times.
- Vitamin C is water soluble and can not be stored in your body. The excess ascorbic acid is easily excreted through the urine. So it is important to constantly supply your body with C vitamin in order to avoid a deficiency.
- The daily recommended intake for men is 95 mg. Women need as much as 75 mg of vitamin C every day. If you are a habitual smoker and drink alcohol on a daily basis, then you have to add 35 mg more ascorbic acid to the daily recommended intake.
- Vitamin C is important for your body. First of all, the vitamin helps you absorb the iron in your diet. It also helps facilitate the production of collagen which is needed for the growth of skin cells, tissues, and cartilage.
- Ascorbic acid is considered an antioxidant, which means it has the ability to help detoxify your body.
- Contrary to popular belief, vitamin C is not directly responsible in boosting the immune system. However, it plays a role in fighting off bacteria and viruses by promoting the healthy production of mucus membranes. Because of this, viruses can be filtered out which helps the immune system to work more efficiently.
- Citrus fruits are known to contain rich amounts of vitamin C. This is true to some extent because citrus fruits have higher levels of ascorbic acid compared to other types of fruits. However, the best source of C vitamin is hot chili peppers, specifically the green variety.
- Vitamin C deficiency is quite rare nowadays especially in developed countries. There are some groups of people, however, who are at greater risk of deficiency. They include smokers, alcoholics, and those who are undergoing aggressive cancer treatments.
- Because vitamin C is water soluble, soaking fruits and vegetables for long periods could diminish their ascorbic acid content. It is also not advisable to boil or fry fruits and vegetables.
- Vitamin C from dietary sources is non toxic and can be consumed in huge amounts. You can eat hefty servings of fruits and vegetables without worrying about overdose or ascorbic acid toxicity.
After, reading those 10 interesting facts about vitamin C, I think it is time to share what I learned about preparing foods rich in this vitamin from the website of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in The Florida University. According to some surveys performed by the institute, it is very important to “cook vitamin C-rich foods quickly in as little water as possible” and also to “cut vegetables just before eating or cooking”. Both those tips will allow you to preserve the vitamin C in your food and improve your health.