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Vitamin C

Our familiar friend

9576576_xlVitamin C is one of the most renowned nutrients in the world – even as kids, we could easily name citrus fruits and vegetables as good sources of this vitamin. Boasting a range of be
nefits from nutrient production to disease prevention, vitamin C is truly deserving of its fame.

Between the 16th and 18th centuries, foods containing vitamin C were used to treat scurvy among sailors in the British navy. Symptoms of the disease include bleeding gums, bleeding under the skin, and pinpoint bruises. Many people who sailed long voyages without enough vitamin C perished from scurvy. With the discovery of vitamin C and awareness of its benefits, scurvy is, thankfully, very rare today.

So, what good will that cup of orange juice do you today? 24219159_xl

BENEFITS
Vitamin C produces collagen, a protein which forms the framework for our skin and bones. Without collagen, we would literally fall apart! This is precisely what we see in scurvy – people suffering from vitamin C deficiency lose strength in their bones and bleed easily.It helps prevent cancer. Vitamin C is a good source of antioxidants, which extinguish the free radicals that may damage and mutate cells. By keeping our immune systems in check, vitamin C helps guard against all forms of cancer.

As an antioxidant, it helps prevent heart disease by preventing free radicals from damaging artery walls. It also keeps cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check.

It helps in cataract prevention. Our eye lenses need a lot of vitamin C to counteract the free radicals that form as a result of exposure to sunlight.

It also helps treat the common cold. Studies have found that while vitamin C cannot prevent cold, it shortens the time you are sick and reduces the severity of the symptoms.

CAUTION! More isn’t always better.Too much vitamin C can cause nausea, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps.

 

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The Health Promotion Board recommends a daily intake of 105mg of vitamin C for men and 85mg for women. Pregnant and lactating women should consume 100mg and 135mg of vitamin C, respectively. While supplements are available, experts recommend getting the vitamin through a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. (Guess what? Oranges aren’t the most loaded on vitamin C!)

Food Sources of Vitamin C

Foods Serving Vitamin C content (mg)
Guava <OUR PICK> 1 cup (165g) 377 
Red bell peppers 1 cup (150g) 190
Broccoli 1 cup (160g) 101.2
Strawberries 1 cup (152g) 84.7
Pineapple 1 cup in chunks (165g) 78.9
Oranges 1 medium 69.7

 

References:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/vitamin-supplements/vitamin-c-benefits.htm

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=109#nutrientdescr

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/effects-of-taking-too-many-vitamins

http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/2652

 

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Posted by ezyhealth on Jun 10 2014. Filed under Nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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