Vitamin C deficiency can be dangerous, but you can take measures to prevent it. This information can help you protect you and your family as you include the nutrients you need in your diet.
What are the sources of vitamin C?
Vitamin C is naturally present in some food, such as fruits and vegetables. It is added to other food, such as breakfast cereal, and it is available in dietary supplements. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, tomato juice, and potatoes are rich in vitamin C.
The amount of vitamin C in foods may be reduced by long storage and cooking. This nutrient is easily destroyed by heat; however, when you steam or microwave your foods, the loss of vitamin C might be less significant. Also, you can consume raw many of the best sources of vitamin C such as fruits and vegetables, and conserve this essential nutrient.
Role of vitamin C in the body
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that facilitates many functions of the body. It is important for the tissues of the body to grow and repair themselves. The body also requires vitamin C to make collagen, which is an important part of bones, tendons, and ligaments. Vitamin C is also a very effective antioxidant that fights harmful free radicals in the body.
Results of vitamin C deficiency
Severe vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy. The initial symptoms of scurvy include fatigue and inflammation of the gums. But as the deficiency worsens, the connective tissues weaken and cause joint pain. Other signs of scurvy include bleeding gums, loosening and loss of teeth, and bleeding and bruising easily.
People with scurvy may also experience depression, and wounds takes longer to heal. Scurvy could also affect children and impair the growth of their bones. Similarly, a condition termed “iron deficiency anemia,” caused by increased bleeding and decreased iron absorption iron due to low vitamin C intake, may result. If left untreated, scurvy is a potentially fatal disease.
How to get adequate amounts of vitamin C
According the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) varies for different people. The amount of vitamin C you need depends on your age, gender, and other factors such as pregnancy and illnesses. So be sure to get adequate amounts of vitamin C by including a variety of foods in your diet. Since the body is not able to make vitamin C and does not store it, eat a lot of foods that contain vitamin C every day.
The NIH advises that some fruits, such as citrus fruits, cantaloupes, and kiwi fruits, have higher levels of vitamin C than others. Similarly, vegetables that contains the richest source of vitamin C include cauliflower, green and red peppers, and sweet and white potatoes. So watch your eating habits, strive to consume adequate amounts of raw fruits and vegetables, and avoid vitamin C deficiency.
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