Vitamin C: what it is used for and what foods ascorbic acid is found in

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is contained in many fresh foods and although it is commonly associated with citrus fruits, its presence is not exclusive to these fruits

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so it must be taken regularly through food because it cannot be stored in the body.

In addition to dissolving in water, vitamin C is sensitive to high temperatures, so cooking in water nullifies its properties.

What is vitamin C used for?

Vitamin C is involved in many metabolic reactions and the biosynthesis of amino acids, hormones and collagen.

It also helps strengthen the immune system due to its antioxidant effects, and helps the body prevent the risk of cancer by inhibiting the synthesis of carcinogenic substances.

It is also crucial in neutralising free radicals, waste products of the cells.

The average daily requirement of vitamin C is 75 mg in adult men and 60 mg in women; in the case of pregnancy or lactation, the requirement increases.

Foods that contain the most vitamin C

Vitamin C is contained particularly in fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables.

To make the most of the benefits of vitamin C, these foods should be eaten raw or undercooked within 3-4 days.

They are particularly rich in vitamin C:

  • Pepper: 100 g of raw peppers provide 151 mg of the vitamin;
  • Rocket: 100 g rocket provides 110 mg of the vitamin;
  • Kiwi: 100 g kiwi provides 85 mg vitamin;
  • Cauliflower: 100 g raw cauliflower provides 59 mg vitamin;
  • Spinach: 100 g raw spinach provides 54 mg vitamin;
  • Broccoli: 100 g of raw broccoli provides 54 mg of vitamin;
  • Lemon: 100 g of lemon provides 50 mg of vitamin;
  • Orange: 100 g blond orange provides 49 mg vitamin;
  • Mandarin: 100 g mandarin provides 42 mg vitamin;
  • Tomato: 100 g of raw salad tomatoes provide 21 mg of vitamin.

Does vitamin C help against colds and flu?

We often hear that vitamin C is useful against colds and flu.

In reality, vitamin C has no therapeutic properties and therefore does not cure colds or flu.

However, the vitamin can help reduce the duration of a cold or flu due to its antioxidant and immunostimulant action: its intake through fresh, seasonal foods can therefore be helpful.

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