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Quick Facts

VITAMIN C


What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin which promotes wound healing, healthy teeth and gums, helps the body absorb iron and helps the body's immune system. A deficiency of Vitamin C causes scurvy, a disease characterized by small hemorrhages throughout the body that cause the gums and skin to bleed.


What is the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C?

Dietitians say we need a minimum of 30 mg of Vitamin C daily, and the Food and Nutrition Board's recommended dietary allowance for the vitamin is 50 mg daily for children, 60 for adults, and 70 to 90 mg daily for pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. Because Vitamin C is water-soluble, your body flushes out whatever it doesn't use, so it's important to get some Vitamin C every day.


What foods contain Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables, including dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, melons and squash, berries, tomatoes, peppers and yams.


Does taking massive doses of Vitamin C prevent colds?

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says that taking Vitamin C may lessen the symptoms of a cold once you have it, but no large-scale research has proven a link between taking lots of Vitamin C and actually preventing a cold.



Some fruits high in Vitamin C

ITEM SERVING CALOR. FAT FIBER VIT. C
STRAWBERRY 1 cup, halves
45.5g
O.5g
3.5g
86mg
LEMON 1 w/o seeds
21.5
O.5g
5g
83mg
KIWI FRUIT 1 med. w/o skin
46.5
O.5g
2.5g
74.5mg
ORANGE 1 med.
61.5
O
3g
69.5mg
GRAPEFRUIT 1/2 med.
41
O
1.5g
44mg
Source: USDA - Nutrient Data Lab (Sept. 1996)
*all data based on raw fruit, rounded to nearest 0.5

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