The human body needs a constant supply of Vitamin C, which is a water soluble vitamin. Water solubility means that the vitamin cannot be stored as fat for later use, but must be passed out through the urinary or excretory systems. Citrus fruit, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes, are popular sources of Vitamin C. But you can get your Vitamin C from non-citrus fruits and vegetables as well.
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Vitamin C Storage and Consumption
Vitamin C content depends on the species of a fruit, climate, and maturity. Excessive heat or cold exposure impairs Vitamin C. A young fruit or vegetable carries less Vitamin C than a riper one. In food preparation, one has to be mindful when heating and boiling vegetables since most Vitamin C compounds (ascorbic acid) get lost that way. Also, the freezing and thawing processes lower amounts of Vitamin C by 25-50%. It is best to consume fruit in its natural state with skin intact, since cutting skin removes essential vitamin content.
Vitamin C's Importance
Vitamin C's functions are indispensable to health and survival. It repairs cells, tissues, bones, skin and cartilage; stimulates growth and regeneration; helps create antibodies which shield the immune system and fight disease; and detoxifies the body from free radicals which are chemicals released as a by-product in metabolism. Bleeding gums, weakened tooth enamel, slow body repair, easy bruising, dehydrated and discoloured skin, nosebleeds, anaemia, brittle hair, and swollen joints are telltale signs of Vitamin C deficiency. The FDA advises a daily Vitamin C intake of 2,000 mg.
Non-citrus Fruit Containing Vitamin C
Non-citrus fruit abundant in Vitamin C include plums, grapes, berries, pineapple, tomato, watermelon, avocado, pear, apple, guava, and mango.
Vegetables Rich in Vitamin C
Vegetables containing excellent sources of Vitamin C are cauliflower, parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, onion, kale, mustard green, Brussels sprouts, carrots, green peas, potato, celery, lettuce, cucumbers, leeks, turnip, asparagus, beets, yam, and corn.
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