Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that it dissolves in water and is transported to the tissues of the body. However, the body cannot store it, so it must be taken daily preferably through food and not supplements.
Even before the discovery of vitamin C in 1932, experts had already established that some component of citrus fruits could prevent scurvy (a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C and manifested by bleeding from the skin and mucous membranes, especially the gums, and weakness healing the wounded).
Vitamin C plays a key role in infection control and wound healing and is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals. It is valuable for the production of collagen, a protein that helps form and strengthen bones, blood vessels and skin. It also helps synthesize several hormones and chemical messengers used in the brain and nerves.
In particular, with regard to respiratory infections, the evidence reveals that vitamin C contributes to reducing the intensity and possibly the duration of the symptoms of the common cold. In fact, according to some data, this valuable vitamin can even halve the intensity and duration of annoying symptoms such as sore throat and runny nose.
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. The following list will help you:
- Citrus fruits (oranges, kiwis, lemons, grapefruits, tangerines)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
We also note that although oranges and orange juice are considered champions in terms of their vitamin C content, the truth is that there are many other fruits and vegetables with a higher vitamin C content such as peppers (183 mg of vitamin C/100g), kiwi ( 92 mg/100g), broccoli (89 mg/100g), strawberries (58 mg/100g) and last on the list oranges with 53 mg of vitamin C per 100g.
However, vitamin C is not a panacea. Our diet should be balanced and we should consume foods from all food groups so that we get all the necessary nutrients that our body needs to function properly and fight against pathogens and infections.