Just about everyone knows that we all need vitamin C in our diet. But do you know which foods have the highest supply? Do you realise that some substances can interfere with it's absorption and yet others can improve absorption?
This nutrient is also known as ascorbic acid. It's a well known powerful antioxidant in the body and can be easily absorbed without food. So a drink of orange juice will give you an instant boost.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is quickly lost from your body, so daily intake is important. It’s worth noting that grapefruit has the capacity to increase the effect of certain medicines. So be careful if you are taking any prescription medications.
Vitamin C Functions:
•It's involved in a large number of biological processes, making it essential for health.
•Helps create collagen in the body, a protein that makes the skin, joints and bones strong.
•Aids wound healing within the body.
•Boosts your immune system by maintaining activity of the white blood cells.
•Aids iron absorption.
•Protects cells from free radical damage (as an antioxidant).
•Possibly regenerates your vitamin E supplies.
It is found in wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Figures vary enormously on how many grams of this vitamin are found per 100grams of a food type. Below are some average figures.
Some good to excellent sources of vitamin C are:
Apples (6mgs per 100 grams)
Apricots (10mgs per 100 grams)
Avocado (8mgs per 100grams)
Bananas (9mgs per 100 grams)
Bell peppers, (called Capsicums in NZ and Australia & also known as sweet peppers in UK),
Blackberries (between 6 to 21mgs per 100 grams)
Blackcurrents (200mgs 100grams)
Blueberries (11mg per 100 grams)
Broccoli (90mg 100 grams)
Brussels sprouts ((80mg per 100 grams)
Cauliflower (40mg per 100 grams)
Cherries (10 mg per 100 grams)
Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes)
Kale ((41mg+ per 100 grams)
Kiwi fruit (green: 98mgs per 100grams or one kiwifruit = 115% RDA)
Kiwi fruit (yellow: 120-180mgs per 100grams)
Feijoa fruit (25 -31mgs per 100grams, depending on variety)
Guava (228mg of per 100 grams)
Grapefruit (34mgs per 100grams)
Lychee (72mg per 100 grams)
Mangoes (1 mango gives your daily requirement!)
Melon (Honeydew 20mgs per 100grams)
Papaya (62mg of per 100 grams)
Parsley (130mg of per 100 grams)
Persimmon: (25 to 60mg per 100 grams)
Plums (10mg per 100 grams)
Potatoes (20mg per 100 grams)
Raspberry (30mg per 100 grams)
Redcurrent (58 - 81mg per 100 grams)
Rock melons (canteloupes) (42mg per 100 grams)
Strawberries (5 strawberries provide more than half the daily requirement or 60mgs per 100gms)
Sweet potato (Kumera)
Tangerine (1 fruit provides almost half an your RDA)
Tomato (19mg per 100 grams)
Watermelon (10mg per 100 grams)
Well known substances that hinder or prevent absorption of this nutrient are : Alcohol, tea and coffee.
So, to summarise.......you have a wide choice of foods to get your daily ascorbic acid from. Remember that Kiwi fruit contains 1.5 times the daily requirements of Vitamin C, more than oranges!
Try to have at least 5 to 7 pieces of fruit a day. Have some on breakfast cereals, mix some in salads, have fruit between meals and with your desert.
A well balance, healthy
pregnancy diet contains a mix of fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates (things like potatoes, rice, pasta), protein and other foods. Everything in moderation is the key.