Vitamin C: The Immunity Booster

Remember your mom insisting that you eat citrus fruits regularly when you were a kid? Nothing could be more beneficial! Citrus fruits are a warehouse of Vitamin C, which we need to ensure proper functioning of various organs and systems in our body. So thank your mom, and make sure your kids too get the right amount of Vitamin C from their diet.


Oranges, lemons, tangerines, limes, grapefruit, tropical guava, and kiwi fruit are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Papaya, strawberries, black currants, red peppers, tomatoes; potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower are some other sources. If you include these in your family’s diet, there will be no need for Vitamin C supplements.


Vitamin C performs various immunity functions; it helps in wound healing and prevents infections from spreading. Vitamin C is essential to prevent scurvy and for sperm production. It provides energy and aids in the production of certain hormones that help to fight-off stress. It also protects against heart ailments. It addition, it is essential for the formation and health of cartilage, skin, and blood vessels and helps our body to easily excrete toxins.


Research indicates that low levels of Vitamin C in the body show a strong correlation with cancers of the esophagus, mouth, stomach, and pancreas. Another research shows that consuming small amounts of citrus fruits reduces the incidence of skin cancer. Some studies suggest that Vitamin C can help control pain and inflammation. However, Vitamin C cannot help you cure colds, contrary to popular belief.


To ensure that you get adequate amounts of Vitamin C from your diet keep cooking time and temperature at a minimum. Also, don’t throw away the water you used in the cooking process. You can store cut fruits and vegetables in the fridge for future use without them losing too much of Vitamin C. However, don’t cook in copper vessels. An interesting fact is that Vitamin C levels in fruits vary with ripeness. For example, in some fruits, unripe versions have more Vitamin C than very ripe ones, and in other fruits the case is just opposite.  In addition, different varieties of the same fruit tend to have different levels of Vitamin C. This is clearly demonstrated in the case of the tropical guava.  


The recommended daily intake varies between 30 and 60 mg across different studies. Research indicates that women who are pregnant or lactating may have a higher requirement. However, just because Vitamin C has loads of health benefits you don’t need to consume vast amounts of fruits and vegetables rich in this vitamin. Remember to add five fruits and vegetables in your daily diet; choose whichever you like and eat moderately. Fruits like grapefruit are known to react with some prescription drugs, so consult your doctor before you include this fruit in your diet. Consumption of too much Vitamin C either through dietary sources or by way of supplements may lead to severe indigestion, headache, and excessive urination. So the health tip is: “don’t overdo!”