Sources of Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C, popularly known as ascorbic acid, is an essential micronutrient for the human body. A large number of people these days consume ascorbic acid in the supplement form, especially in the United States, Europe, Australia, etc. Citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, meat, dietary supplements etc are some sources of ascorbic acid. A number of animals can synthesize vitamin C on their own, but mammals like human beings, chimpanzees, hamsters etc cannot do so and hence have to consume it through dietary sources. Ascorbic acid is a vitamin which is soluble in water.

A person’s vitamin C requirement depends on his/ her age. Younger people need more vitamin C than grown or middle aged ones. Then again, the elderly also require good doses of vitamin C. Everyone’s ascorbic acid requirements can be met through foods. Some rich sources of ascorbic acid are:
Parsley- It is an excellent source of ascorbic acid. Leaves and grains of the parsley plant are rich in vitamins. They can be eaten boiled, or even in porridge form.

  • Broccoli– Like most cruciferous veggies broccoli possesses a rich load of ascorbic acid. A single floret can provide the body about 122% of its daily ascorbic acid requirement. Broccoli can be eaten steamed, boiled, in vegetables, and even raw.
  • Bell peppers– Fiery and flavorful, bell peppers whether red, green or yellow are great sources of ascorbic acid. They give a zing to any dish they are added to, and being so attractive they look very appealing too.
  • Oranges, lemons, sweet limes, and grapefruit– These citrus fruits are high in ascorbic acid content. Each of these fruits has a slightly sour taste, which is a result of the vitamin C they contain. They can be eaten raw, made into jams and jellies, juices, et al.
  • Papaya– A calorie rich fruit which is also rich in a number of nutrients, papaya is among the sources of ascorbic acid. Being a very popular fruit, it is mostly eaten raw.
  • Brussels sprouts– A member of the crucifer family, Brussels sprouts contain a high amount of vitamin C. They are a rich green in color and can be added to a number of vegetable preparations and stir fries.
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mulberries and cranberries – These delicious berries- every single one of them- are a storehouse of ascorbic acid. These are by far the most appealing, attractive and palatable sources of ascorbic acid. They also possess immunity boosting properties, and help make the skin clear, smooth and radiant.

Why is vitamin C so necessary?

1. It helps in cell and tissue regeneration. It helps in the rebuilding of cells and muscle blocks.
2. Ascorbic acid is very important when it comes to improving the absorption levels of iron in the body.
3. Helps prevent cancerous growths.
4. Boosts immunity. Prevents colds, coughs, sore throats. Helps protect and regenerate white blood corpuscles.

How does ascorbic acid deficiency affect a person?

Scurvy is a disease caused due to deficiency of vitamin C. It causes bleeding of the gums, soreness and itchiness of the skin, and rashes. Also, severe deficiencies of ascorbic acid can cause clinical depression.

How does over consumption of ascorbic acid affect a person?
Ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin. This means, any excess can get dissolved in the bloodstream and expelled through urine/ feces. However, if the excess is that by a large amount, it can cause diarrhea. Also, in extreme cases, hemorrhoids can be formed. But this is rare.

Hence, going by the vast number of health benefits it has, ascorbic acid should be included in one’s daily diet in well regulated amounts.

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