Everything you should know about vitamin C and why ascorbic acid is so essential for our health
Vitamin C is one of the most famous vitamins and plays a major role in health. Also known as ascorbic acid, the vitamin is used in various medical areas and can protect against a wide range of diseases. Here, I want to share with you all the essential information about vitamin C, as Ascorbic acid has numerous positive properties for your body, mind and soul.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an organic compound that is water-soluble, odourless and tasteless. The transparent substance gives the fruit and vegetables the typical, sour taste.
The term ascorbic acid is derived from the use to treat the vitamin deficiency disease scurvy. Ascorbic acid is the biologically effective form of vitamin C – ascorbate is the oxidized form of ascorbic acid and is not as biologically active.
Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins. The organism is not able to produce ascorbic acid. Interestingly, humans are just one of the few mammals that can’t, because many carnivores, such as lions, can produce ascorbic acid because they can’t meet their needs through a purely carnal diet.
However, the vitamin is essential for health. For this reason, it is necessary to absorb the nutrient through the diet. A vitamin C deficiency leads to damage to the organism, the severe form of deficiency is the deadly disease scurvy.
Vitamin C became known by two scientists. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Hungarian scientist Albert Szent-Györgyi succeeded in isolating ascorbic acid from cabbage and peppers.
Later, the British chemist Sir Walter Norman Haworth was able to clarify the chemical structure of the vitamin. Both scientists are Nobel laureates as a result of this discovery.
A little history of scurvy
In the late Middle Ages and early modern times – in the days of Columbus, Magellan, and other great explorers – scurvy was one of the most common, feared, and deadly diseases.
Sailors died in their thousands from the disease, which occurred about 40-60 days after the start of the overseas voyage and ended only when they consumed certain foods, or when those affected had died.
Scurvy is a vitamin C deficiency disease, and it is not surprising that the usual diet of a sailor in the 16th century has been scrutinized: cured meat, bread, beer and brandy.
Coincidentally, a captain then observed that his sailors did not suffer from scurvy as he took sauerkraut with him on the journey.
Sauerkraut contains significant amounts of vitamin C, as we know today. This news quickly made the rounds, and so sauerkraut quickly saved thousands of lives – thanks to vitamin C.
In which foods is vitamin C?
One ca absorb the natural nutrient in larger amounts via the diet. Vitamin C is present in large quantities in fruits as well as vegetables.
Most people associate ascorbic acid mainly with lemons or other citrus fruits. However, there are significantly more fruits that are rich in ascorbic acid.
If you include these products in your diet plan, you will meet the need (mg vitamin C per 100g of the food):
Acerola Cherry (1300-1700mg/ 100g)
Rosehip (1250mg / 100g) (see Discover All About Rosehip The Power Weapon For Arthritis)
Sea buckthorn berries (450mg/ 100g)
Fresh herbs such as parsley (200-300mg / 100g)
Guava (228mg / 100g)
Blackcurrants (175mg/ 100g)
Red peppers (140mg / 100g, raw)
Broccoli (110mg/100g, raw)
Kiwi (100mg/ 100g)
Brussels sprouts (87mg / 100g, cooked)
Green cabbage (75mg / 100g, cooked)
Spinach (50-90mg/ 100g, cooked) (see Myths & Truths About Spinach And 6 Convincing Benefits)
Papaya (62mg / 100g)
Strawberries (62mg / 100g)
Orange (50mg/ 100g)
Tomato (38mg / 100g)
Mango (38mg / 100g)
Beef liver (20-40mg / 100g)
Apple (15-30mg / 100g)
W can encounter ascorbic acid in appealing amounts in almost all fruits, such as oranges, mandarins, pineapple, pomegranate and berries. The enrichment is less than in the green vegetables, but it is also healthy and nutritious in fruits.
Herbs also contain vitamin C. At around 330 mg per 100 g, nettle is considered the strongest supplier. Dandelion and parsley also contain the healthy vitamin.
What is the requirement for vitamin C?
In addition to fruits and vegetables, vitamin C can also be supplied via dietary supplements. The level of daily demand is debatable. The FDA cites 60mg as a reference value. Smokers, people with inflammatory diseases, and pregnant and nursing women have an increased need of about twice the amount.
However, some scientific studies have shown that one can use significantly higher amounts of vitamin C without side effects.
How much vitamin C per day is optimal for humans?
The daily values recommended by the FDA do not correspond to a healthy, optimal supply, but only to the amount needed to prevent serious diseases. The “daily requirement” of vitamin C of 60-100mg daily is, therefore, not the amount that you should target daily.
Anthropological studies on natural peoples and our Stone Age ancestors showed that about 500 mg of vitamin C daily can be considered an optimal dose; that is, 5 times the usual “daily requirement”.
How common is the lack of vitamin C?
Ascorbic acid is vital as an essential vitamin. Because lots of fresh foods contain the nutrient, you don’t have to be afraid of a deficiency when eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
If the need increases for various reasons, you should pay a little more attention to the vitamin. Many factors cause the body to require a higher intake.
In addition to smoking and pregnancy, stress and inflammatory diseases play an important role. Vitamin C is consumed in large quantities in some processes, such as the formation of stress hormones. The body, therefore, always strives for a small buffer.
These factors significantly increase demand:
1- Competitive sports and heavy physical work
2- Chronic stress in everyday life
3- Diseases associated with weakening the immune system (see Effective Home Remedies For A Stronger Immune System)
4- Autoimmune diseases
5- Inflammatory systemic diseases
7- Mental illness
8- Consumption of alcohol and drugs
9- Tobacco consumption
10- Oncological diseases
11- Post-traumatic stress, such as after surgery or a stroke of fate
12- During and after prolonged infectious diseases
13- When taking some medications, e.g. antibiotics or painkillers (analgesics)
14- Preparation of fruit and vegetables (long or heavy heating)
The rule of thumb is that members of these risk groups have about twice the need for vitamin C and should, therefore, aim for at least 120 mg daily if you want to meet the FDA’s “daily requirement”; optimal, however, is a daily guideline of 500-1000mg.
By a deficiency I mean here the percentage of people who lie between an absolute vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) and a subclinical supply (slight deficiency). According to an American survey, a quarter of the US population suffers from a subclinical deficiency.
Have your say now. How are you covering your daily requirements of ascorbic acid? Did you know all the above-mentioned details about vitamin C, or would you like to add something? Please, feel free to do so in a comment below. I’m looking forward to reading from you.
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