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Functional Medicine Insights: Vitamin C Benefits and Top Dietary Sources

Food, Medicines, and Lies

The Health Talk series by Dr. Prritii

Functional Medicine Insights: Vitamin C Benefits and Top Dietary Sources

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. Here are several reasons why it's important to include vitamin C in your daily diet:

Boosts Immune System: Vitamin C plays a key role in strengthening the immune system, helping the body to ward off infections and illnesses.

Antioxidant Properties: It acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to chronic diseases and aging.

Collagen Production: Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, a protein that is vital for the health of skin, blood vessels, bones, and connective tissues.

Enhances Iron Absorption: It improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods, which is important for preventing iron-deficiency anemia.

Wound Healing: Due to its role in collagen production, vitamin C helps in the repair and healing of wounds.

Heart Health: It may help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by improving endothelial function and reducing inflammation.

Eye Health: Vitamin C, along with other antioxidants, can help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration.

Brain Health: It supports brain health by protecting against oxidative stress, which can contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Skin Health: Regular intake of vitamin C can improve skin texture and appearance, reducing wrinkles and dryness by supporting collagen production.

Preventing Scurvy: Although rare in modern times, severe vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, characterized by fatigue, gum disease, and skin problems.

Sharing a list of fruits and vegetables which are good sources of vitamin C:


  • Citrus Fruits: Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and tangerines are all excellent sources.

  • Kiwi: High in vitamin C and other nutrients.

  • Strawberries: A delicious way to boost your vitamin C intake.

  • Guava: Contains more vitamin C than many other fruits.

  • Papaya: Offers a significant amount of vitamin C.

  • Pineapple: Another tropical fruit rich in vitamin C.

  • Mango: Provides a good amount of vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients.

  • Berries: Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries have decent vitamin C content


  • Bell Peppers: Red, yellow, and green bell peppers are among the highest sources of vitamin C

  • Broccoli: A cruciferous vegetable that is also rich in fiber

  • Brussels Sprouts: Another cruciferous vegetable high in vitamin C.

  • Kale: This leafy green is packed with vitamins, including C.

  • Cauliflower: Contains a good amount of vitamin C.

  • Spinach: While not as high as some other vegetables, spinach still provides vitamin C.

  • Tomatoes: Including tomato products like sauce and juice

  • Gooseberry (amla): It is a very good source of Vitamin c. you can add it in your vegetable or juice or can have in form of pickle.

for Maximizing Vitamin C Intake

  • Eat Raw or Lightly Cooked: Vitamin C is sensitive to heat and can be destroyed during cooking. Try to eat these foods raw or lightly steamed to retain their vitamin C content.

  • Freshness Matters: Vitamin C content can decrease over time, so try to consume fresh produce as soon as possible after purchase.

  • Storage: Store fruits and vegetables properly to maintain their nutrient content. For example, keep citrus fruits at room temperature and refrigerate berries and leafy greens.

Here is the approximate amount of vitamin C present in 100 grams of various fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C:


  • Amla (Indian Gooseberry): 300-600 mg

  • Guava: 228 mg

  • Blackcurrants: 181 mg

  • Kiwi: 92.7 mg

  • Strawberries: 59 mg

  • Papaya: 60.9 mg

  • Pineapple: 47.8 mg

  • Oranges: 53.2 mg

  • Mango: 36.4 mg

  • Lemon: 53 mg


  • Red Bell Peppers: 190 mg

  • Green Bell Peppers: 80.4 mg

  • Yellow Bell Peppers: 183.5 mg

  • Broccoli: 89.2 mg

  • Brussels Sprouts: 85 mg

  • Kale: 93.4 mg

  • Cauliflower: 48.2 mg

  • Spinach: 28.1 mg

  • Tomatoes: 23 mg

  • Chili Peppers: 143.7 mg


  • Parsley: 133 mg

  • Thyme: 160 mg

These values can vary slightly depending on the specific variety, ripeness, and preparation method of the fruit or vegetable. Including a variety of these foods in your diet will help ensure an adequate intake of vitamin C.


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