Fruits - Vegetables Rich in Vitamin C
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Fruits and vegetables are essential to good health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, the CDC states that most people should eat more of them. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, fiber and minerals that can protect your teeth and bones, fight cancer and chronic diseases, and even help you maintain or lose weight. One vitamin that is particularly adept at healing wounds, maintaining teeth and bones, and reducing damage from pollutants and toxic chemicals is vitamin C, reports Medline Plus. All fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, some more than others.
The fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amounts of vitamin C are green peppers; citrus fruits and juices; strawberries; tomatoes; broccoli; turnip greens and other leafy greens; cantaloupe; and sweet and white potatoes, according to Medline Plus. Other fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of vitamin C are papayas; mangoes; watermelons; Brussels sprouts; cauliflower; cabbage; white winter squash; red peppers; raspberries; blueberries; cranberries; and pineapples. While these fruits and vegetables contain higher amounts of vitamin C than others, all fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C.
Many fruits and vegetables lose their vitamin C content during the cooking process. To ensure that your fruits and vegetable maintain their vitamin C content, the Department of Human Nutrition at Ohio State University recommends that you serve fruits and vegetables raw as often as you can. When cooking them, steam, boil or simmer fruits and vegetables in very little water. Microwave them for as little time as possible, and cook potatoes in their skins. Refrigerate juices and store for no longer than two to three days. Store cut or raw fruits and vegetables in airtight containers, and refrigerate them without soaking or storing them in water. Vitamin C is dissolved in water, so fruits and vegetables will lose their vitamin C content when stored with water or cooked with too much water.
Following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables ensures that you get the daily recommended value of vitamin C, states Medline Plus. The vitamin helps produce collagen in the skin, protects teeth and bones and repairs damage done to your body by pollutants or toxic chemicals like those found in cigarette smoke. However, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will do more for your body than just provide vitamin C. According to My Pyramid, eating fruits and vegetables will reduce your risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases; reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes; protect against cancers such as mouth, colon and stomach cancer; reduce your risk of heart disease; reduce your risk of developing kidney stones; decrease bone loss; and help you maintain or lose weight.
According to the Department of Human Nutrition at Ohio State University, some people consume more vitamin C than the recommended daily intake. The department reports that there are no known advantages to consuming excessive amounts of vitamin C, and most people receive an adequate amount from the fruits and vegetables already in their diets.
While extremely rare, a diet overabundant in vitamin C can lead to vitamin C toxicity, which can cause upset stomach and diarrhea, according to Medline Plus. However, because your body does not store vitamin C, it is unlikely that you will experience vitamin C toxicity while eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
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