Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that you need to take externally from natural resources or supplements. The daily recommended intake of vitamin C for females is 75mg, and for males, it is 90mg.
You can get enough vitamin C from natural sources like fruits and vegetables. You can get it through fruits like oranges, kiwis, strawberries, and vegetables like lemons, spinach, broccoli, kale, and bell peppers.
Benefits of vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in regulating many bodily functions like the synthesis of collagen, prevention of infections, maintenance, and repair of bones, teeth, and cartilage. Moreover, it also serves as an immune booster. There are many benefits of consuming vitamin C in your diet. Some of them are as follows.
- Boosts your immunity
- Imparts glow to your skin
- Lowers the risk of cancers
- Protects you from infections
- Reduces inflammation
- Keeps blood pressure under control
- Lowers elevated levels of serum uric acid
- Slows down aging
- Keeps your bones, cartilages, and teeth strong
Along with all these benefits, it also plays a role in preventing iron-deficiency anaemia.
Your body needs iron to function well. If you fail to meet the daily required amount of iron in your diet, it can result in iron deficiency anaemia.
Iron deficiency anaemia shows the following signs and symptoms.
- Extreme fatigue
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath, especially on exertion
- Fast heartbeat
- Body pain
- Cold hands and feet
- Brittle nails
- Soreness and inflammation of the tongue
- Craving for non-nutritive substances like ice or dirt
- Poor appetite
Role of vitamin C in preventing iron deficiency anaemia
Iron deficiency can cause anaemia- a condition in which a deficiency of haemoglobin occurs. In turn, many complications arise like difficulty in breathing, fatigue, lethargy, and body aches. Vitamin C helps in preventing iron deficiency because it enhances the absorption of iron. It happens because it turns the iron, especially which is plant-based into a form that is easy to absorb for the body. It is more helpful for people who are vegetarian and consume veggies to overcome iron deficiency. Therefore, while you eat something rich in iron like spinach or lentils, make sure you sprinkle lemon over it, as it will help in its absorption.
Taking vitamin C regularly helps in the prevention of iron deficiency, hence anaemia. Therefore, if you have an iron deficiency anaemia, consume enough vitamin C as well.
Vitamin C food sources
Along with supplements, you can consume enough vitamin C through fruits and vegetables. However, it is better to eat them raw as vitamin C is heat-labile. If you cook it, it may not give you enough of the right nutrients.
- A half-cup/75mg of red pepper gives 95mg of ascorbic acid that is 158% of the daily value.
- 177ml of orange juice gives 93mg of vitamin C that makes 155% of the daily value.
- Half a cup or 90grams of kiwi fruits gives 64mg of ascorbic acid that constitutes 107% of the daily value.
- Half cup green pepper or 75 grams gives 60mg of vitamin C that gives 100% of the daily value.
- Half a cup or 78mg of cooked broccoli contains 51mg of vitamin C that gives 85% of the daily value.
- Half a cup or 72grams of fresh strawberries yield 49mg of vitamin C, which constitutes 82% of the daily value.
Iron food sources
You can get iron through the following resources to prevent iron deficiency anaemia.
- Kidney beans
- Red meat
- Dried fruits like raisins and apricots
- Fortified breakfast cereals, pasta, and bread
To prevent iron deficiency, you must consume enough vitamin C daily. Even if you consume iron-rich foods, make sure you sprinkle lemon juice over it or take some fruit-rich in vitamin C that helps in proper absorption of iron. Taking iron-rich foods alone may not help in getting rid of iron deficiency anaemia. If you fail to meet the daily required amount of vitamin C and iron through foods, you can compensate for it with supplements.