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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Vitamin C: Functions and Sources
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism

Vitamin C

Alternate Names : Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C | Functions and Sources

What food source is the nutrient found in?

The best sources of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines are excellent sources. Other good sources of vitamin C are as follows:

  • broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts
  • melons, kiwifruit, and strawberries
  • sweet peppers, potatoes with skin, and tomatoes
  • Here are some guidelines for eating fruits and vegetables with a high vitamin C content.

  • Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables over canned products.
  • Cook vegetables only for a short time in a small amount of water.
  • Eat raw vegetables.
  • Eat sliced fruits and vegetables shortly after they're cut.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables refrigerated, and eat them while they're fresh.
  • How does the nutrient affect the body?

    Vitamin C is important to many body functions. It helps the body do the following:

  • build and maintain collagen, which are fibers that connect tendons, ligaments, bones, and cartilage
  • heal wounds and bruises
  • keep the immune system healthy
  • maintain healthy bones, teeth, gums, red blood cells, and blood vessels
  • repair bone fractures
  • Vitamin C may reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases by acting as an antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body fight the effects of free radicals, which can damage the body's cells.

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    Vitamin C: Overview & Description


    Author: Susan Harrow Rago, RD, MS
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 06/11/01

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