How much do you really know about vitamin C? Here are three myths about this celebrated vitamin that you may be unaware of … as well as some facts about why it’s so good for your health!
Myth #1: Oranges are one of the best sources of vitamin C in the diet
Not necessarily! Although oranges are often popularly associated with vitamin C, studies show that other commonly consumed foods rank more highly.
Better everyday sources of vitamin C are in fact berries, such as blackcurrant (200mg vitamin C per 100g), followed by vegetables in the cabbage family (such as kale, 140mg per 100g) and herbs (parsley, for example, has 170mg per 100g – although it might be difficult to consume that much in one go!). In fact, citrus fruits rank only fifth, with lemons leading the way at 65mg per 100g!
Myth #2: The fruit richest in vitamin C is the acerola cherry
Not quite … Contrary to common belief, the Kakadu plum is the fruit richest in Vitamin C. Native to Australia, the plum boasts a concentration of around 4000mg per 100g, which is twice as much as the acerola!
Myth #3: Vitamin C hinders your sleep
False! In fact, it could even have the opposite effect. Regularly consumed, vitamin C ensures a relaxing and restorative night’s sleep.
Vitamin C is good for your health!
In addition to being the most important vitamin for the human body, vitamin C is also the one which is beneficial in the most ways: it boosts fertility, it fights infections, it has anti-cancer properties, it has anti-histamine properties, and also helps contribute towards the lowering of blood cholesterol. It’s a real tonic!
Bear in mind that cooking foods reduces their vitamin C content. Frying and baking are vitamin C’s worst enemies, as up to half of it will be lost. Gentler cooking – by steaming, by microwaving, or using a pressure cooker – helps preserve around 75% of the vitamin C within foods.
Nutritionists recommend an average consumption of around 110mg daily, but an intake of up to 200mg is perfectly safe. Smokers and women taking oral contraceptives may well benefit from extra vitamin C, and could require up to 400mg. Make sure you consume plenty of vitamin C-rich foods, and make sure you choose foods which are fresh and of good quality!
Did you know?
Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid – meaning ‘acid without scurvy’. Fishermen spending long months at sea in the mid-19th century used limes to keep the strange disease of scurvy at bay, although at the time nobody really understood why it worked.
The secret was only finally explained in 1931, when Hungarian researcher Albert Szent-Györgyi discovered and isolated the lime’s key protective ingredient, which of course turned out to be … vitamin C!