By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer
Cats, dogs, elephants and many other animals can make their own vitamin C in their bodies from glucose. Humans haven’t got or have lost the enzymes required for the manufacture and need to get it from the foods. We do have the gene used by animals to make vitamin C from glucose called GULOP, but we do not have the mechanism in our DNA to make it.
Our bodies need 90 milligrams of vitamin C for men and 75 milligrams for women. Some of the foods we eat have sufficient vitamin C for our daily requirement. Our hot chillies we enjoy in our curries have over 100 mg of vitamin C in half a cup, and the hotness increases your metabolic rate. To slim you must eat plenty of red chillies in your curries. In Chinese cuisine they use lot of cut red chillies in soy sauce to add into their tasty spicy food to give that added kick for your taste buds.
Kale, not very popular in Sri Lanka is a superfood containing over 80mg of vitamin C in a cupful of chopped kale.
Eat a small size papaw daily provides over 90 mg of vitamin C.; Strawberries are a fruit that tames inflammation. It has over 80 mg of vitamin C; The green bell peppers have over 95mg of vitamin C in a fruit. Cauliflower has over 125mg of vitamin. It is a very low calorie vegetable; Pineapple has over 75mg in one cup; Kiwi fruit in a cup has over 160mg of vitamin C; Mangoes have lot of vitamin C. The unripe ones have more vitamin C than the ripe ones. Unripe mangoes are curried or used in pickling quite friendly to the gut bugs.
Umberalla fruit is sour and contains over 35mgs of vitamin C per small fruit.
Remember eggs have no vitamin C, being water soluble.
So it is not difficult to get your daily requirement of vitamin C from your common veggies and fruits. Your immune system needs vitamin C. This vitamin helps to relieve a cold if you start before you get a cold.
Vitamin C helps to get rid of toxins from your body and is a well-known antioxidant. It prevents damage to your cells and DNA by getting rid of toxic chemicals. With age you need to take vitamin C supplements in addition to the natural foods you consume.
Vitamin C is supposed to protect your body from Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Vitamin C is required for your collagen in the body. Collagen forms scaffolding for your bones, cartilages, skin muscles, blood vessels and tendons. You need vitamin C to the manufacture of hormones that carry signals from your brain to the rest of your body. These hormones include dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine. They influence your memory, motivation and mood and so on.
Vitamin C helps to prevent macular degeneration in your eyes which is a dreaded disease to get. Vitamin C lowers the risk of cataract, too.
FDA has approved vitamin C as a cancer treatment. It is supposed to help chemotherapy and radiation more effective and work better.
In addition to the above mentioned there is a lot of vitamin C in tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes and so on. Eating a ripe tamarind fruit straight picked up from the tree has more vitamin C than the pills. The sourer they are the more vitamin C they contain.
Steaming and microwaving seems to destroy vitamin less than boiling for long hours. The body cannot handle too much of vitamin C. Being water soluble is excreted easily from the body unlike fat soluble vitamins.
Too much of vitamin C can cause indigestion, belly cramps, diarrhoea and bigger doses also lead to kidney stones.
Ref: EcoWatch and WebMD
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