Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in many bodily functions. It helps to protect cells from damage, aids in the absorption of iron, and keeps skin healthy. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of this vitamin, such as citrus fruits (oranges, kiwis, lemons, grapefruits), bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower) and white potatoes. Vitamin C deficiency, or scurvy, is very rare in the United States and other developed countries, but strict diets may increase the risk.
You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need with a varied and balanced diet. However, it's important to remember that vitamin levels start to decline after food is harvested. The longer the product has been in storage or in transit, the less vitamin C it will contain. So it's best to choose fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
If you have to choose between fresh off-season and frozen produce, go for frozen as off-season products often travel long distances to reach the market and therefore lose more of their nutritional value.
How to Ensure You're Getting Enough Vitamin CThe best way to ensure you're getting enough vitamin C is through your diet. This way you also get the benefit of other antioxidants and nutrients contained in foods. If you have low vitamin C levels and are having trouble getting enough from the foods you eat, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.
Vitamin C Keeps Skin HealthyVitamin C keeps skin healthy by protecting it from oxidative damage caused by the sun and exposure to pollutants such as cigarette smoke or ozone (12, 1). Healthy skin contains large amounts of vitamin C, especially in the epidermis or outer layer of the skin (1).
Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure your body gets enough vitamin C.