Nurturing a new life inside the body is no easy job for the female concernd. Words seen to be too small to describe the physical and emotional upheaval that the woman’s body undergoes. Raging hormones, growing belly, out-of-control emotions combined with the excitement of meeting the “apple of one’s eye” leaves the woman physically and emotionally drained out by the end of the journey.
When the mother-to-be is experiencing so many ups and downs, she has to consume a wholesome meal to keep her system healthy and energized. When pregnant the body’s need for essential nutrients increases many times to sustain both the mother and child.Today in this article we are going to discuss about one such nutrient; vitamin C, it’s importance, benefits and food sources that are rich in vitamin C.
Read More: Can Vitamin C Prevent Pregnancy?
It is a water soluble vitamin otherwise called as ascorbic acid. It is also an antioxidant that helps in neutralizing the free radicals in the body and hence helps in increasing the resistance power of the body which in turn helps in fighting various infections.
Importance of vitamin C during pregnancy
* An expectant mother is recommended to intake 85mg(milligrams) of vitamin C on a daily basis. It is necessary for the pregnant woman to get adequate amount of vitamin C because Vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen in the body. Collagen is a structural protein and an important component of bones, cartilage, tendons and skin.
* It also protects the body from daily wear and tear by aiding tissue repair, wound healing, bone growth and repair and skin rejuvenation.
* Vitamin C boosts the immune system and helps the body fight infections and diseases.
* It helps in the absorption of iron and hence reduces the chances of anaemia in both mother and child.
* Vitamin C also plays a role in building up your baby’s iron stores, which will support their learning and growth for the first 6 months of life.
* It also helps in preventing pre-eclampsia which is a potentially deadly condition of high blood pressure, occurring only in pregnant women.
Consequences of Vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy
* It can lead to serious damage to the fetal brain which cannot be reversed, especially that part of the brain which is known to store memories .
* Causes scurvy in the newborn. Scurvy is an inflammatory disease of the gums, where the gums bleed as the capillaries are very weak.
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
The initial signs of vitamin C deficiency include gum inflammation, brittle hair, rough and dry skin, bruises and slow-healing cuts.
21 food sources rich in vitamin C
There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich sources of vitamin C, few of which are listed below.
1) Strawberries: One of the tastiest and healthiest berries on the planet, strawberries are extremely high in vitamin C. They’re also high in fiber and antioxidants. Just one serving provides half the daily recommended value.
2) Citrus Fruits : Oranges, grapefruits, lemon and limes! Citrus fruits pop a powerful vitamin C punch. Enjoy one medium orange for a whopping 70 mg.
3) Papayas: Papayas are another food high in vitamin C, with one serving providing 100% of your daily needs.
4) Black Currant: With its dark purple hue, it’s easy to imagine that this fruit would be high in vitamin C. Black currants hold around 180 mg per serving, as well as plenty of potassium, iron, vitamin B5, and phytochemicals.
5) Kiwi: It may surprise you to learn that this small bright green fruit from New Zealand has more vitamin C than an orange! They are also high in flavonoids and have as much potassium as a banana.
6) Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are another food high in vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene. One-half cup of raw red pepper holds over 140 mg of vitamin C.
7) Guava: This exotic fruit is another great vitamin C food, with one guava containing over 250 mg. Over twice your daily needs! They are also rich in dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese, making guavas one of the best superfoods to add to your diet.
8) Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts have an excellent reputation as a source of vitamin C. One serving of cooked Brussels sprouts has almost 50 mg of vitamin C.
9) Melons: Many melons contain vitamin C. Just one cup of cantaloupe will provide you with approximately 67 mg of vitamin C, plus plenty of vitamin A and potassium.
10) Dark Leafy Greens: Kale, turnip greens, chard, and spinach (as well as most other leafy greens) are all great vitamin C foods to add to your diet.
11)Amalaki Fruit: An exotic fruit from India, this nutrient-dense superfood is one of the most important medicines in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia. The fruit is picked, dried, and used for its health-boosting properties. It holds one of the most concentrated supplies of vitamin C, so it’s no wonder it is valued for its immune-enhancing properties.
12) Broccoli: One serving of this little green tree has over 90 mg of vitamin C. As an bonus, broccoli is also one of the best detox foods to add to your diet.
13) Cauliflower: While not as colorful as some of our other foods high in vitamin C, cauliflower holds its own. Just one cup of cauliflower will give you approximately 46 mg, not to mention plenty of vitamin K, folate, and dietary fiber.
14) Tomatoes: Bright, red tomatoes are another common vitamin C food. Try using sun-dried tomatoes; they are particularly concentrated with this essential nutrient. Just one, 100-gram serving holds over 100 mg of vitamin C.
15) Select Herbs: Many fresh herbs such as cilantro, chives, thyme, basil, and parsley are high in vitamin C. Buy some fresh herbs and sprinkle on every meal. In fact, just one cup of fresh parsley has over 130 mg of vitamin C. Thyme comes in first, with 160 mg in one cup.
16) Grapefruit Juice: Grapefruit juice provides almost the same amount of vitamin C as green peppers: 3/4 cup has 50-70 mg vitamin C and 71-86 calories.
17) Cantaloupe: One quarter of a medium cantaloupe has 47 mg of vitamin C and 51 calories.
18) Cloves: Cloves are loaded with vitamin C – 100 g of clove contains 80.8 mg of vitamin C, and 1 teaspoon of clove powder contains 1.6 mg of vitamin C.
19) Lychee: One lychee contains 6.8 mg vitamin C, and 100 g of lychees contains 71.5 mg vitamin C. They are also rich in potassium and healthy fats.
20) Mustard green: Mustard greens contain a good amount of vitamin C – 100 g mustard greens contains 70 mg vitamin C, and 1 cup of chopped mustard greens contains 39.2 mg vitamin C.
21)Watercress: There are numerous health benefits of consuming watercress, and it is rich in vitamin C, with 100 g watercress containing 43 mg vitamin C, and 1 cup chopped watercress containing 14.6 mg. It is also loaded with vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, and potassium and has zero cholesterol.
Supplements of vitamin C is generally not necessary as drinking just one glass of orange juice is more than enough to meet the daily recommended value. So mommies eat healthy and stay healthy!!