It’s All About Vitamin C, Ya See?

I feel like it has been a while since we have learned about a vitamin, so here we go.

Let’s start off with the fact that Vitamin C is not able to be made by humans (although some “lower” animals can make it) and therefor must be taken in by diet.


(No. It is not talk like a pirate day, sorry about it.) A long time ago when sailors (think exploration times) would be on the seas for long periods of time they would develop the disease (later to be named) Scurvy. The symptoms being bleeding gums, easy bruising, elevated papules (hair follicles), psychological manifestation and abnormal blood cells. Not good, right? Well, later on down the line they found out that this disease was cause by a deficiency in Vitamin C.

So, What exactly does vitamin C do for you? I will tell you.

Ambersweet oranges, a new cold-resistant orang...
Ambersweet oranges, a new cold-resistant orange variety. USDA photo. Image Number K3644-12. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vitamin C is important in… 

  1. Maintaining collagen, which is the foundation of connective tissues in the body (skin, bones, tendons and cartilage as well as maintaining blood vessel integrity)
  2. Carnitine Synthesis which transports long chain fatty acids for use (Don’t let all that salmon eating go to waste!)
  3. Neurotransmitter synthesis (endorphin’s make people happy…and happy people don’t kill their husbands.    Legally blonde, anyone?)
  4. Optimizes immune function
  5. Can decrease possible risk for certain cancers & Cardiovascular disease
  6. Enhancing absorption of non-heme (non-meat) iron

And that is just a few of the possible benefits of ingesting this little wonder. All things we want, right? Well then I suggest we start eating up! (or drinking, if you prefer. I, however, am not a fan of juices as previously stated..probably multiple times.)

Some good sources of Vitamin C are….asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts (my personal favorite), cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruits, payaya, red bell pepper, sweet potatoes, and strawberries.

How much I need a day?

Here are the RDAs that have been set for different populations. Find yours below to see how much Vitamin C you should be consuming in a day.

  • Adult Men: 90 mg
  • Adult Women: 75 mg
  • Pregnancy: 100 mg
  • Lactation: 120 mg
  • Smokers: Increase your category by 35 mg

To put this into perspective for you here is a short list of some foods and the amount of Vitamin C  that they contain.

  • 1/2 cup raw red bell pepper= 142 mg, 56 calories
  • 1 medium kiwi= 70 mg, 46 calories
  • 1 medium orange= 70 mg, 62 calories
  • 1/2 cup brussels sprouts, cooked= 48 mg, 28 calories

*NOTE: longevity of storage and cooking can decrease the vitamin C content!

Give this recipe from http://www.skinnytaste.com/ a try for a yummy way to get your daily vitamin C in!

Sweet Potato Pie

Servings: 8 • Serving Size: 1/8th
Calories: 229 • Fat: 8 g • Protein: 3.3 g • Carb: 44.4 g • Fiber: 1.3 g  


  • 2 (1-1/2 lbs) sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp light butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 50 to 55 minutes, or until soft. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin. Blend potatoes in a blender and pulse for about one minute to remove all fibers.

Place sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well. Using an electric mixer, mixin sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with cool whip and enjoy!



HNF 462. Learning at it’s finest! Thanks, Professor Li.


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