What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant that is essential for the formation, growth, and repair of your bones, skin, and tissue. It helps maintain healthy teeth and gums and enables your body to absorb iron, which your body needs to make red blood cells.

Because of its role in skin repair, vitamin C helps wounds heal faster and protects cells against damage by free radicals. Food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, strawberries, and bell peppers.

Vitamin C Benefits

  • Supports your immune system
  • Boosts collagen formation
  • Antihistamine properties
  • Prevents scurvy
  • Improves skin texture
  • Helps minimize signs of aging
  • Reduces the risk of cancer
  • Helps your body absorb iron

How much vitamin C do you need per day?

  • Adult Women: 75 mg
  • Adult Men: 90 mg
  • Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women: 120 mg

Natural sources of vitamin C

  • Citrus fruits: oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit
  • Bell peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
  • White potatoes

Learn about vitamin C deficiency symptoms.

Further reading: National Institutes of Health