Also known as Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C is that nutrient which is present abundantly in citrus fruitsand vegetables . If deficient in the body, irregularities such as soft gums, skin haemorrhages, deterioration in collagen, anaemia, capillary weakness and slow healing of sores and wounds etc are resulted. Lack of Vitamin C might lead to reduced resistance to all infections, premature ageing and thyroid insufficiency as well. If deficient in mild quantities, it will result in lassitude, fatigue, anorexia and muscular pain. Scurvy is resulted from prolonged deficiency of this vitamin.
Fresh citrus fruits that should be included in the diet of Vitamin C deficient people are limes, lemons, and oranges. Gooseberries, germinated cereals, grains and pulses, drumstick leaves, and coriander leaves are the cheaper sources of this Vitamin. The deficiency can be easily overcome by taking supplement doses that come to 50-100 mg. Though, it will not result in any toxic consequences, increased intake of Vitamin C might result in some unfavourable side-effects such as diarrhoea, excess urination, kidney stones, and skin rashes. It is advisable to minimise the doses, if any of these symptoms appear.
Though cereals and pulses do not contain this vitamin in their normal dry state, if allowed to soak and made to germinate, they form good sources of C vitamin. Vitamin C is extremely important for a fresher and clear complexion. It is also vital for the formation of healthy gums and teeth. That is why Vitamin C is given to those who suffer from scurvy, a disease characterised by bleeding from gums. Vitamin C also guards our body from the harmful effects of toxic elements that enters our body through food and water. It also helps in lowering the toxic effect of drugs.
Readily soluble in water, this vitamin gets easily destroyed by excessive heat, oxidation, drying, and storage. Alkalinity also batters this vitamin within no time.