What is it? Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant vitamin. Vitamin C functions all throughout the body. It is an essential, water-soluble vitamin, which means that your body cannot produce the vitamin on its own and that it exits the body via your urine. Thus, you need to constantly replenish your supply of C.

Why do we need it? Vitamin C assists the body in its curing, rejuvenating tasks, like fending off infection, building collagen that supports skin structures, healing wounds, and repairing bones and teeth.

How much do we need? A balanced diet will provide most of the C you need. Each day, men need about 90 mg of vitamin C, while women require 75 mg. Women who are lactating or pregnant will require more vitamin C

The daily recommended intakes for children and teens differ by age:

  • 0 to 6 months of age: 40 mg
  • 7 to 12 months of age: 50 mg
  • 1 to 3 years of age: 15 mg
  • 4 to 8 years of age: 25 mg
  • 9 to 13 years of age: 45 mg
  • 14 to 18 years of age: 75 mg for males and 65 mg for females

Where is it found? If you eat fruits and vegetables, you're eating vitamin C. Some of the foods highest in vitamin C include:

  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cantaloupe
  • mango
  • oranges
  • papaya
  • red and green bell pepper
  • strawberries
  • tomato
  • watermelon

Amy Toffelmire