Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, plays many roles in maintaining your health during pregnancy. Did you know that it helps prevent cell damage which can lead to lifelong conditions such as heart disease AND it also protects you against infections by maintaining a healthy immune system? Read on.
Vitamin C helps absorb the iron from plant-based foods such as your legumes/ pulses, vegetables and whole grains.
But, is more better?
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. That means your body doesn’t store any excess vitamin C, so taking in more will only lead to your body removing it in your urine. Very high amounts of vitamin C may also lead to stomach-related discomforts such as diarrhea and cramps.
How much do you need during pregnancy?
Pregnant individuals aged 19-50 need 85mg daily.
Pregnant individuals less than 19 years of age need 80 mg daily.
How much is that?
Not very much. You can easily get enough vitamin C by adding a couple of vegetables or fruits to your meals throughout the day. During the fall/winter seasons, use frozen vegetables/fruits to be more cost effective!
Excellent sources of vitamin C include:
- Green/Red peppers 63-132 mg (½ cup)
- Kale 85 mg (1 cup raw)
- Kiwi 71 mg (1 medium)
- Orange 70 mg (1 medium)
- Broccoli 54 mg (1/2 cup, boiled)
Try this warm Creamy Broccoli soup recipe:
It provides an excellent amount of vitamin C and a variety of important nutrients for your pregnancy!
- 4 cups (1 L) broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) non-hydrogenated margarine
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large stalk celery, chopped
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
- 4 cups (1 L) low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 ½ cups (625 mL) milk
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper
- ½ cup (125 mL) light cheddar cheese, grated
- Wash all produce thoroughly. Steam the broccoli florets until they are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Puree half of the broccoli and set aside.
- In a soup pot, melt margarine on medium high heat and sauté onions and celery for 3 to 4 minutes until soft.
- Add flour and stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer and stir until thickened.
- Stir in milk, nutmeg, and pepper, pureed and chopped broccoli. Heat through.
- Add nutmeg and pepper to taste and serve with grated cheddar cheese.
Makes 6 servings
Comment below and share how you get vitamin C into your day!
Questions about vitamin C? eChat or call (416) 338-7600 Toronto Public Health to speak with a health professional.