Care of Lisa Pitman and Karen Soper

Everyone talks about the known benefits of Vitamin C as an antioxidant protecting cells from damage from free radicals. However, a recent study in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine that looked at over 100 studies over 10 years, revealed a growing list of benefits of Vitamin C , including protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.

Some other lesser-known facts about Vitamin C is that it is required for the synthesis of the protein collagen, which is a very important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone. It also plays an important role in the synthesis of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter), so indirectly through healthy brain function, Vitamin C can even affect mood.

Vitamin C is an easy one for vegeterians, being plentiful in veggies such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, collards, green peppers and kale, and fruits such as mangoes, strawberries, citrus fruits and cantaloupe. The trick is that because it is a water-soluable vitamin, cooking methods such as pressure cooking, roasting or frying, have the highest rates of decomposing Vitamin C. The wisest suggestion to preserve the natural Vitamin C content in your foods is to lightly steam vegetables, and eat fruits and vegetables raw where possible.