Vitamin C – ascorbic acid – is still recognized by scientists as the most important: it supports the activity of immune cells, and therefore, the overall resistance to disease; promotes the excretion of cholesterol from the body, i.e., the prevention of atherosclerosis; cleanses our cells of free radicals and other foreign substances that accumulate in the body.
In addition, vitamin C is our main protector against cancer-causing carcinogens and helps us absorb the iron we need from food.
It is an indispensable participant in the formation of collagen fibers, that is, a “building material” for the skin, blood vessels, tissues of internal organs, as well as teeth, bones and gums.
Signs of vitamin C deficiency
general weakness. With a lack of vitamin C, the so-called chronic fatigue syndrome develops, working capacity and mood fall, gradually pulling to sleep, and frequent colds do not give rest.
increased capillary fragility with the formation of bruises, bleeding from the gums, hemorrhagic effusions in the joints and pleura
dryness and pallor of the skin, a violation of its color. Nails peel off. Sometimes acne also indicates hypovitaminosis C.
dystrophic changes in the mucous membranes
Where is vitamin C found
It is found in grapefruits, lemons, oranges, rose hips, gooseberries, currants, apples, kiwi, green vegetables, tomatoes, cabbage (including sauerkraut) – but only if these products have not been cooked.
Many vegetable dishes quickly lose vitamin C even at low temperatures. For example, stewed cabbage loses 90 percent of this vitamin in a day, and boiled and chopped potatoes lose 40 percent of vitamin C after 4 hours.
The most valuable winter source of vitamin C, sauerkraut, requires very careful handling. Taken out of the brine, after 3 hours it loses a third of vitamin C, and after 12 hours – half. Therefore, if it is not possible to store sauerkraut in brine, it must be immediately either used for food or subjected to heat treatment (boil, stew, etc.). Freezing sauerkraut reduces the vitamin C content by 20-40 percent.