Consuming vitamin C supplements does not provide the same protective benefits as drinking a glass of orange juice, shows research by Italian researchers in the Division of Human Nutrition at the University of Milan, Italy (Guarnieri S, Riso P, et al., British Journal of Nutrition).
Said lead researcher, Serena Guarnieri, “It appears that vitamin C is not the only chemical responsible for antioxidant protection.” In oranges, vitamin C is part of a matrix involving many beneficial phytochemicals (for example, cyanidin-3-glucoside, flavanones and carotenoids).. “But how they are interacting is still anyone’s guess,” she added. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait until scientists figure this out to receive oranges’ DNA-protective benefits. Practical Tip: For the best DNA protection, skip the vitamin C-fortified bottled drinks and enjoy a glass of real (preferably organic as organic foods have been shown to contain higher amounts of phytonutrients), freshly squeezed orange juice” or simply eat an orange!
What can high-vitamin C foods do for you?
Help protect cells from free radical damage, lower your cancer risk,
regenerate your vitamin E supplies, and
improve iron absorption.
What events can indicate a need for more high-vitamin C foods?
Poor wound healing, frequent colds or infections, and lung-related problems.
Excellent sources of vitamin C include: parsley, broccoli, bell pepper, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, and brussels sprouts.
I try to incorporate 3 glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice in my diet, and on days I’m not drinking it, I would eat 2 oranges with my breakfast or lunch. I also make sure my children are getting adequate amounts of fresh vitamin C as well. They love oranges so all I do is cut up 4 oranges without peeling the skin and they eat out the fleshly part, even my 2 year old. Plus, they eat a whole range of other vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamin C. It’s important to add fresh raw foods to your diet because they’re rich of natural vitamins. Taking supplements is important also but you don’t want to depend solely on them for your body’s nutrients.
Guarnieri S, Riso P, Porrini M. Orange juice vs vitamin C: effect on hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage in mononuclear blood cells. Br J Nutr. 2007 Apr;97(4):639-43. 2007. PMID:17349075.
Cho E, Seddon JM, Rosner B, Willett WC, Hankinson SE. Prospective study of intake of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and carotenoids and risk of age-related maculopathy. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Jun;122(6):883-92. 2004. PMID:15197064.