Vitamin C
The power antioxidant

Vitamin C 

Our food provides us with many important nutrients that we need for good health every day. Vitamin C is an essential part of a varied and balanced diet, especially important for children who need sufficient vitamin C in their food. Here, you can read what vitamin C does to the body and what foods contain it.

 

What is vitamin C?

Enkel füttert Opa mit Vitamin C-reichen FrüchtenVitamins are organic compounds that support certain functions in the body. Since our body cannot produce many vitamins on its own, but needs them to stay healthy and functional, they have to be taken in regularly through food.

One of the most important vitamins for the body is “ascorbic acid”, also called vitamin C. Vitamin C supports the body in numerous function. It is particularly well known as a supporter of an important protective mechanism - our immune system.

As the immune system of children is not yet fully developed, special attention should be paid to a balanced diet.  Especially in the cold season, when the immune system is working at full capacity, sufficient vitamin C can make an active contribution to supporting the immune system of the little ones.

What are special features & effects of vitamin C?

As already mentioned, vitamin C contributes to normal immune system function. However, vitamin C has many other functions, because it contributes to:

  • a normal mental function
  • a normal nervous system
  • a normal energy metabolism and reduced tiredness and fatigue
  • the protection of cells from oxidative stress

Vitamin C also helps form collagen, which is important for normal blood vessels and skin. Collagen is also part of a functioning connective tissue - for children a rather long-term investment in health, but perhaps an interesting fact for you.

Interaction with iron

A special property of this well-known vitamin is that it helps the body to absorb iron. From a nutritional point of view, this offers many opportunities to solve two problems at once. By combining foods containing iron with foods containing vitamin C, an increased iron intake is ensured while at the same time providing a vitamin supplement. For example, meat and fish contain only small amounts of vitamin C but high iron content. By combining these foods with fresh vegetables or fruit in desert, your body absorbs iron better.

Which foods contain large amounts of vitamin C?

[Translate to Englisch:] Zwei Acerola-Früchte hängen am Baum

Vitamin C is found in many foods. Citrus fruit are especially known to have high vitamin C levels but not necessarily the highest among all fruit. Your children can find certainly plenty of different foods rich in vitamin C that they like.

Vitamin C rich fruit mg per 100 g Vitamin C rich vegetables mg per 100 g    
Acerola 1.700 mg Green pepper 117 mg    
Blackcurrant 177 mg Kale 105 mg    
Strawberries 57 mg Broccoli 94 mg    
Orange 45 mg Cauliflower 64 mg    
Kiwi 44 mg Spinach 51 mg    
Vitamin C rich fruit mg per 100 g
Acerola 1.700 mg
Blackcurrant 177 mg
Strawberries 57 mg
Orange 45 mg
Kiwi 44 mg
Vitamin C rich vegetables mg per 100 g
Green pepper 117 mg
Kale 105 mg
Broccoli 94 mg
Cauliflower 64 mg
Spinach 51 mg

These values only apply to the raw, fresh products. Because vitamin C is sensitive to light, heat and oxygen, it can be destroyed during food preparation. You can preserve the vitamin for you and your children by preparing the food gently or eating it raw.

Vitamin C sources in winter

Some of the fruits and vegetables listed above are not available fresh in winter or simply do not serve well in the cold season. To properly supply the immune system with the right amount of vitamin C, you can fall back on seasonal products.

Fruit/vegetable mg per 100 g
Rose hip 1.250 mg
Sea buckthorn fruit 450 mg
Parsley 159 mg
Brussels sprouts 112 mg
White cabbage 52 mg

Average values according to Souci, Fachmann, Kraut: Food Composition and Nutrition Tables (7th ed.). Munich: C.H. Beck. 2008

Daily vitamin C requirement

[Translate to Englisch:] Kleinkind nascht Erdbeere beim ernten

How much do you really need?  In order to ensure an optimal and needs-based vitamin C supply, the German Nutrition Society (DGE) provides guideline values for the recommended daily intake as a guide. The daily vitamin C requirement is determined by various aspects such as age, gender, height and weight. This means that vitamins for children have to be dosed differently than for adults.

Vitamin C reference values mg per day
Children between 1 and 4 years 20 mg
Children between 4 and 7 years 30 mg
Children between 7 and 10 years 45 mg
Children between 10 and 13 years 65 mg
Children between 13 and 15 years 85 mg
Girls between 15 and 18 years 90 mg
Boys between 15 and 18 years 105 mg
Women 19 years and above 95 mg
Men 19 years and above 110 mg
Pregnant women 105 mg
Breastfeeding women 125 mg

Needs during pregnancy

Pregnant women generally need a higher supply of vitamin C because they also need to supply their baby through the umbilical cord. Likewise, breastfeeding women need more vitamin C to pass onto their baby through breast milk.

Needs during pregnancy

Pregnant women generally need a higher supply of vitamin C because they also need to supply their baby through the umbilical cord. Likewise, breastfeeding women need more vitamin C to pass onto their baby through breast milk.

How harmful is an overdose of vitamin C?

With a healthy and balanced diet, you should not worry about vitamin C overdose. This is partially because preparing raw food significantly reduces its ascorbic acid content. However, if your children eat a lot of fruit and vegetables in summer, they might accidentally overdose on vitamin C. Normally, this imbalance only leads to diarrhoea and stomach upset. 
Usually, the body simply excretes the excess vitamin C with urine. However, especially when reactions occur, you should not intentionally consume too much vitamin C. The recommended daily intake for food supplements should be followed.

The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends 2 portions of fruit and 3 portions of vegetables per day as a guideline for a daily meal plan. If you and your family enjoy drinking juice, a glass of Rotbäckchen can also replace a portion of fruit.

More about vitamins & nutrients

Vitamins & minerals

Want to know what all the valuable micronutrients do, what foods have them and how much you need? Find more information here.

Find out more

Iron

Iron is one of the most important trace elements in the body. It helps red blood-cell formation and is essential for transporting oxygen through the body. The right iron balance helps you and your family stay healthy.

Find out more

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the vitamin the body produces from sunlight when going for a walk or outside on the balcony. It is involved in many processes in the body and is indispensable for young children – in fact, it is not really a vitamin.

Find out more

Start the day healthy with Rotbäckchen

Rotbäckchen Original

Our original from 1952 - enriched with iron, it is known for its contribution to blood formation.

Vital Immune Formula

Systematically supports the immune system with a readily available vitamin and mineral formula.