Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, and is also know n as Ascorbic Acid. It was first isolated in 1928 by the Hungarian biochemist and Nobel prize winner, Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi. Two-time Nobel prize winner, Dr. Linus Pauling was the first to realize vitamin C's importance in a healthy immune system. .
Most animals can produce their own vitamin C. Man, primates (apes, chimps, etc.), and guinea pigs, however, have lost the ability. They instead have to get it through their diet. .
It was a Scottish physician named James Lind, back in 1753, who first said that fresh vegetables and ripe fruit could be used to prevent scurvy (a severe vitamin C deficiency, which is rarely seen today). The British Navy took his advice about 404 years later, taking lime juice on long sea voyages to ward off the disease. For this, they were nicknamed, "Limeys." .
42.2% of vitamin C comes from vegetables, 41.5% from fruits, 3.2% from dairy products, 2.3% from meat, poultry and fish, and .9% from other foods - legumes, nuts and soy (.1%) and miscellaneous foods (.8%). In the average American diet, 93% of their vitamin C comes from fruits and vegetables and citrus fruits and tomatoes contribute to almost half of the vitamin C provided by the fruits and vegetable group. .
Foods that contain small amounts of vitamin C and are not considered good sources of calcium can contribute a good amount of vitamin C to a diet if eaten often or in large amounts. Some good sources of vitamin C include broccoli, red peppers, parsley, potatoes, strawberries, and oranges, etc. .
Vitamin C can be damaged during food preparation, like when chopping, cooking, boiling, exposure to air, and being submerged in water. The amount of vitamin C is high enough in most foods though, that the amount after this is more than enough. To keep the vitamin C from being damaged you can eat fruits and vegetables raw whenever possible, and cook potatoes in their skin. Steam, boil or simmer in a small amount of water, or microwave for a short time.