Vitamin C Helps You to Fight Cancer, Part II

How Much is Enough?

The RDA for vitamin C is 60 mg a day for adults. By the way, 60 mg of pure vitamin C crystals would measure only a fraction of a teaspoon.

The scientists who set the RDA, however, did not take the evidence on vitamin C and cancer into account.

Here is some more specific advice. Nutritionists have always recommended four or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables. I think at least two, and preferably three, should be foods supplying moderate to high amounts of vitamin C. I try to eat a food rich in vitamin C at every meal.

It is not hard. I can hardly start the day without my orange juice. So that is my first suggestion. Grapefruit juice is also a fine choice.

Here are some other tips that work for me:

  • Top cereal with sliced peaches, bananas, or other foods that are good sources of vitamin C.
  • Eat salads often, using deep green lettuce, green pepper, and tomato as ingredients.
  • Add sliced peaches to chicken salad.
  • Serve luncheon salads inside of fresh green peppers.
  • Serve fruit for dessert. If the family objects, make sweets that include fruit. It is simple enough to top cakes or ice milk with sliced bananas, berries, peaches, or other fruit.

If you are wondering what qualifies as a serving, here are some guidelines. For juices, three-fourths to one cup is one serving. “Juice” glasses usually hold three-fourths of a cup (6 ounces). Full-size glasses usually hold a full cup (8 ounces).

Nutritionists generally consider three-fourths of a cup of a vegetable as one serving. If that doesn’t mean much to you, take a look at half cup and quarter cup measures to get an idea of what three-fourths of a cup looks like.

For most fruits, such as oranges, bananas, or apples, one whole fruit is one serving. For large fruits such as grapefruit, half of one fruit is one serving. In the case of very large fruits, such as melons, you can consider one cup of the fruit, diced, as one serving.

Vitamin A and C Often Go Hand in Hand

If it seems that eating to prevent cancer is getting complicated, rest assured that it does not have to be.

When it comes to eating more of the fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A and C, you can often get both nutrients from the same foods. There are quite a few foods that are good sources of both of these important nutrients.

You might call them the fruit and vegetable  all-stars. Here is the lineup:

  1. Asparagus, broccoli, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes are high in both vitamin A and C.
  2. Brussels sprouts, green pepper, and peas are rich in vitamin C and also contain moderate amounts of vitamin A.
  3. Apricots, mangoes, mixed vegetables, peaches, romaine lettuce, spinach, and winter squash have medium amounts of vitamin C and high levels of vitamin A.
  4. Dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale, collards, and turnip and mustard greens are also rich in vitamin A, with moderate amounts of vitamin C.
  5. Corn, green beans, and watermelon have moderate amounts of both vitamin A and C.

One nice aspect of vitamins and cancer is that many of these foods complement each other in cooking. You can mix apricot nectar with orange juice to give a not-too-sweet breakfast beverage. That way you start your day right, with both vitamin A and C.

By the way, I cannot resist pointing out that most of these foods rich in vitamin A and C are pleasantly low in calories, too.

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