Vitamin C During Pregnancy For Indians: Benefits, RDA, Sources, Risks of Vitamin C Deficiency

  • Fitterfly - Team Nutrition

  • Posted On August 02, 2019


Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) rich fruits like gooseberries (amla), guava, strawberries and citrus fruits help improve absorption of non heme iron i.e. iron from vegetarian sources. Since it is a water soluble vitamin, your body does not store Vitamin C. So you need to eat Vitamin C rich food every day.

Role of Vitamin C in pregnancy

Vitamin C not only helps absorb iron, which helps prevent iron deficiency anemia but is an important antioxidant for the brain and helps in immune function. It is important for collagen synthesis, which is needed for healing wounds. Vitamin C also promotes healthy gums and teeth.

Risks of Vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy

Some studies show Vitamin C deficiency can affect the brain development. So it is important to ensure you are getting an adequate amount of Vitamin C, especially as the pregnancy advances. Severe Vitamin C deficiency leads to a condition called scurvy that you might have read about in school. But, this is very rare these days and only occurs in communities where people do not eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

Dietary Vitamin C requirement during pregnancy is around 60 mg per day.

Sources of Vitamin C

Apart from citrus fruits like orange, sweet lime and lemons, fruits like guavas, gooseberries and strawberries are rich in Vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of Vitamin C

Food sources Household measure Vitamin C content (mg)
Amla 1 small alma (20g) 120
Guava, pink flesh 1 small guava (70g) 111
Capsicum, green 1 medium (25g) 31
Lemon juice 10 ml 5
Kiwi 1 regular (75g) 70

Vitamin C Rich Recipes

Vitamin C is heat sensitive and is destroyed during cooking so it is best to eat raw foods after washing and cleaning thoroughly.

Lunch recipe: Methi Palak Parath

2 medium paranthas (45g each) + 1tbsp (Indian gooseberry) AmlaChutney will provide 41mg Vitamin C.

ou can eat a bowl of Capsicum and Tomato Salad for 8 mg Vitamin C.

Vitamin C Supplements During Pregnancy

Vitamin C supplementation is not common during pregnancy as a healthy balanced diet, preferably under the guidance of a pregnancy and lactation nutrition expert like the dietitians at the Fitterfly Pregnancy Nutrition Program can help you meet the required quota through diet.

You may be prescribed supplements if there is any indication that you are not eating enough fruits and vegetables during pregnancy.

Proper Absorption of Vitamin C

Like other water soluble vitamins Vitamin C is sensitive to heat and cooking can destroy the vitamin. It is better to eat raw fruits and vegetables as cooking can destroy it.

You also need to store Vitamin C rich foods properly away from excessive heat or light to ensure there is no loss.

Enroll in Fitterfly Pregnancy Nutrition Program - India’s first and only micronutrient based diet plan during pregnancy.

Call +9170450 65225


Does vitamin C deficiency affect cognitive development and function?

NIH Vitamin C Fact Sheet

Nutrition Data Source: Ntuitive


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Disclaimer: All information here, including text, images, tables, videos and any other content is for your knowledge only and we do not guarantee any specific result by following these recommendations as it may vary from person to person. The information is not a substitute for qualified medical advice from a doctor or other medical health expert.