Top 10 food
Vitamin C helps the body
maintain healthy tissues and a strong immune system,
and it aids in the absorption of iron. The
allowance (RDA) for adult men is 90 mg
and for adult
women it’s 75 mg.
Here are the top 10
food sources of vitamin C,
according to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines.
Guava is rich in vitamin C -- one half-cup of the
fruit contains 188 mg of vitamin C and 56 calories.
Eat the fruit raw, or try it in a smoothie.
Red sweet pepper
You probably instantly think citrus when you think
of immune system-boosting vitamin C, but red sweet
pepper offers a solid dose of the nutrient. One
half-cup of raw red sweet pepper contains 142 mg. of
vitamin C and 20 calories. If you cook the veggie, a
1/2 cup offers 116 mg. of vitamin C.
Kiwi--the fruit, not the bird that’s the national
symbol of New Zealand--is rich in vitamin C. One
medium kiwi contains 70 mg. of the nutrient and 46
Who doesn’t want an injection of acidic orange when
in need of a vitamin C boost? You’re justified. One
medium orange contains 70 mg of vitamin C and 62
If you prefer it in liquid form, 3/4 cup of orange
juice contains 61-93 mg of vitamin C and 79-84
Green sweet pepper
Green sweet peppers offer 60 mg of vitamin C per
half-cup, with only 15 calories. When cooked, the
vegetable provides 51 mg. of vitamin C.
Grapefruit juice provides almost the same amount of
vitamin C as green peppers: 3/4 cup has 50-70 mg.
vitamin C and 71-86 calories.
Vegetable juice cocktail
Drinking your vegetables provides plenty of
nutrients, including a vitamin C punch. You’ll get
50 mg. of vitamin C and 34 calories in 3/4 cup of
Strawberries are full of fibre and antioxidants,
including vitamin C. One half-cup of strawberries
contains 49 mg. of the vitamin and 27 calories.
You already know this kid-unfriendly vegetable has a
good nutritional reputation, but did you know that
includes vitamin C? One half-cup of cooked brussels
sprouts offers 48 mg. of vitamin C and 28 calories.
One quarter of a medium cantaloupe has 47 mg. of
vitamin C and 51 calories.
Free radicals and health
Nutritionists and health advocates recommend ingestion of
food that contains high amounts of antioxidants to counteract
the free radicals that are produced in the body. Free radicals
are unstable oxygen atoms and as people are aware, an atom has a
nucleus comprised of protons and neutrons, around which
electrons travel. Everything is fine when the electrons are in
pairs, but difficulties are present when an electron is not
paired, as with unstable oxygen atoms. These free radicals steal
electrons from normal, or stable body cells and create a
sequence known as oxidation.
Antioxidants have been proven to limit the effect of
oxidation in the body caused by free radicals, or to put it more
succinctly, antioxidants protect a person from free radical
damage. It is unquestionable that antioxidants shield people
from some of the most serious diseases, including cancer, heart
disease, arthritis, and many more. There are those who actually
suggest that an adequate supply of antioxidants in their diets
can slow down the ageing process!
The actions of free radicals are not all bad. They assist the
body to fight micro-organisms and it is only a surplus of free
radicals that is responsible for health disorders, and not a
The importance of fruit and vegetables
Antioxidants are readily obtainable to maintain the balance, and
clean up any surplus free radicals, because natural antioxidants
are found in fruit and vegetables. Therefore it is very
important to ingest a minimum of five servings of fruit a day.
Fats in food
A high fat diet may significantly increase free radical
production, and it is widely accepted that saturated fat is
responsible for free radical problems. However, the situation is
complicated as not all fats are loaded with free radicals. A
sensible way to begin would be to seek to avoid saturated fats,
including animal meat, and fried foods of any description. There
are other fats, including fish oils, which current studies
suggest are actually helpful, but transfats, widely used in
manufactured biscuits, cakes, etc. are best avoided.
Sadly, our intake of free radicals is not solely from our diets,
but also from environmental contaminants, including industrial
emmissions, tobacco smoke, and others. One cannot possibly avoid
them altogether, although an excellent way to guard oneself, is
through a practical knowledge of antioxidants.
Antioxidant food is vital to well-being, but if one need extra
protection one might consider vitamin supplements. A person
usually gets all Vitamin C from fruit and vegetable consumption,
but it’s good to include Vitamin E as well. Good sources of
Vitamin E are peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and green leafy
vegetables. Also the vitamins are particularly good if they are
an integral part of a healthy diet. Supplements are available,
in a variety of forms, but are best considered under
Responding to emergencies in medicine
By Usha Perera
In a medical emergency, every second counts and the most
important thing is to reach a medical facility as soon as
possible. But reaching a medical facility is dependent on many
things such as transport, people who could take you in the
available transport, the distance of the closest medical
facility etc etc. Therefore it is equally important to have
access to some medical facility that could reach you in an
emergency as much as vice versa and Medi-Calls was established
as far back as in 1985 as a subscription based Emergency Medical
Services in response to this specific need.
Today twenty four years after it was first established and
following a change in its management and location, Medi-Calls
aggregates the skills of 26 medical professionals on its roster
with doctors and other paramedical staff representing a
portfolio of key medical specialisations which allows the
practice to respond thoughtfully to the special needs of
patients who call on them for medical attention.
“At present we have five ambulances for our services that are
fully equipped with ECG machines and resuscitation equipment and
we are on call twenty four hours of the day”, says Dr. Yasa
Siriwardene who is the head of the medical operations at Medi-Calls.
“Our home visiting services are built around a team that
comprise a doctor, nurse and an ambulance driver and we have
three or more teams on duty at any given time at this place
throughout a 24 hour cycle. Also our ambulances and the
communication centre are wireless linked for better
communication”, adds Dr. Siriwardene.
“When a team reaches a patient in response to a call they
conduct a quick evaluation whether the patient could be treated
on the spot or if he or she requires OPD treatment or would need
hospitalisation. If it is the latter case the patient is taken
to the hospital of his or her choice and the team makes all the
necessary arrangements with the hospital while transporting the
patient in the ambulance and briefs the doctors and other
medical staff that would take over the patient from them”
explains Siriwardene. “Again even after giving over the patient,
we continue to monitor the patients as they are our clients. In
short we look after patients right through any crisis till it is
over” she further adds. The Majority of Colombo and greater
Colombo areas are covered by Medi-Calls services
According to Siriwardene, all the doctors on duty at Medi-Calls
are those who work in emergency medical services in other
hospitals and are fully trained in different procedures and
those who have full registration with the Sri Lanka Medical
It is not only emergencies that Medi-Calls attends to, but also
responds to routine home medical care that includes
catheterisations and bladder irrigations of the elderly and
those with special needs for the above, naso gastric tube
insertion to those who would need nasal feeding, wound toilet
and dressing, bed sores care, nebulisation of asthma patients,
suturing and removal of sutures and post operative care, random
blood sugar testing, giving intravenous drips to those with
vomitting and diarrhoea who do not want to enter hospital, and
giving intravenous injections.
“We have two types of subscription categories”, says Siriwardene.
“We have the family / household subscriptions that covers
everyone in the member’s household including visitors, house
guests, and household staff, and the other type is the corporate
subscription that applies to corporations, institutions, clubs,
hotels and communities of five or more households. We also cover
special events such as exhibitions, sports festivals on request
where we become stationed at places where there are such events
taking place with an ambulance and a doctor and a nurse. As part
of our civic duties we also visit children’s homes, and homes
for the aged but on request” adds Dr. Yasa.
Medi-Calls has also started an onsite 24 hour Medical Clinic at
their premises in Colombo 05 recently where services available
include a doctor on call at the centre where anyone can walk in
to see a doctor and get treatment. The clinic is open to
corporate clients as well and each patient that comes to the
clinic has a file opened and would be updated each time he or
she visits the clinic. Any blood test that is deemed necessary
by the doctor is done at the clinic and if necessary the
patients are referred to specialists. Medi-Calls is registered
at the Ministry of Health as a Professional Healthcare Providing
Write in with
your medical queries
Dr. Usha Perera would be happy to
answer any medical queries mailed into The Nation Health page.
Your questions about health and nutrition can be mailed to No.
742, Maradana Road, Colombo 10 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Confidentiality will be guaranteed.