Vitamin C is helpful during pregnancy or any stage of life to protect blood vessels and prevent or heal from scarring, both on the skin surface or on mucous membranes such as in the mouth. Vitamin C may help reduce risk of stretch marks and also anemia because vitamin C can help the body absorb iron from plant food sources.
Vitamin C is important as an antioxidant to help reduce the negative effects of stress and oxidative stress from normal metabolism. It is also important for helping strengthen capillary walls - the very smallest blood vessels. Adequate vitamin C helps protect against gum disease due to better protection of the tiny blood vessels. Stronger membranes help prevent entry of infectious bacteria into the blood stream throughout the digestive tract.
Beautiful skin inside and out is a benefit of stronger blood vessel membranes which also helps prevent bruising. Adequate Vitamin C may help improve healing from wounds and prevent scar formation from being as severe.
Including vitamin C foods in a meal with plant food sources of iron helps the body absorb more of the iron. Beans or dark green vegetables are good plant food sources of iron and tomato sauce or green peppers would be good sources of vitamin C and other nutrients.
For more information about the health benefits of vitamin C and a list of food sources see: Vitamin C, MedlinePlus, Medical Encyclopedia.
Food Sources of Vitamin C:
Citrus fruit such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are well known as good sources of vitamin C. Tomatoes are an also a very good source and potatoes are a fairly good source. Many green leafy vegetables are a source and green and red peppers are a very good source. Starfruit are a less common tropical fruit that is also a very good source of vitamin C. Apples, pears, and bananas are healthy sources of potassium and fiber but are not as rich in vitamin C. Melons such as cantaloupe are a better source of vitamin C and also can be a good source of the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene.