Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Whether you’re fighting off a particularly nasty cold, or just trying to make it through winter without using up all of your sick days, Vitamin C has probably been your go-to. A powerful antioxidant that can be found in many fruits and vegetables, Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for pretty much everyone. However how much is too much, and are there benefits beyond just strengthening your immune system?

Oranges

Five Quick Facts

  1. One of the most famous historical uses was to treat scurvy, a disease that would plague sailors who were deficient in vitamin C. They often got their necessary intake by sucking on limes or other citrus fruits.
  2. Out of every vitamin and nutrient that is commonly researched on the internet, vitamin c is the most popular one.
  3. If you are consuming more Vitamin C than your body needs it will be flushed out with urine.
  4. Humans are rare in the fact that we cannot produce vitamin C naturally, whereas most plants and animals can.
  5. Citrus fruits are certainly not the only place to get Vitamin C, in fact, veggies like brussel sprouts and broccoli can be great sources

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is an extremely powerful antioxidant that the body does not produce naturally. It is essential for building the connective tissues that are essential for countless bodily organs and organ function. It is also one of the easiest nutrients to get more of, as its popularity has lead to a wide array of supplement options. It is also commonly occurring in many fruits and vegetables such as oranges, limes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kiwis, mangos, and strawberries.

Due to the ability to get vitamin C from so many different sources, some of us are likely getting much more than we need to be. Serious repercussions to an overconsumption of vitamin c are unlikely. However, if you are getting it through supplements, that means you’re essentially paying money to have very healthy pee.

Also, the idea that the best source of Vitamin C is an orange simply isn’t correct. While oranges may have a reputation for being packed full of vitamin c, there are many fruits that contain more, while also containing many other essential vitamins and nutrients.

What are the benefits?

Vitamin C and Immunity

Vitamin C is best known for being extremely beneficial for your immune system. The most popular and well-researched benefit of Vitamin C is its effect on your immune system. There are countless factors that can cause weakened immunity, as there are many stresses on our bodies every day. This can be even worse for those who smoke, suffer from obesity, or have other significant stressors on their body.

Vitamin C helps to boost a weakened immune system, and while it is not a cure for a cold or the flu, it can actually prevent these illnesses from getting worse.  

Vitamin C and Aging

Antioxidants are known to prevent the damage that free radicals can cause to the body’s cells. Vitamin C is no exception, and it can also help to reduce the damaging effects that the sun has on skin. This makes it a great vitamin for those who want to fight the signs of aging, as well as those just looking for healthier skin.

Vitamin C and Blood

One of the more recently studied benefits of vitamin C is for blood and cardiovascular health. Vitamin C is essential for the creation of connective tissue which means that is can help blood vessels as well as your heart.

Benefits

Source of Vitamin C

What are the sources?

There are plenty of ways to get more vitamin C in your diet that aren’t just limes and lemons. Some great ones include:

  • Red bell peppers
  • Green bell peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Kiwis
  • Papaya

Easy Recipes

If you’re looking for an easy way to get more vitamin c, and aren’t in the mood to suck on limes, well then you’re in luck. Not only is this recipe easy, but it’s a great way to get almost anyone to boost their vitamin C levels. Check out the full recipe for Mango Salsa on Whitney Bond’s website.

  • 1 mango (diced)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes (diced)
  • 1/4 cup red onion (minced)
  • 1 jalapeño (de-seeded and minced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro (minced)
  • 1 lime (juiced)

All that’s left to do with this recipe is dice your ingredients and combine, and you’ve got a great refreshing snack, that will make you forget you’re eating healthy.

What is the recommended intake?

The amount of vitamin c that a person should ingest varies widely based on the condition that is being treated, as well as their age and gender. However, for most people, 75-90 milligrams per day is enough to boost the immune system and help prevent things like the common cold. For full dosage information follow the link to WebMD.

Dosage

Concerns / Interactions

There are many different substances that can interact negatively with Vitamin C, and possibly lead to side effects. Some examples are aluminium, estrogens, fluphenazine, cancer medication, HIV medication, cholesterol medication, niacin, and warfarin. Those with cancer, diabetes, blood iron disorders, sickle cell disease, and kidney stones, should avoid ingesting high amounts of vitamin C. This is according to WebMD, for more information follow the link.

Warning

 

Summary

It’s not surprising that Vitamin C is the most commonly researched nutrient, as it’s an easy way to improve your health and keep your immune system strong. For anyone hoping to make it through the winter without catching a cold, or improving the health of their skin, Vitamin C is an essential nutrient.

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