The Health Benefits of Vitamin C
May 01, 2023
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble nutrient with many health benefits. It is necessary for the health of our body’s tissues by supporting development, growth, and repair. Wound healing is a great example of where Vitamin C plays a role. It is involved in the maintenance of bones, cartilage, and teeth. It is also supports collagen formation. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant helping protect cells from free radical damage and promotes a healthy functioning immune system. Ultimately, it reduces the risk of chronic disease.
How Much Do You Need?
The daily requirement of Vitamin C s about 90mg for adult males and 75mg for adult women. Your needs increase with pregnancy and also if you smoke. Some individuals take much more than that in supplements. The upper limit is about 2,000mg, and high quantities of Vitamin C (over 1000mg) can cause gastrointestinal stress. Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, the body uses what it needs and the rest is excreted out in the urine. Some studies have shown potential health benefits of higher-than-necessary Vitamin C intake, but most studies have shown no additional benefit for generally healthy individuals. This is a controversial area of science and more research is needed.
Vitamin C Sources
Vitamin C is primarily found in fruits and vegetables. Here are some great sources:
- Citrus fruits are probably the most well known source. This includes oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Just one orange or grapefruit a day will provide your needs.
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower provide high levels of vitamin C plus they are nutrient dense and high in antioxidants. Enjoy them both fresh and cooked.
- White potatoes are a good source of Vitamin C most being in the flesh but some in the skin as well.
- Bell peppers have 150% of your daily recommended Vitamin C. They are great in a stir-fry or raw slices with humus as a snack.
- Strawberries: one cup supplies more than 100% of your daily needs. Strawberries are now in season and great in a fruit salad or a breakfast smoothie.
- Tomatoes are very versatile and supply a good amount of vitamin C in your diet. Tomatoes are delicious fresh in salads and cooked in a pasta sauce.
- Kiwi fruit: just one small fruit supplies your daily needs for Vitamin C. They are also high in fiber and potassium.
It is very important to have optimal levels of Vitamin C in your system. Micronutrient testing is the best way to see if you are meeting your vitamin C needs and whether you need to change your diet or start a daily supplement.
Diet and Nutrients , Blog