Vitamin C is THE most popular vitamin supplement. And there are good reasons (health benefits!)
Your body is not able to make vitamin C on its own. It doesn’t store vitamin C. Therefore it’s important to include vitamin C-containing foods in your diet, and/or as a supplement.
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.
Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, so it is an essential dietary component.
Vitamin C is safe, it is not expensive, and there are excellent health benefits from this powerful vitamin.
Here are some of the health benefits of vitamin C, and a list of fruits and vegetables with high sources of vitamin C:
Health Benefits Of Vitamin C
Prevents Scurvy. Acute vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy. The timeline for the development of scurvy varies, but signs can appear within 1 month of little or no vitamin C intake (below 10 mg/day). Ultimately, scurvy is fatal.
The vitamin forms an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
Heals wounds and forms scar tissue.
Repairs and maintains cartilage, bones, and teeth.
A powerful antioxidant which blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals. The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process. Free radicals may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and conditions like arthritis.
Vitamin C can limit the formation of carcinogens, and, through its antioxidant function, possibly attenuate oxidative damage that can lead to cancer.
AMD and cataracts are two of the leading causes of vision loss in older individuals. Oxidative stress might contribute to the etiology of both conditions. Thus, researchers have hypothesized that vitamin C and other antioxidants play a role in the development and/or treatment of these diseases.
Brain function. Your brain has ~100 billion neurons which communicate with each other through ‘neurotransmitters’. Vitamin C is essential in their production.
Neurotransmitters impact your ability to focus, concentrate, and remember. They also control your mood, cravings, addictions, and sleep.
Mood. Vitamin C specifically increases the neurotransmitter serotonin (the “happy molecule”) and therefore may be considered nature’s own natural antidepressant.
Flush toxic heavy metals (Mercury, Aluminum) from the brain. Vitamin C acts as a powerful detoxifier that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier to remove these metals from the brain.
Fruits With Lots of Vitamin C
Fruits with highest vitamin C according to nih.gov,
1. Orange (70 mg | 1 medium)
2. Kiwifruit (64 mg | 1 medium)
3. Strawberries (49 mg | 1/2-cup)
4. Grapefruit (39 mg | 1/2-medium)
5. Raspberries (32 mg | 1-cup raw)
6. Cantaloupe (29 mg | 1/2-cup)
7. Blueberries (14 mg | 1-cup raw)
Vegetables High In Vitamin C
1. Red Pepper (95 mg | 1/2-cup raw)
2. Green Pepper (60 mg | 1/2-cup raw)
3. Broccoli (51 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
4. Brussels Sprouts (48 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
5. Cabbage (28 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
6. Cauliflower (26 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
7. Potato (17 mg | 1 medium baked)
8. Tomato (17 mg | 1 medium)
9. Spinach (9 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Vitamin C Supplement
The USDA recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg for men.
However these numbers are widely considered extremely low for substantial health benefits.
Why is the RDA number so low? Because the RDA amount is just enough to prevent diseases like scurvy, but not the amount needed for optimal health.
Many experts recommend 1000 mg – 2000 mg per day. Note that taking more than 2000 mg may cause digestive upset for some people.
Sources of information include:
National Institutes of Health – nih.gov
Alzheimers Research & Prevention Foundation – AlzheimersPrevention.org