Did you know that humans are the ONLY mammals that don’t make their own vitamin C?
Unlike other animals, humans cannot synthesize vitamin C on their own. Therefore, you must get enough of it from foods or supplements to boost your immune system and maintain good health.
More than just a boost to the immune system, it plays a critical role in many of the body’s functions and is a powerful antioxidant. It also aids in tissue regeneration, the absorption of iron, production of collagen and so much more.
But, how much vitamin C is enough and what are the best ways you can get it?
While your diet should always include a variety of nutritious foods for overall wellness, you might consider paying particular attention right now to getting enough of this well-known immune-supporting nutrient.
Here are some tips for getting the most vitamin C out of your daily diet:
- Eat your fruits and veggies raw whenever possible. It’s best to consume foods high in vitamin C raw instead of cooked whenever possible. Cooking methods like boiling, simmering, sautéing, stir-frying and poaching can cause significant nutrient losses in foods with vitamin C.
- Snack on vitamin-C rich fruit . Swap your sweet snacks for a fresh fruit like kiwi, fresh strawberries, an orange or a juicy grapefruit
- Have a light lunch with a side hummus. Raw broccoli and red peppers are extremely high in this powerful antioxidant.
- Eat more fermented vegetables. One serving of kimchi (a traditional Korean recipe made of fermented cabbage) provides about half of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. Sauerkraut is also a good option; just be sure to buy it in the refrigerated section. In addition to vitamin C and other vitamins, kimchi and sauerkraut also contain gut-strengthening probiotics.
How Much Do I need?
Vitamin C dissolves in water and is not stored in the body, so we do need a consistent supply to maintain adequate levels. The government guidelines recommend daily intake is about 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg per day for men. I recommend that you get 1,200 mg of vitamin C per day from food and supplements. This higher amount not only prevents deficiency but also helps prevent disease and increases your resistance to flue and colds.
How Should You Take It?
The best way to take vitamin C supplements is 2 – 3 times per day, with meals, depending on the dosage. Some studies suggest that adults should take 250 – 500 mg twice a day for any benefit.
Best Food Sources Of Vitamin C
It’s important to note that vitamin C in food is easily destroyed by heat, but since many good sources of the nutrient are fruits and vegetables, simply eating some of those foods raw is an easy way to reach the recommended intake.
Strawberries – one cup contain about 85 mg of vitamin C. Have a snack of at least seven strawberries and you’ll get more vitamin C than if you were to have one orange. Strawberries also have a large dose of magnesium and folate, which help to stabilize your blood sugar and keep your heart healthy.
Broccoli 3.5 oz (less than 1/2 cup) of raw broccoli contains 89 mg of vitamin C. That’s almost the recommended 90 mg per day. This vegetable also contains a healthy dose of vitamin K, which promotes bone health and proper blood clotting.
Red, green, and yellow bell peppers contain nearly triple the vitamin C of an orange, clocking in at 95.7 mg for a green pepper, 152 mg for a red pepper, and a staggering 341 mg for a yellow pepper. Peppers are also a great source of fiber and a very low-calorie snack.
Kiwi One serving of this little green gem (about two kiwis) boasts 168.8 mg of vitamin C. This superfruit is also rich in copper, potassium, and serotonin, the feel-good hormone that helps improve sleep quality.
Brussels sprouts One cup of delivers a healthy 96.8 mg of vitamin C. These mini cabbages also are loaded with phytonutrients and fiber that help prevent cancer. If their bitter taste it too much for you, try roasting them to bring out their natural sweetness.
Cauliflower is not only chock-full of fiber, but one small head also contains 123 mg of vitamin C. Steam, mash, or roast this superfood for a healthy and delicious meal.
Have you found article helpful? please comment below. I would like to learn from you what other topics you are interested in learning about.
Yours In Good Health!