Vitamin C is one of the most commonly known nutrients. It is included in many supplements and added to a variety of food products. It is an essential vitamin the body receives from food. Although vitamin C is normally associated with helping alleviate cold and flu symptoms, it can aid in maintaining vision health, warding off cancer, regulating blood pressure, and treating chronic pain.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid helps protect the body against free radicals it may be exposed to (think food additives, chemicals, environmental toxins). This exposure can lead to oxidation, which in turn may lead to heart disease, cancer, and other chronic ailments. Vitamin C also helps with wound healing and repairing and maintaining bones, teeth, and cartilage.
Vitamin C deficiency symptoms include:
- Bleeding gums
- Poor wound healing
How Much Should Be Consumed?
The US recommended daily amount of Vitamin C for adults is 75-90 mg daily. Remember, that everyone may need different daily amounts, especially pregnant or breastfeeding women, in order to be in optimal health.
Things to consider in order to determine if you are absorbing enough vitamin C in your diet include:
- Are you consuming a diet rich in whole foods?
- Are you suffering from any gastrointestinal issues that may hinder absorption of Vitamin C?
- Are a majority of processed foods you are consuming void of Vitamin C?
Ways to incorporate Vitamin C-rich foods:
- Red Bell Pepper (95 mg per half cup serving): adds the perfect crunch to salads, fill halves with tuna salad, or snack on strips dipped in guac.
- Strawberries (89 mg per 1 cup): slice on top of chia pudding, serve for dessert, add to smoothies.
- Broccoli (51 mg per half cup serving): Roast to perfection, toss into soups, add to stir-fry’s or sautés.
- Brussels Sprouts (50 mg per half cup): thinly shave to make a salad, pan-roast for a quick side, or make a morning hash with them.