What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin with two forms: ascorbic acid or dehydroascorbic acid. The body cannot manufacture vitamin C, so it is essential to consume it in our diet through nutritious food. One fact you may not know about vitamin C is that it is easily perishable, exposure to air quickly destroys vitamin C. I would recommend consuming foods rich in vitamin C throughout the day or consider adding a high-quality vitamin C supplement to your daily routine.
Why is Vitamin C important and what does it do in the body?
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant involved in many reactions in the body. Here are just a few:
- One of the most well-known roles of vitamin C is the one that it plays in supporting the immune system to help fight infection. It does this by boosting leukocyte (white blood cell) function and increasing interferon (a protein released by white cells to ramp up the immune response to kill pathogens or “bad guys”).
- Vitamin C also makes hormones like epinephrine. Since this is so, when experiencing increased stress (emotional, chemical or physical) we need more vitamin C.
- Vitamin C plays a role in the manufacture of neurotransmitters and of collagen, which is such an important part of our connective tissue.
- It is also vital for the regeneration of other antioxidants including vitamin E and glutathione. The latter is probably the body’s most powerful antioxidant!
The most commonly known example of vitamin C deficiency is scurvy. The symptoms of scurvy include bleeding gums, loss of teeth, delayed wound healing, loss of appetite, fatigue, hysteria and depression.
What amount of Vitamin C do you need each day?
The DRI (Daily Recommended Intake) /RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of dietary vitamin C is 60mg/Day for adult, nonsmoking men and women.
What foods contain the highest amounts of Vitamin C?
The TOP 10 Vitamin C rich foods are:
- Red and Green Chili Peppers 243mg/100g
- Guavas 228mg/100g
- Yellow peppers 184mg/100g
- Fresh thyme 160mg/100g
- Fresh parsley 133mg/100g
- Raw kale 120mg/100g
- Kiwi fruit 93mg/100g
- Broccoli 89mg/100g
- Brussels sprouts 79mg/100g
- Papaya 62mg/100g
I try and include as many of these foods as possible into my daily diet! Some recipe ideas to try include:
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