Vitamin C | Your Body Does NOT Make It’s Own!
Vitamin C is THE most Popular Vitamin Supplement.
There are good reasons for that (health benefits!)
Your body is not able to make vitamin C on its own. It doesn’t store vitamin C. Therefore it’s very important to include vitamin C-containing foods in your diet, vitamin C fruits and vegetables. And/or get it by way of a vitamin 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.
It’s a powerful vitamin.
Vitamin C | Health Benefits
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.
Forms an Important Protein
The vitamin forms an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
Vitamin C helps to heal wounds and forms scar tissue.
Bones and Teeth
Repairs and maintains cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Vitamin C is 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.
May Limit Formation of Carcinogens
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.
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.
Vitamin C Fruits
Fruits with highest vitamin C
Obviously the order changes depending on the size of serving that you choose to eat. But here’s the list…
Guava (377 mg | 1 cup)
Orange (98 mg | 1 large)
Papaya (95 mg | 1 small)
Pineapple (79 mg | 1 cup)
Kiwifruit (64 mg | 1 medium)
Mango (60 mg | 1 cup)
Strawberries (49 mg | 1/2-cup)
Grapefruit (39 mg | 1/2-medium)
Raspberries (32 mg | 1-cup raw)
Cantaloupe (29 mg | 1/2-cup)
Blueberries (14 mg | 1-cup raw)
From a preparedness standpoint, it’s a no-brainer to stock up on Vitamin C.
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Vegetables High In Vitamin C
Sweet Red Pepper (95 mg | 1/2-cup raw)
Sweet Green Pepper (60 mg | 1/2-cup raw)
Broccoli (51 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Brussels Sprouts (48 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Cabbage (28 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Cauliflower (26 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Potato (17 mg | 1 medium baked)
Tomato (17 mg | 1 medium)
Spinach (9 mg | 1/2-cup cooked)
Does Cooking Affect Vitamin C?
Yes, to an extent. Cooking fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C may reduce the amount. The National Institutes of Health recommends steaming or microwaving to lose the least amount. Though the best way to maximize it’s benefit is to eat raw.
Vitamin C Supplements
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 that many consider 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.
Continue reading: Top 100 High ORAC Value Antioxidant Foods