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Vitamin C can have a tremendous impact on our health. It works to enhance everything from immune function to skin health.
Including a few portions of vitamin C foods into your diet makes it easy to take advantage of all the health benefits.
So how much vitamin C do you need to take per day, and how can you increase your intake to get the rewards?
Vitamin C is key to the maintenance and growth of most of the tissues of our body, including collagen, which is required for wound healing and healthy connective tissue. Vitamin C also helps maintain our bones and teeth stay strong.
As it’s a water-soluble vitamin, our body doesn’t store vitamin C, so you must replace your vitamin C stores daily.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble vitamin that helps regenerate and repair tissues, forming the proteins that the skin and blood vessels produce, healing wounds, protecting against the loss of natural vision due to age, protecting the heart, and acting as an antioxidant.
A deficiency of vitamin C can have problematic effects on health, causing symptoms like bleeding gums, fatigue, easy bruising, weak immunity, etc.
Yes, of course, you can get Vitamin C from natural raw food items. High vitamin C foods comprise guavas, kiwifruit, strawberries, bell peppers, papayas, oranges, broccoli, kale, and tomatoes.
Below is a list of high vitamin C foods and their benefits.
The best way to satisfy your vitamin C requirements is by adding a few foods rich in vitamin C into your meal.
So what foods have vitamin C?
Here are a few of the top vitamin C superfoods we have curated for you to check on:
- Honeydew- 32 milligrams (53 percent DV)
- Peas- 23 milligrams (38 percent DV)
- Black Currant- 203 milligrams (338 percent DV)
- Red Pepper- 190 milligrams (317 percent DV)
- Kiwifruit- 164 milligrams (273 percent DV)
- Guava- 126 milligrams (209 percent DV)
- Strawberries- 89 milligrams (149 percent DV)
- Papaya- 87 milligrams (144 percent DV)
- Broccoli- 81 milligrams (135 percent DV)
- Kale- 80 milligrams (134 percent DV)
- Pineapple- 79 milligrams (131 percent DV)
- Brussels Sprouts- 48 milligrams (81 percent DV)
- Parsley- 80 milligrams (133 percent DV)
- Cauliflower- 46 milligrams (77 percent DV)
- Mango- 46 milligrams (76 percent DV)
- Green Bell Pepper- 120 milligrams (200 percent DV)
- Orange- 98 milligrams (163 percent DV)
- Tomatoes- 23 milligrams (38 percent DV)
- Lemon- 45 milligrams (74 percent DV)
- Grapefruit- 38 milligrams (64 percent DV)
- Healthy Skin and Collagen Formation: Vitamin C helps to promote healthy glowing skin, and it also helps in collagen formation.
- Iron Absorption: Vitamin C helps improve iron absorption in our body.
- Reduces Risk of Gout: Vitamin C decreases the risk of Gout.
- Fights Free Radical Damage: Vitamin C can help fight free radical damage in your body.
- Supports Immune Function: Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system of our body.
- Supports Heart Health: Vitamin C promotes heart health.
Adding plenty of vitamin C foods to your meal can help keep your skin healthy, glowing, and young. It is also known that people eating more high vitamin C foods was associated with a lower risk of skin dryness and wrinkles.
Studies have also shown that using a topical vitamin C serum could reduce skin redness following UVB exposure and reduce sunburn cell formation by up to 60 percent.
Plus, vitamin C foods or supplements for skin health can be so helpful because vitamin C is used to form collagen, an essential protein used to create the skin, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels.
Collagen is essential to skin health and can aid in both wound healing and scar tissue formation. It can also help improve skin moisture and elasticity, making it absolutely necessary to fit plenty of vitamin C foods into your diet.
🔰 Improve Iron Absorption
Iron is an essential mineral to many aspects of health. It is a significant component of the hemoglobin found in our red blood cells and can help supply the cells throughout our body with oxygen.
A deficiency in this essential mineral can lead to iron deficiency anemia, with symptoms like shortness of breath, weakness, and dizziness.
Consuming vitamin C foods can give iron absorption a better boost to help prevent iron deficiency. Studies show that taking 100 mg of vitamin C with your meal can increase iron absorption by 67 percent.
🔰 Reduce Risk of Gout
Gout is a painful kind of arthritis that can cause severe tenderness and redness in the joints, particularly in the big toe. Including more foods that contain vitamin C in your meal is an easy and effective way to lessen your risk of Gout.
Studies showed that high consumption of vitamin C was associated with a significantly lower risk of Gout.
🔰 Fight Free Radical Damage
Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants that can protect us against damage made by harmful molecules called free radicals.
Free radicals can build up inside our bodies and develop health issues like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
These disease-causing molecules are formed over time due to unhealthy lifestyles, poor diet, and long-term exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins.
🔰 Boost Immune Function
It is well known for years that Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants. It can boost our immune system. In fact, one of the main reasons for a vitamin C deficiency is a weakened immune system.
Studies found that taking enough vitamin C can help lessen symptoms such as bronchitis, common cold, or sinusitis.
Plus, it could also improve the outcomes and decrease the incidence of other conditions like malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea infections.
🔰 Enhance Cancer Treatment
Vitamin C is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants and has been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties. Vitamin C foods like oranges and lemons have also been shown to help block the spread and growth of cancer cells and might be associated with a lower risk of cancer development.
In addition to that, vitamin C might also have some benefits when used along with traditional cancer treatments. Studies showed that vitamin C could improve time to relapse, enhance the quality of life, reduce tumor size, and decrease symptoms associated with chemotherapy, such as depression, nausea, and fatigue.
🔰 Support Heart Health
As you all know, switching up your lifestyle and diet is one of the most effective ways to ward off heart disease, and studies show that including just a few servings every day of vitamin C rich foods can help lessen various heart disease risk factors to support heart health.
Studies show that people who consumed at least 700 mg of vitamin C per day had a 25% lower risk of developing any heart disease than people who did not consume any vitamin C supplements.
Severe vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy, which is a serious disease that causes anemia, bleeding, and bleeding gums.
Though a “Normal” vitamin C deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, irritability, joint inflation, indefinite pain, inflamed enzymes, etc.
🔰 Vitamin C Deficiency
There are numerous different symptoms and signs of vitamin C deficiency, and having low levels of vitamin C long-term can have damaging effects on health.
Also, a severe vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy, a disease following the breakdown of collagen that causes symptoms like bleeding gums, bruising, and fatigue.
Some of the most usual symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency include:
- Weakened immune system
- Bleeding gums
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Slow wound healing
- Digestive disorders like leaky gut
- Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism
- Swollen and painful joints
- Dry and splitting hair
- Easy bruising
- Swollen gums
- Dry red spots on the skin
Health problems associated with a vitamin C deficiency can worsen over time and lead to severe health issues.
Long-term issues from low levels of vitamin C include:
- High blood pressure
- Certain cancers
- Gallbladder disease
So how much vitamin C do you actually need to include for your health?
Your vitamin C needs vary based on a number of diverse factors, including gender and age.
Now, let’s dive into the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C:
- 0–6 months: 40 mg per day
- 7–12 months: 50 mg per day
- 1–3 years: 15 mg per day
- 4–8 years: 25 mg per day
- 9–13 years: 45 mg per day
- Girls 14–18 years: 65 mg per day
- Pregnant teens: 80 mg per day
- Breastfeeding teens: 115 mg per day
- Boys 14–18 years: 75 mg per day
- Men age 19 and older: 90 mg per day
- Women age 19 years and older: 75 mg per day
- Pregnant women: 85 mg per day
- Breastfeeding women: 120 mg per day
Additionally, smokers should increase their daily intake of vitamin C by 35 mg per day to help meet their vitamin C requirements.
Although the dosage of vitamin C supplements can generally vary. It’s also present in various multivitamins, with doses varying from 50–100 milligrams.
Vitamin C rich foods have long been known for their powerful health-promoting properties. These super healthy fruits and vegetables are often included in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, for example, lemons are known to help clear out toxins, cleanse the body, while strawberries, on the other side, quench thirst and clear the throat.
While the Ayurvedic diet supports eating a good variety of fruits and veggies to help maximize the nutritional quality of your diet.
It’s generally advised to enjoy vitamin C-rich fruits separately from heavier foods and to always consume fresh fruits rather than fruit juice whenever possible to optimize your intake and your health.
So, what do you think? Should you head to the pharmacy or the grocery store to start increasing your daily vitamin C intake?
First of all, Several factors need to be considered between supplements and natural food sources of this essential vitamin.
In terms of bioavailability, both raw food and supplement seem to be roughly the same. Studies have usually found that both are equally absorbed.
Nevertheless, various studies have found some adverse effects associated with vitamin C supplements but not food sources. For example, one research showed that vitamin C supplementation was connected with a significantly higher risk of kidney stones in men.
Additionally, vitamin C foods are also typically rich in a wide array of other essential nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants, as well as other vitamins and minerals. Therefore, you can also go for natural sources of vitamin C to help meet your daily requirements.
To meet your daily Vitamin C requirements, you can try adding a side fruit/veggie salad full of vitamin C to one meal per day or swap your sweets or snacks for a fresh bowl of fruit salad instead.
But, remember that it’s best to consume raw foods high in vitamin C instead of cooked whenever possible.
Are you looking for a few healthy yet delicious ways to spice up your diet and amp up your vitamin C intake?
So, let’s dive into the list of a few recipes using some of the foods highest in vitamin C to help you meet your daily requirements:
- Kale Chips
- Orange Smoothie
- Honeydew Sorbet
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples
- Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
- Cauliflower Salad with Avocado Ranch
It is known that vitamin C is not stored in the body. Excess amounts of vitamin c are excreted, so even if you overdose on this water-soluble vitamin is not usually a concern.
However, it is essential not to exceed the upper limit of 2,000 mg a day to avoid adverse symptoms and vitamin C risks or side effects, such as stomach upset or diarrhea.
Note: If you have a history of having kidney stones, you should consider consulting with your doctor before starting any supplementation of vitamin C foods and drinks to meet your daily requirements instead.
Vitamin C supplements might interact with specific types of medications.
In particular, it might interact with protease inhibitors, and certain anticoagulants, and aluminum-containing medicines like phosphate binders.
If you are currently taking any of the above mentioned medications, then talk to your doctor before starting any vitamin c supplementation.
Vitamin C is vital for our immune system, connective tissue, heart health, and various other important roles.
The deficiency of vitamin c can have adverse effects on our health.
By adding some of the foods recommended above, you can maintain your vitamin C intake.
Q. How are vitamin C levels in the blood controlled?
Ans. It is controlled by the kidneys through ‘renal reabsorption,’ which restricts vitamin C from getting lost in the urine.
Q. Is it safe to take vitamin C supplements if I don’t consume more raw foods?
Ans. Taking vitamin C supplements doesn’t appear to cause any side effects. If you don’t get enough vitamin c from raw food items, you can go for Vitamin C supplements.
Q. Do vitamin C supplements really work?
Ans. Yes, Vitamin c supplements work. It contains antioxidant properties and plays a role in various aspects of health, ranging from immune function to skin health.
Q. How long does vitamin C or vitamin c supplements stay in our body?
Ans. Vitamin C can stay in our bodies for weeks. The levels of vitamin C in the blood are controlled by our kidneys, preventing vitamin C from being lost in the urine.