Vitamin C is one of the most underrated vitamins. It is so basic that I think most people forget how powerful it is. It is easy to get mesmerized by fancy ingredients like elderberry or echinacea during cough cold, flu or virus season. But the truth is plain old vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that should be taken all year round!
In this article you will learn:
Why you should take vitamin C year round
Why vitamin C is one of the safest vitamins you can take
How much vitamin C should you take
Side effects of too much vitamin C
What foods are high in Vitamin C
WHY TAKE VITAMIN C YEAR ROUND
Vitamin C is a vitamin that we cannot produce on our own. We need to get it either from foods or supplements. It is one of the vitamins necessary for a strong immune system and a healthy digestive system. While most of us know about the immune support provided from vitamin C, most of us are unaware that our digestive tract relies on Vitamin C.
Each of the tissues in your digestive tract contains collagen, a protein that helps hold your tissues together. Your body makes new collagen molecules to keep your tissues strong and relies on new collagen production to help heal tissue damage. Vitamin C helps your body produce enough collagen to maintain the tissues of your digestive tract. A diet rich in vitamin C might also protect against cancers of the digestive tract, including mouth, throat, stomach and colon cancer. (Source: Healthy Eating)
70% of our immune system lives in our digestive system. If we are only concerned with our immune system for a few months every year, we are missing an opportunity to support our digestive system all year round by taking vitamin C. When our digestive system is unhealthy then our immune system is weak. How do you know if your digestive system is unhealthy?
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your body is telling you something is not right. Discovering the root cause and how to have a healthy gut can be confusing and hard! I am here to help.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with teaching people just like you how to heal their gut so you can stop suffering and get back to living!
I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how the Simply Great Health program can help.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Focus at work
✅Have more energy
✅Stop running to the bathroom
✅Workout without fear of an accident or farting
✅Restore your confidence
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your body and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
WHY VITAMIN C IS ONE OF THE SAFEST VITAMINS YOU CAN TAKE
Is vitamin C water soluble? Yes! That is why vitamin C is one of the safest vitamins you can take. Water soluble means that your body will absorb the amount of vitamin C it needs and then will get rid of the excess. Can you OD on Vitamin C? No! However, there are side effects of too much vitamin C.
The most common side effects of too much vitamin C is an upset stomach, gas, bloating and diarrhea. If any of this happens, you do not need to avoid vitamin C. Instead, you need to experiment with how much vitamin C does not cause side effects. Every person's body is unique and reacts differently to foods and supplements. Since vitamin C is water soluble, you can take a very low dose several times throughout the day to avoid side effects.
MOST COMMON QUESTIONS
How much vitamin C should you take?
The answer to this question will depend on your current health condition and health goals. Since vitamin C is easily eliminated from the body, large doses every day can be taken. If you are already sick from a common cold, flu or virus, you can take 3,000 - 5,000 mg daily. If that sounds like a lot, it is! That is because you are trying to eliminate a pathogen from your body.
If you are not sick and simply looking to maintain already good health, then 100 - 1,000 mg is a great maintenance dose. You will have to balance how much you take everyday based on the foods you eat. If you are eating a mostly plant based diet, then you are getting vitamin C from foods. Later in this post I list what foods are high in vitamin C.
How much vitamin C can you take?
You can take as much as you want as long as you do not have side effects from taking large doses and you do not have an underlying health condition. If you are taking any medication, then you need to work with your doctor to ensure vitamin C does not cause an adverse reaction. Also, a common issue is iron overload. If you are already watching how much iron you are taking everyday, then large doses of vitamin C are not advisable.
How much vitamin C is safe?
Vitamin C is safe for most people since it is water soluble. Depending on your current health, you can take from 100 - 5,000 mg. If you have underlying health conditions, then you need to work with your doctor to make sure you do not take too much.
WHAT FOODS ARE HIGH IN VITAMIN C?
Maintaining a healthy body does not mean relying on supplements only. The foods we eat are critical to support healthy vitamin C levels in the body. Eating a mostly plant based diet will supply healthy amounts of vitamin C for our body to access. Unfortunately, most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, which is why taking a supplement is also an option.
Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and pineapples are citrus fruits that supply vitamin C. Does pineapple have vitamin C? Yes! Plus, there are so many other health benefits. Pineapples aid in digestion with the enzyme bromelain. Another citrus fruit that contains vitamin C and helps with digestion is a lemon.
How much vitamin C in a lemon? There is 31mg of vitamin C in a lemon. A great way to start the day is to drink warm water with lemon. Doing so helps to get the body hydrated after waking up and prepares the digestive system for digestion. The key is to get both the pulp and the juice into the warm water. The pulp contains soluble fiber to keep the digestive system healthy.
An easy way to do this is to squeeze the lemon juice into a cup and then take a spoon to dig out the pulp. Drink half a squeezed lemon every morning. If you are concerned about the enamel on your teeth, use a straw or rinse out your mouth with warm water after drinking the lemon water. Wait 15 minutes before you drink or eat anything.
Bell peppers are one of the richest dietary sources of vitamin C. They contain 150mg of vitamin C per pepper. Bell peppers are easy to cook and add to just about any meal. Dice them and toss them into an omelet. Cut long strips and eat them in fajitas or burritos. Use them in stir-fry's for added color and vitamin C. Plus, if you've never made stuffed peppers (vegan or with meat) you are missing out on a satisfying meal.
Did you know strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges? Plus, they are lower in calories. Eating 10 strawberries is the same as eating 1 large orange. The 10 strawberries have 60 calories compared to 90 calories in the orange. The strawberries contain 177% of the daily value of vitamin C, which is 14% greater than the orange. (Source: Healthy Eating) Another benefit of eating strawberries is they can help reduce inflammation in the joints.
Broccoli is a powerhouse vegetable. Not only does it contain vitamin C, but it is high in fiber. Fiber supports good digestive health and feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut tied to anti-inflammation, immunity, and mood. Plus broccoli contains over two ounces of water. The fiber and water combo boosts feelings of fullness to support healthy weight management. And the fiber helps support blood sugar and insulin regulation for steady, even energy. (Source: Health.com)
Brussels sprouts provide 129% of the daily value of vitamin C. Also, Brussels sprouts help to regulate the body's inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system and prevent unwanted inflammation. This is important because most illnesses and diseases associated with aging start with inflammation. The fiber content of Brussels sprouts — 4 grams in every cup — makes this cruciferous vegetable a natural choice for digestive system support. You're going to get half of your Daily Value for fiber from only 200 calories' worth of Brussels sprouts. (Source: World's Healthiest Foods)
Potatoes are often shunned since they are high in carbohydrates but the fact is our body needs carbohydrates to function properly. While potatoes are high in vitamin C, the largest health benefit offered by potatoes is how they can help with digestion due to their high fiber content. Potatoes' high level of carbohydrates makes them easy to digest, while their fiber-filled skin can help keep you regular. (Source: Live Science)
I hope you enjoyed learning about vitamin C and how much it can help the body. You can take supplements every day or make sure foods that are high in vitamin C are part of your regular healthy eating routine. Vitamin C should not be thought of as a nutrient to take only during cough cold and flu season. Make sure to get plenty of this powerful nutrient all year round to stay healthy.
Do you take vitamin C as a supplement or do you rely on food for your daily intake? Let me know in the comments below.