The short answer is- yes! Vitamin C is one of the most commonly known and popular vitamins out there. When most of us think of getting enough Vitamin C intake many of us think of drinking orange juice. OJ is a beverage almost all of us enjoyed as kids and even into our adult years, and who could blame us? Just one cup of orange juice contains 124 mg of Vitamin C, which comes in at a whopping 206% of our daily required intake. You may love the taste of orange juice and have no problem getting enough Vitamin C through other aspects of your diet, but did you know just how beneficial it is for you? In this article, we are going to break down why getting enough Vitamin C is so important, what kind of benefits Vitamin C provides, and where you can get your Vitamin C from.
Why is Vitamin C important?
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin which means that it does not get stored in the body and daily adequate intake is important. Water-soluble vitamins work by entering the bloodstream and anything that isn’t needed is eliminated through urine.
Luckily, it is easy to replenish Vitamin C since it is so readily available in foods and supplements.
These are just some of the main reasons we need Vitamin C to function optimally:
- It is an antioxidant and helps protect the cells against free radicals. Too many free radicals in the body can be linked to multiple illnesses and so an antioxidant like Vitamin C is important.
- It is needed for the synthesis and maintenance of collagen. Collagen is responsible for keeping our joints healthy and our skin tight and firm.
- Vitamin C helps with the absorption of Iron. One study actually found that taking just 100mg of vitamin C with Iron increased its absorption by 67%!
- Vitamin C helps the immune system thrive and stay healthy.
Since the body does not store Vitamin C, overdose or getting too much of it is usually not a concern. Experts do suggest not exceeding 2,000mg a day to avoid any stomach discomfort.
What kind of benefits does Vitamin C provide?
Vitamin C provides a wide array of benefits for the body and mind, here are just some of the ways that proper daily intake can support you as a whole:
- Less stress: Did you know that Vitamin C can actually help regulate cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body? Some levels of stress are good, but having regularly elevated levels can ultimately take their toll on many different systems in the body. By incorporating more Vitamin C through diet or supplementation, the antioxidant properties will help to lower levels of cortisol in the body.
- Immune system protection: There is actually not a lot of evidence that supports Vitamin C is effective for the prevention of colds, but there is evidence linked to high doses of Vitamin C decreasing the length of cold symptoms. Being an antioxidant, Vitamin C helps to fight free radicals in the body which will ultimately keep you feeling healthy and strong.
- Anti-aging: Did you know that Vitamin C is actually great for your skin? Applying Vitamin C externally and taking it internally both hold a plethora of benefits for the body. Applied to the skin, Vitamin C can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and boost collagen production. Taken internally, Vitamin C can help to heal wounds and actually prevent dry skin.
- Supports the nervous system and brain: Did you know that when you consume Vitamin C the antioxidant actually impacts your central nervous system and brain? Vitamin C is incredible support for both the nervous system and brain health because it protects cells and nervous system tissues from free radicals. Vitamin C also helps your cells properly use important chemicals like dopamine. As a result of these functions, you can expect to feel an improved mood, improved cognitive function, increased mental energy, and more!
- Helps prevent iron deficiency: Low iron levels are one of the most common deficiencies in the world. Iron is notoriously known for being quite difficult for the body to absorb and we also lose some throughout the day from urine, sweat, etc. If you’re looking to boost absorption and maximize the overall effectiveness of an iron supplement, then Vitamin C is key! To be simply put, Vitamin C helps increase the amount of iron that is absorbed by the body from non-heme iron sources (plant sources).
What are the best sources of Vitamin C?
If you enjoy eating a diverse range of fruits and vegetables throughout the week then you’re probably getting an adequate amount of Vitamin C without even knowing it! Here are some of the best sources of Vitamin C you can find:
- Bell Peppers: Did you know that just one cup of bell pepper contains three times more Vitamin C than an orange? That’s a total of 117.5 mg which is 195% of your daily value!
- Kale: This is an excellent source of Vitamin C coming in at a whopping 120 mg per every 100 grams. It’s actually one of the best Vitamin C sources you can consume!
- Kiwis: This tangy egg-sized fruit packs a punch with nutritious benefits such as fiber, antioxidants, and lots of Vitamin C!
- Broccoli: Another green vegetable that actually has more Vitamin C per serving than an orange! Broccoli is just one of those vegetables you just can’t go wrong with when it comes to benefits.
- Strawberries: Equally delicious as they are nutritious, strawberries are an amazing way to get a healthy intake of Vitamin C and other antioxidants to protect the body.
- Oranges: Probably one of the most popular ways that people choose to get their Vitamin C intake is through oranges. Just one medium-sized orange contains 68 mg of Vitamin C!
- Supplementation: Another great alternative to make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of Vitamin C is through supplementation. Since this vitamin is just so beneficial for us, why not ensure you’re getting enough of it daily..even outside of diet! At NutraChamps we have two great options for Vitamin C supplements. One of them is our Vitamin C capsules and the other is our delicious Vitamin C gummies.
If you’ve made it this far into learning all about the importance of Vitamin C first of all, thank you, but secondly isn’t this vitamin pretty amazing? Just changing your diet to incorporate more fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin C, or taking supplements can make the world of a difference in your health! What is your favorite fruit or vegetable that is listed? Let us know in the comment section of this blog.