Why should we consider taking Vitamin C?
Most people immediately think Vitamin C is only taken when you’re not feeling well to help build up our immunity. While this does help, especially since our bodies cannot produce its own vitamin C and can only store it for a short period of time, there are many other reasons you should consider taking this vitamin as a daily supplement.
How does vitamin C benefit you?
It is a powerful antioxidant that can help neutralize harmful free radicals. Some of vitamin C’s antioxidant properties have been linked to reduced cancer risk. For example, vitamin C has been linked to limiting the formation of carcinogens in the body. Also, studies have found an inverse association between dietary vitamin C intake and cancers of the lung, breast, colon or rectum, stomach, oral cavity, larynx or pharynx, and esophagus.
Vitamin C is needed to make the powerful fiber collagen. Collagen is a fibrous protein in connective tissue that is used throughout various systems in the body: skin, nervous, immune, bone, cartilage, blood, and others. Without enough vitamin C, your body will struggle to make and regenerate these critical cells and tissues.
As we learned earlier, vitamin C is found at higher concentrations in white blood cells, which play a critical role in our immune system. Additionally, vitamin C may help reduce the severity of allergic reactions.
Vitamin C improves the absorption of non-heme iron, the type of iron found in plant foods such as leafy greens. Having vitamin C at the same time as non-heme iron can help boost your body’s iron absorption.
Finally, vitamin C helps make several hormones and chemical messengers used in the brain and nerves and plays an important role in a number of metabolic functions, including activation of the B vitamin folic acid.
How much vitamin C do you need?
The key is consistent daily intake.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C
Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
9–13 years 45 mg 45 mg
14–18 years 75 mg 65 mg 80 mg 115 mg
19+ years 90 mg 75 mg 85 mg 120 mg
Smokers: For Individuals who smoke, 35 mg is recommended (1)
How can I get the most vitamin C out of food?
There are great sources of vitamin C in a healthy diet, however this water-soluble vitamin can be destroyed by heat and light. Quick-heating methods or those using as little water as possible, such as microwave-steaming, stir-frying, or blanching, can help preserve the vitamin. I also recommend choosing vitamin C-rich foods at peak ripeness and eating them raw if you can. When you can’t eat these foods regularly, make sure you are boosting your health with vitamin C supplementation. You don’t want to miss out on what this vitamin has to offer.
In Good Health,
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