Key Roles and Facts on Vitamin C
Many of us have heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”- but where did this saying even come from?
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If you look at the nutritional information for a single apple, the highest vitamin concentration present is actually in vitamin C. It looks like vitamin C is actually what is keeping the doctors away! A study done in 2015 by Bozonet et al. supports this fact, stating that adequate vitamin C levels are imperative for normal white blood cell and immune function.
Vitamin C can benefit us in more ways than simply boosting our immune system. It can also protect against cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and helps form collagen (which prevents skin wrinkling). It also assists the body in its absorption of iron, wound healing, and keeping our cartilage, bones, and teeth strong. In fact, researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH states “The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health.”
Another important fact regarding this vitamin is that it is water-soluble, which means it has to be replenished each day. While adults are recommended to take 75-90 mg a day of vitamin C, some research actually shows that ingesting 500 mg of vitamin C may be more ideal to staying in good health. Unless you want to eat a crazy amount of fruits and vegetables a day, supplementing your vitamin C is the more convenient option for obtaining that ideal 500 mg. The following list shows some foods that have high concentrations of vitamin C to work alongside your supplement:
- 1 Kakadu plum – 481 mg
- 1 half cup Acerola cherries – 822 mg
- 6 rose hips – 199 mg
- 1 cup Mustard spinach – 195 mg
- 1 guava – 126 mg
- 1 half cup sweet yellow peppers – 137 mg
- 1 kiwi – 71 mg
- 1 cup chopped raw kale – 80 mg
- 1 cup strawberry halves – 89 mg
Did you know thyme and parsley also contain vitamin C? Try growing an herb garden and sprinkling the plant on top of your favorite savory dish!
Vitamin C deficiency can be terrifying if left untreated. Ultimately, a deficiency can turn into scurvy, which can lead to anemia, debility, exhaustion, spontaneous bleeding, leg pain, swelling, and sometimes even ulceration of the gums and loss of teeth.
The important thing to remember is that 2000 mg is the upper limit of vitamin C one should ingest a day. If one were to surpass this 2000 mg mark, they might run into some stomach issues the next day. As always, moderation is key!