In truth it is an essential vitamin that we need on a daily basis and it is probably the best-known vitamin. Most people can name a food that contains vitamin C and that is likely a good thing because it is one of the important nutrients that we need to survive!
Vitamin C has a storied history. From curing scurvy in the seafaring past, boosting immunity and now on-going research that may even reveal more therapeutic qualities in the future.
While it may not be the magic pill we are all seeking to find, it does have many health benefits. It plays a vital role in brain health, healing wounds, producing collagen and helps reproduce other antioxidants in the body, namely Vitamin E. This is probably its best-known use as it helps prevent damage to our cells and tissues.
Another example of Vitamin C as an antioxidant is the ability it has to transform iron into a more readily absorbable state. Including vitamin C rich foods in recipes with your best iron sources may enhance iron absorption. Next time you have snack give it a try.
Grab a handful of organic trail mix containing dried fruit and an apple at the same time. You are getting vitamin C, iron and a lot of other vitamins and minerals in a healthy, easily portable snack.
So how much vitamin C should you take you ask. Well that is a loaded question. Do you follow the DRI (Daily Recommended Intake) or the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)? While both mean the same, it can become quite confusing, as there are different forms of measuring vitamins and minerals. I often think they should teach label reading courses to make understanding daily allowances for vitamins and minerals easier.
While you can’t overdose on vitamin C through food consumption, it is recommended that you take no more than 2000mg or 400IU of a vitamin C supplement daily. It is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that your body will eliminate any excess that you eat. Be sure to always consult your doctor before taking a supplement as some medications react adversely to them. Vitamin C is best taken in food form and shouldn’t need to be supplemented if you eat a healthy whole foods diet.
Other than oranges
We can all name the obvious food sources, but did you know you also absorb vitamin C from herbs and spices?
Parsley, thyme, basil, dill and cilantro are just a few to get you started. Papaya, kiwi, spinach, broccoli, kale are a few other examples of foods containing high amounts of vitamin C. It is probably one of the tastiest vitamins out there.
Because it is a water-soluble vitamin the amount that is in our foods is impacted in the preparation and storage of food. To get your maximum impact, eat whole, fresh foods with limited processing.
Try a cup of this for breakfast or any time to give your day and your immune system a boost.
Honey, Ginger Lemon Tea
- 1 inch fresh grated or finely
- chopped ginger
- juice of 1/2 lemon or lime, plus more if you want
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 tsp organic honey
Bring water, ginger and the juice of the lemon to a boil with a tight fitting lid on. Turn down to simmer for 5 minutes. I like to boil the lemon half with this. Cut 1/4 of a lemon and squeeze the juice into a mug, add 1tsp organic honey and fill up with the ginger tea. Great hot or cold and you can keep this on simmer for longer if you want. Great for the immune