Many of us are familiar with vitamin C and how important it is for our body. Thankfully, most individuals in the United States aren’t at risk for a deficiency in this essential nutrient since it is easily accessible. Nonetheless, vitamin C is important to talk about because while it is widely known about, few of us are actually aware of the amazing impact it has on many of our biological systems. In this post, we’ll go over its benefits, as well as which foods one can consume to obtain this essential nutrient.
To start, it is thought that individuals with diets high in vitamin C tend to be at lower risk for the development of many diseases, such as cancer and atherosclerosis. However, this is most likely due the rich antioxidant content found in most foods containing in it, rather than the actual nutrient itself. Vitamin C has also been thought to be useful in relieving the common cold, but this seems to be largely untrue based on research conducted to investigate the claim. What scientists are most interested in concerning this nutrient is its ability to prevent the development of eye disorders. Clinical studies which gave test subjects vitamin C saw that they had a decreased chance of developing cataracts, while also preventing the development of severe AMD (Age-related macular degeneration).
Despite there not being too much evidence for its ability to prevent illness and disease, we do know that this nutrient is essential for our well being. Many of us are familiar with stories about sailors out at sea developing scurvy due to a vitamin C deficiency. This painful disease is known to cause symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain and bleeding gums, eventually leading to death if untreated. Generally, men should be getting 90 mg per day, and women 75 mg in order to avoid the development of any health issues.
On the other hand, an excess vitamin C can cause problems as well. It is known to lead to stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. Individuals with hemochromatosis, a condition in which the body stores too much iron, can have their symptoms further exacerbated by too much vitamin C. Adults should make sure not to get more than 2,000 mg of this nutrient in their system daily.
While vitamin C supplements exist, it is so readily available in many fruits and vegetables that we encourage you to get it from natural sources. Some foods which are rich in this nutrient are: citrus fruits, kiwifruit, and peppers—especially the green and red variety. Other good choices are strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, broccoli and baked potato. One thing to note is that the vitamin C content of a food is lowered when put in prolonged storage or cooked. As such, one should always try and eat their fruits and vegetables raw for this reason.