Vitamin C benefits go beyond what most people realize. According to the University of Maryland, evidence suggests that many Americans are deficient in this crucial vitamin. Vitamin C is one of the most recognized vitamins and has been for years. However today, with the most popular selling supplements being fish oil, multi vitamins, and vitamin D many people are forgetting good ole’ vitamin C.
This is a major health mistake. Vitamin C is needed for a variety of vital body functions.
Re-Discover Vitamin C’s Amazing Health Benefits
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water soluble vitamin. That is, your body needs to ingest vitamin C or foods with vitamin C on a daily basis in order to maintain necessary supplies because Vitamin C is excreted daily.
Vitamin C Benefits
- Repair and maintain teeth and bones
- Slow and prevent cell damage
- Maintain healthy body tissues
- Boosts immune system
- Helps absorb iron from plant foods
- Decreases severity and duration of colds
- Fights free radical damage
- Builds collagen needed to bind bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments together
- Builds and maintains blood vessels
A deficiency in vitamin C shows itself in several common ways in the body. While the deficiencies signs are not too bothersome, the results of long term low levels of vitamin C are something to worry about now.
Vitamin C and the Common Cold
It has long been understood that vitamin C benefits your immune system and plays a large role in your body’s ability to fight off colds and viruses. You can take 1000 mg of Vitamin C to fight off an oncoming cold and 4000 mg per day to get rid of a cold already in your system.
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
- Easy bruising
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Slow wound healing
- Dry and splitting hair
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Weakened immune system
Severe vitamin C deficiencies result in scurvy. Scurvy was the main cause of sailors’ deaths years ago with teeth falling out, spots on skin, and mucus membranes bleeding into the skin. Not an easy way to go.
Long Term Problems from Low Levels of Vitamin C
However, when it comes to long term vitamin C deficiencies the problems get much worse.
- High blood pressure
- Gallbladder disease
- Certain cancers
If you don’t want to fall victim to these and other serious health issues it’s imperative that you eat foods rich in crucial vitamin C.
While many people turn to supplements I want to emphasize that the best source of any vitamin, mineral, or nutrient is fresh, raw food sources.
It’s important to realize that any food is its natural state will provide your body with the most abundant source of nutrition that’s perfectly packaged. Therefore use the following list as a guide for how you consume these vitamin C rich foods.
3 Ways to Get the Most Nutrition from Your Fruits and Veggies
- Eat real foods that are uncooked and raw.
- Make an effort to cut up your fruits and vegetables as close to eating them as possible.
- Steam fruits and veggies, instead of boiling.
As I always say, eating organic, raw fresh foods is your best possible source of nutrition.
By now you’re probably wondering how much is enough vitamin C.
Daily Minimum Dosages of Vitamin C
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) adults and children should get a certain amount of vitamin C everyday. See the following chart for USDA recommendations:
As I’ve said, the best source for vitamin C is from fruits and vegetables that are grown locally and organically. If you must supplement be certain that the supplements you choose are high quality, bioavailable, and free of additives, fillers, and other synthetic ingredients that will harm you in the long run.
When you eat a diet full of a variety of fresh, raw foods you’ll know you’re getting all the nutrients your body really needs.