There Are Four Additional Methods To Ensure Your Body Has Enough Vitamin C Which Include:
Eating Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is water soluble, so it cant be stored nor is it produced in the body. You have to get it in your daily diets, eating nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables to ensure your body gets the amounts it needs.
Health and wellness site Healthline released a list of 20 foods high in vitamin C, which includes Acerola cherries , chili peppers , kale , and brussel sprouts . Of course, oranges made the list, with 70 mg of vitamin C.
Because vitamin levels diminish after the food is harvested, its important to eat your produce as fresh as possible. If youre picking up some out of season, youll want to opt for the frozen version because nutrients are stored. Cooking presents other implications. To preserve vitamin C, youll want to steam the food with limited water. Boiling temperatures and excess water drain the vegetables of their vitamins, so significantly less is absorbed by your body. To get the most out of your food, its best to eat it in season, organic, and uncooked.
In addition to a healthy diet, you can add in some supplements to increase your intake.
Taking Vitamin C Supplements
Supplements shouldnt be taken in place of a good diet, but used to enhance that regimen. Vitamin C can be found in many multivitamins or in their own over-the-counter supplements.
Using Vitamin Drip Therapy
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Vitamin C and Zinc are the two crucial nutrients required to boost your immune health, which can help to fight diseases causing pathogens. Adding these two nutrients to your diet at the current time when the country is reeling under the burden of COVID-19 can help your body to fight the virus and support a speedy recovery. The best and the safest way to get these two nutrients is from your daily diet. There are several food items that are rich in Vitamin C and Zinc and can help you meet your Recommended Dietary Intake . But to ensure that your body is absorbing these nutrients properly you should consume them correctly. Here we will tell you how to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from your diet.
How Does Vitamin C Reduce The Severity Of Colds
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and necessary to produce collagen in the skin.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, keeping skin and various tissues tough but flexible.
A vitamin C deficiency results in a condition known as scurvy, which isnt really a problem today, as most people get enough vitamin C from foods.
However, its less known that vitamin C is also highly concentrated in immune cells and quickly depleted during an infection .
In fact, a vitamin C deficiency significantly weakens the immune system and increases the risk of infections (
For this reason, getting enough vitamin C during an infection is a good idea.
Vitamin C is essential for the proper functioning of immune cells. It is depleted during infections, so a vitamin C deficiency may increase their risk.
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What Is The Treatment For Vitamin C Deficiency
The treatment for vitamin C deficiency is to replace the vitamin C that is lacking in your diet. This can be achieved by taking vitamin C supplements and by eating a diet rich in vitamin C. You may be referred to a dietician for help. After a period of time, vitamin C supplements can usually be stopped. However, it is important to continue to eat a diet rich in vitamin C after the supplements are stopped. This will help you to avoid becoming deficient in vitamin C again.
How To Ensure Youre Getting Enough Vitamin C
To ensure youre getting enough vitamin C, make sure you eat a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables.
You can find vitamin C in foods such as citrus fruits, berries, peppers, tomatoes, green vegetables and potatoes, especially new potatoes.7
Its possible to get all the vitamin C you need by eating a healthy diet, but some people top up with a supplement, especially if they dont always eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day.8
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Signs Of Vitamin C Deficiency Or Scurvy
Vitamin C supplements may help shorten the duration of the common cold, per research outlined in an article published in April 2017 in Nutrients. Nonetheless, the vitamins role in preventing or treating COVID-19 remains unclear, according to the NIH.
Otherwise, vitamin C is known to play a role in collagen formation and wound healing, aids in absorption of iron, and is a powerful antioxidant, says Volpe. If you are running low in vitamin C, you may experience the following symptoms, according to Merck Manual:
How To Prepare Foods To Retain Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be lost from foods during preparation, cooking or storage. To prevent loss of vitamin C, do the following:
- Serve fruits and vegetables raw whenever possible.
- Steam, boil or simmer foods in a very small amount of water, or microwave them for the shortest time possible.
- Cook potatoes in their skins. Be sure to wash the dirt off the outside of the potato.
- Store cut, raw fruits and vegetables in an airtight container and refrigerate. Do not soak or store in water.
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If not diagnosed and treated, vitamin C deficiency can also lead to shortness of breath, nerve problems, high temperature and fits . Bleeding inside the brain and around the heart can cause death in some people with untreated vitamin C deficiency. However, this is extremely rare.
Fatigue And Poor Mood
Two of the earliest signs of vitamin C deficiency are fatigue and poor mood (
While fatigue and irritability may be some of the first symptoms to appear, they typically resolve after just a few days of adequate intake or within 24 hours of high-dose supplementation .
Summary Signs of fatigue and poor mood can appear even with low-to-normal levels of vitamin C, but they quickly turn around with adequate vitamin C intake.
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Persistent Iron Deficiency Anemia
Vitamin C and iron deficiency anemia often occur together.
Signs of iron deficiency anemia include paleness, fatigue, trouble breathing during exercise, dry skin and hair, headache and spoon-shaped fingernails .
Low levels of vitamin C may contribute to iron deficiency anemia by reducing the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and negatively affecting iron metabolism (
If iron deficiency anemia persists for a long time with no obvious causes, it may be wise to check your vitamin C levels.
Summary Vitamin C deficiency may increase the risk of iron deficiency anemia by reducing iron absorption and increasing the likelihood of bleeding.
Foods That Are High In Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin thats found in many foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.
Its well known for being a potent antioxidant, as well as having positive effects on skin health and immune function.
Its also vital for collagen synthesis, connective tissue, bones, teeth and your small blood vessels .
The human body cannot produce or store vitamin C. Therefore, its essential to consume it regularly in sufficient amounts.
The current daily value for vitamin C is 90 mg.
Deficiency symptoms include bleeding gums, frequent bruising and infections, poor wound healing, anemia and scurvy (
Here are the top 20 foods that are high in vitamin C.
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Vitamin C Doesnt Need Much Introduction
We all know its good for us, but how many of us can honestly say were getting enough? We might seem to be surviving fine without it, but youll know the difference if you up to your intake.
As we dont naturally produce vitamin C in our bodies, we have to make sure that we are consuming enough of it each day. The moment we so much as feeling a bit stressed, our body uses 600mg immediately. If you dont have a balanced diet and arent regularly topping up with vitamin C, you can see how this might lead to problems. Enough vitamin C will benefit your body by reversing the ageing process, detoxing you, destroying free radicals, boosting collagen and healing disease. Its probably the most famous vitamin for very good reason
The RDAs shown below arent too helpful either theyre very conservative, to say the least. In actual fact, the body can handle much more vitamin C. In a toxic environment with generally poor diets, we need much more than this the RDA will not do too well at managing any current conditions, not even the common cold. Less than two medium-sized oranges would equate to the RDA for an adult male, but this isnt going to do much for his health.
There are many ways to get your vitamin C but not all are equal. Some forms are simply not bioavailable . Here we take a look at some of the most popular, and the most effective.
How To Get Enough Vitamin C
, by Northport Wellness Center
Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant for tissue growth and repair. Also known as an ascorbic acid, vitamin C helps form collagen, absorb iron, promote healing and maintain bone, teeth, and cartilage health. When the body lacks vitamin C, your immune system weakens, your skin dries, and youll experience fatigue, joint pain, and swollen gums. To avoid this and ensure optimal vitamin C intake, you should know just how much of the antioxidant your body needs and how to get it.
The nonprofit National Academy of Medicine released a report published on Healthine.com recommending daily dietary allowances for every age group. Infants ranging from 0 to 12 months old should intake 40 to 50 milligrams , while children anywhere from 1 to 8 years old should ingest 15 to 25 mg. Between the ages of 9 and 13, pre-teens should consume 45 mg. Once teens hit 14 years old, the recommended allowance is different for males and females. A mans intake ranges from 75 to 90 mg, while a womans is slightly less at 65 to 75 mg. For pregnant women, the suggested amount is 80 to 85 mg, while those lactating should consume 115 to 120 mg. Smokers need an extra 35 mg more than nonsmokers.
So, how do you get enough for your body?
Your parents may have once told you to drink orange juice to boost your vitamin C, and they were right. Thats one way to increase your intake of the ascorbic acid.
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Vitamin C Deficiency And Scurvy
A severe lack of vitamin C can lead to scurvy. We may think of it as a disease of the past, but it does still exist. Factors or lifestyle issues that may increase your scurvy risk include:
- regularly eating unhealthy foods
- small pinpoint bleeding around hair follicles visible in the skin.
If you or someone you care for is at risk, please see your doctor.
Dietary Sources Of Vitamin C
Adults need about 45mg of vitamin C per day and any excess amount is excreted.
Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, so some of its nutritional benefits can be lost during cooking. Raw foods are more beneficial as dietary sources of vitamin C. These include:
- Fruit oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, blackcurrants, mangoes, kiwifruits, rock melon, tomatoes and strawberries.
- Vegetables particularly green vegetables , cauliflower and potatoes.
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If We Dont Get Enough
A deficiency of vitamin C is rare because it is found in many foods we eat. Scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency, was common a few generations ago. At that time, it was prevalent among seamen who lived on dried and salted foods for months at a time. Today scurvy is rare in the United States, but not getting enough vitamin C can lead to anemia, bleeding gums, infections, and poor wound healing.
Ensuring A Healthy Vitamin C Intake
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Food Sources Of Vitamin D
Only a small amount of Vitamin D is sourced from our diet. Sources include:
Treatment options include improved sunlight exposure, diet, exercise, vitamin and mineral supplements.
If you are concerned about vitamin D levels, see your GP. Your GP may recommend vitamin D supplements, which should be taken strictly as directed.
Do I Need Any Investigations
Your doctor may suspect vitamin C deficiency after asking you careful questions about your diet and listening to the symptoms that you have. A blood test can be taken to measure vitamin C levels and may help to confirm the diagnosis.
Your doctor may also suggest some other blood tests to check for other deficiencies in your diet. For example, vitamin C is also needed for the absorption of iron from food. Therefore, iron deficiency often occurs in people who are deficient in vitamin C.
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How To Prevent A Vitamin C Deficiency
The best sources of vitamin C are fruit and vegetables.
The best way to get enough vitamins and minerals is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Contact your pharmacist or GP before taking any supplements or making changes to your diet during pregnancy.
Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE
Page last reviewed: 15 April 2021 Next review due: 15 April 2024
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Symptoms Of Vitamin C Deficiency
Adults feel tired, weak, and irritable if their diet is low in vitamin C. They may lose weight and have vague muscle and joint aches.
The symptoms of scurvy develop after a few months of deficiency. Bleeding may occur under the skin , around the gums, and into the joints. The gums become swollen, purple, and spongy. The teeth eventually loosen. The hair becomes dry, brittle, and coiled , and the skin becomes dry, rough, and scaly. Fluid may accumulate in the legs. Anemia may develop. Infections may develop, and wounds do not heal.
Infants may be irritable, have pain when they move, and lose their appetite. Infants do not gain weight as they normally do. In infants and children, bone growth is impaired, and bleeding and anemia may occur.
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How Vitamin C Deficiency Is Treated
As mentioned earlier, in developed countries and with proper food access, its easy to meet the RDA for vitamin C. Therefore, if someone has a vitamin C deficiency, it may be because they are perhaps purposefully avoiding fruits and vegetables. We want to get people to eat more, but supplementing is likely the way to go to get levels back up, says Volpe. The hope is that people will also increase consumption of C-rich foods in their diet, and then the dosage of the supplement can be lowered.
Taking vitamin C isnt risk-free. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means its not stored in the bodys tissues. But that doesnt mean you have carte blanche to consume as much as you want and be fine, says Volpe. The tolerable upper limit for both adult men and women is 2,000 mg, according to the NIH. That means if you consume more than that , you could suffer side effects. Diarrhea is common. But vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron. Its possible that, in severe cases, excess C could cause an overabsorption of iron, leading to a condition called hemochromatosis , says Volpe. Be safe and consult with your doctor about how much you need to take.