Who Is At Risk Of Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency is rare, but people at a higher risk include those who:
- find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables
- smoke heavily or are dependent on alcohol or drugs
- have a health condition that makes it difficult to digest food, such as coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
Health Benefits Of Vitamin C
You may think of fighting off colds and boosting immunity when it comes to vitamin C, but this nutrient is important for a number of other functions in the body as well. This includes collagen production, protein metabolism, and wound healing. Vitamin C can also assist with the absorption of non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is the form of iron found in plant-based foods such as spinach, lentils, and chickpeas.
List Of Vegetables And Their Vitamin Content
Vitamins are organic food substances that our body requires in order to grow and develop normally. Apart from being able to synthesize Vitamin D and K on its own, our body obtains other vitamins from the food that we eat. It’s best to eat a balanced diet rich in a variety of foods so that your body gets sufficient vitamins for maintaining optimal health. This article presents a list of vegetables and their vitamin content.
Vitamins are organic food substances that our body requires in order to grow and develop normally. Apart from being able to synthesize Vitamin D and K on its own, our body obtains other vitamins from the food that we eat. Its best to eat a balanced diet rich in a variety of foods so that your body gets sufficient vitamins for maintaining optimal health. This article presents a list of vegetables and their vitamin content.
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Health & Wellness5 Foods That Could Help You Fight The Cold And Flu
Kirkpatrick said that when she talks to patients about it, she explains that vitamin C can help enhance immunity, but that it may not necessarily lead to a boost.
Glassman emphasized that vitamin C plays a significant role in supporting the immune system thanks to the high level of antioxidants it contains.
“Vitamin C plays a really big role in our immune function we need for our immune function to work at its best,” she said. “There’s so much at the cellular level that goes into immunity, but you can definitely enhance it … We have seen in studies that does impact white blood cells, the cells that are generally used when you have an infection.”
What Foods Are The Highest In Vitamin C
The Office of Dietary Supplements notes vitamin C must be ingested to receive its benefits. Luckily, there are tons of different foods to choose from that are chock-full of vitamin C. Some, like red bell peppers for example, can provide more than 100 percent of your vitamin C intake for the day, says Moore.
People should always begin with a diet high in fruits and vegetables, says Michael Wald, MD, a registered dietitian in Katonah, New York, and host of the radio show Ask The Blood Detective. Age, genetics, absorption, disease, exercise, stress, sleep, alcohol, and various other lifestyle factors all play a role in the amount of vitamin C one needs.
Note that cooking can also affect the nutrient content of foods. Because vitamin C is heat sensitive and water soluble, the longer you cook a food with vitamin C, the more C it loses, notes an article published in April 2018 in the journal Food Science and Biotechnology. The authors noted that microwaving a food with vitamin C led to better retention of the nutrient than boiling. If you can eat foods high in vitamin C raw, even better.
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What Is Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that our body doesnt store it. It is carried through the bloodstream, and all the excess amounts are excreted in the urine. It plays numerous essential roles in our organism, including an antioxidant function, so we need to take it regularly through food and sometimes supplements. Moreover, vitamin C is involved in the biosynthesis of collagen, which contributes to wound healing. It also takes part in protein metabolism and the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters.
Lowering The Risk Of Some Cancers
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so it can prevent damage caused by free radicals. This may help prevent diseases such as cancer.
Investigations into whether vitamin C effectively prevents cancer have yielded mixed findings. However, the results of a few studies have been positive:
Some people may need higher amounts of vitamin C than others. People who smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke, for example, may require more vitamin C to reduce the damage of the free radicals that the smoke releases.
Other groups who may benefit from a higher vitamin C intake include:
- people who do not eat enough fruits and vegetables or who have a very restricted diet
- people who are unable to fully absorb vitamins and nutrients
- people with certain health conditions, such as kidney disease or cancer
If someone cannot get enough vitamin C in their diet, they can take supplements. Many brands are available in drug stores and online.
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What Does Vitamin C Do
One of the well-known functions of vitamin C is the one related to boosting the immune system. Another one of the ascorbic acid benefits is that it is crucial for producing white blood cells, which fight against foreign invaders causing infections. In addition, it protects them from free radicals, making them more effective. Another one of the benefits of vitamin C is to help the body absorb iron from plant-based foods. This way, it can prevent iron deficiency and anemia.
Many people take a vitamin C supplement to treat a common cold. However, according to a study on preventing and treating a cold with vitamin C, its not effective if taken when the first cold symptoms appear. On the other hand, there is some evidence that vitamin C may reduce the duration of a cold and make it less severe. There are also benefits of vitamin C serumrelated to our skin. They include:
- reducing wrinkles
- skin tone evening
- complexion brightening
Does vitamin C actually help?many ask. Well, there are numerous studies on the role of vitamin C in preventing and treating more serious diseases, including:
- various types of cancers
- heart disease
Still, more research needs to be done to prove that vitamin C can help treat these medical conditions.
Helps Prevent Iron Deficiency
Iron is an important nutrient that has a variety of functions in the body. Its essential for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body.
Vitamin C supplements can help improve the absorption of iron from the diet. Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb .
This is especially useful for people on a meat-free diet, as meat is a major source of iron.
In fact, simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67% .
As a result, vitamin C may help reduce the risk of anemia among people prone to iron deficiency.
In one study, 65 children with mild iron deficiency anemia were given a vitamin C supplement. Researchers found that the supplement alone helped control their anemia .
If you have low iron levels, consuming more vitamin-C-rich foods or taking a vitamin C supplement may help improve your blood iron levels.
Vitamin C can improve the absorption of iron that is poorly absorbed, such as iron from meat-free sources. It may also reduce the risk of iron deficiency.
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Why You Need Vitamin C
Vitamin C is involved in the development and function of various body parts. It helps your body produce essential compounds that help your nerves, heart, brain, and muscles function and your body produce energy.
Vitamin C also helps restore antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants prevent cell damage that can lead to diseases. It also helps your body metabolise protein and absorb iron.
Adults aged 19 to 64 need about 40 milligrams of vitamin C a day. If you eat the right foods, you can easily get your daily value from your regular diet.
- Severe joint of leg pain
- Swollen, bleeding gums
- Red or blue spots on your skin
- Your skin bruising easily
On the other hand, too much Vitamin C may cause stomach pain and other digestion issues. However, overdose of the vitamin is not a concern as it is not stored in your body.
Some health benefits of Vitamin C are:
Vitamin C is needed for the biosynthesis of collagen, which is a protein that is an essential component of connective tissue. Because of this, Vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing.
Vitamin C contributes to immune defense against disease and infections. Vitamin C deficiency impairs your immune system and increases your risk of getting infections.
Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that must be consumed regularly to prevent deficiency.
While deficiency is relatively rare in developed countries due to the availability of fresh produce and the addition of vitamin C to certain foods and supplements, it still affects roughly 7% of adults in the US .
The most common risk factors for vitamin C deficiency are poor diet, alcoholism, anorexia, severe mental illness, smoking and dialysis .
While symptoms of severe vitamin C deficiency can take months to develop, there are some subtle signs to watch out for.
Here are the 15 most common signs and symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.
Should I Take A Vitamin C Supplement
‘Eating a healthy diet including plenty of Vitamin C rich foods is important for overall health. Extra vitamin C from supplements, however, may be needed to support the immune system further at times of stress or to further optimise the immune system,’ shares Werrett. Essentially, you should consider your exercise levels, exposure to pollution and general diet.
If you are worried about deficiencies, turning to vitamin C supplements can be an easy and effective way of ensuring you’re meeting your RDA.
How Much Vitamin C Do I Need Per Day
The NHS recommends we get 40 mg a day, says Rosa. Anything more than 1,000 mg a day and you may experience stomach pain and diarrhoea, she warns.
The World Health Organisation guidelines state similar, recommending 45mg of vitamin C per day or 300mg per week from your diet.
To put that into context, a small orange contains around 51g of vitamin C. You know what they sayan orange a day
However, Werrett believes that the sky is the limit with vitamin C consumptionwithin reason. ‘The RDA of 40mg is the minimum amount you need to consume to prevent deficiency disease, such as scurvy. Much higher levels, however, may be optimal, with the Department of Health and Social Care suggesting up to 1,000mg daily for adults is unlikely to cause harm. Recent research trials show that still larger doses of 3,000 to 5,000mg a day may be needed for optimal effects in protection against viruses.’
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Do I Need Vitamin C Supplements
Lots of people take vitamin supplements, but there is no good evidence that they help unless you have a deficiency. Australias best guide to how to eat healthily the Australian Dietary Guidelines doesnt recommend them. There is no good evidence vitamin C supplements help prevent or treat colds.
Vitamin supplements are expensive. They are best taken only on a doctors advice.
Most people get the vitamins they need from a healthy diet, which has a wide variety of foods, including:
- plenty of vegetables, of different types and colours, and legumes/beans
- grain foods, mostly wholegrain, and/or high cereal fibre varieties such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
- lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
- milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat
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 (
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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Vegetables And Herbs That Provide Vitamin C
Here are some of the foods recommended by the NIH that contain vitamin C, as well as flavonoids and bioflavonoids that work with vitamin C. All recommended daily values are found in the NIH Dietary Supplement Label Database. Below, find their vitamin C content and DVs:
- Red and Green Chili Peppers One red chili pepper contains 64.7 milligrams of vitamin C, or slightly more than 100 percent of the DV.
- Bell Peppers A 1-cup portion of chopped red bell peppers has 190 mg of vitamin C, or 211 percent of the DV.
- Parsley and Thyme One teaspoon of thyme, for example, has 1.3 mg of vitamin C, or 1.4 percent of the DV.
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables This includes garden cress, kale, mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. For example, 1 stalk of broccoli has 134 mg of vitamin C, or 148 percent of the DV.
- Potatoes 1 medium-sized potato contains 42 mg of vitamin C, or 70 percent of the DV.
What Else Is Vitamin C Good For
Vitamin C is also needed to prevent deficiency diseases such as scurvy, and is helpful for the maintenance of good energy and metabolism and for healthy skin, cartilage, bones and teeth, she expands.
But it is also relevant to coronavirus . ‘Vitamin C has been shown to help shorten the length and severity of respiratory infections, such as colds.’ This means, in short, that eating enough regularly can can help you bounce back from common cold and flu symptoms more quickly, she explains.
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Can You Overdose On Vitamin C
Generally speaking, no, although if you consume too much, the majority will be excreted in your urine, shares nutritionist Lily Soutter . ‘You may also experience symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhoea and flatulence if you ingest 1g per day or more.’
Plus, Rosa stressed that high doses of ascorbic acid can wear away tooth enamel. She recommends washing your mouth out with a little water after consumption.
If you have type 1 diabetes, G6DP deficiency or hyperoxaluria, Rosa also advises that consuming too much vitamin C could be damaging or detrimental for reasons independent to each condition.
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Vitamin C And Cooking: Things To Keep In Mind
Before we go through the list of vegetables, theres some important information you should know.
Like the majority of people, I assume you prefer to cook most of your vegetables, right?
This is often the best choice, since it generally makes them more edible and, in certain cases, more nutritious.
However, some nutrients may suffer in the process especially water-soluble vitamins like the big C.
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What Does Cooking Do To Vitamin C
Eating more foods with vitamin C increases the antioxidant protection you receive from your daily diet. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, bolsters your immune system while also supporting collagen production for healthy skin and joints. The nutrient additionally helps your body absorb iron. But when it comes to vitamin C, which foods you select are only half of the equation. The cooking methods you use in preparing the foods has a significant impact on how much ascorbic acid you actually take in.
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Without vitamin C, your body literally falls apart. According to the Science History Institute, back when vitamin C deficiency was a more prevalent issue, it caused peoples gums to bleed and teeth to fall out. The deficiency also caused internal hemorrhaging that eventually led to death. When physicians realized citrus fruits had a role in preventing scurvy, ships were stocked with lime juice.
Dont worry the chances of you getting scurvy in todays age are slim to none. Its something, at least in developed nations, that we really dont think about because vitamin C is in so many of the foods we eat daily. There are also plenty of vitamin C supplements out there, but Moore recommends getting nutrients from whole foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements, and the agency notes theyre different from drugs in that they arent intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases.
Studies on vitamin C supplements are limited, but research has shown that ingesting foods with naturally occurring ascorbic acid is preferable to supplements, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. And if youre already getting vitamin C from food, taking supplements may or may not be beneficial because any excess vitamin C is excreted from the body in the urine.
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