Vitamin C

Vitamin C benefits the body in numerous ways, but is best known for its immune boosting effects, especially against colds and viruses. It can be safely taken in high doses when a cold is coming on or when you know you will be stuck in crowded areas like an airplane or conference room.

Severe vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, which is very rare in the Western world. More mild forms of deficiency commonly show up as frequent colds, slow wound healing, or respiratory infections.

Vitamin C toxicity from natural foods is unheard of, but taking large supplemental doses can cause problems. Diarrhea is the most common symptom of excess vitamin C. People prone to uric acid kidney stones or those who suffer from excess iron may need to watch their vitamin C intake.

Vitamin C is very sensitive to cooking, freezing, or air exposure. Eating fresh raw fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure adequate amounts of vitamin C.

US Recommended Daily Allowance: 60 mg

Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Antiviral Megadoses of vitamin C have been shown to reduce the length and severity of colds and other viruses.
Eyes/Vision Prevents cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related vision loss.
Fertility Necessary for healthy sperm production. Keeps sperm from clumping.
Heart Lowers cholesterol. Fights cardiovascular disease.
Immune System - General Supports and strengthens the immune system. Protects against pollutants, including second-hand smoke.
Joints Helps prevent inflammatory polyarthritis (rheumatoid arthritis involving multiple joints).
Liver May reduce liver inflammation, fibrosis, and other forms of nonalcoholic liver disease.
Lungs Preserves healthy lung function over time.
Nerves Necessary for proper functioning of the nerves and brain.
Pancreas May help relieve pancreatic insufficiency.
Sinuses Effective against sinusitis.
Skin Supports the production of collagen. Promotes supple, glowing skin. Deficiencies in vitamin C can cause easy bruising.
Teeth and Gums Take 3000-5000 mg of vitamin C two days before and 2-3 weeks after the removal of mercury fillings (Eating For Beauty, by David Wolfe). Fights gum disease.
Thyroid May improve thyroid function.
Urinary Tract Kills bacterial infections by acidifying the urine.

Food Sources of Vitamin C

Papaya 235 mg 392%
Bell Peppers 120 mg 200% This value refers to green bell peppers. Red bell peppers contain nearly 200 mg and yellow bell peppers contain nearly 300 mg per serving.
Kale 120 mg 200%
Hot Peppers 109 mg 182% This refers to green chili peppers. Red chili peppers have about 64 mg of vitamin C.
Strawberries 97.6 mg 163% By weight, strawberries have more Vitamin C than citrus fruit.
Broccoli 81.2 mg 135%
Lambsquarters 80 mg 133%
Brussels Sprouts 74.8 mg 125%
Mustard Greens 70 mg 117%
Mango 57.3 mg 96%
Durian 47.9 mg 80%
Tomatoes 47.3 mg 79%
Cauliflower 46.4 mg 77%
Sapotes 45 mg 75%
Sweet Potatoes 39.2 mg 65%
Grapefruit 38.4 mg 64%
Cherimoya 35.9 mg 60%
Dandelion Greens 35 mg 58%
Lemon 30.7 mg 51%
Goji Berries/Wolfberries 12 mg 20%
Black Olives N/A N/A
Nettles N/A N/A