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
|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.|
|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.|
|Brussels Sprouts||74.8 mg||125%|
|Mustard Greens||70 mg||117%|
|Sweet Potatoes||39.2 mg||65%|
|Dandelion Greens||35 mg||58%|
|Goji Berries/Wolfberries||12 mg||20%|