Oranges, lemons and limes have been known for centuries as disease-fighting foods—helping to prevent life-threatening scurvy in sailors and to get over the common cold in the rest of us due to their rich content of this nutrient. However, Vitamin C is a workhorse molecule that takes on many curious and essential roles that will serve you well—perhaps in surprising ways, from preventing wrinkles and colds to fighting cancer and dementia! Giddy up!
What is Vitamin-C?
An essential nutrient and potent antioxidant also known as ascorbic acid, it is not manufactured in our bodies, and it is ideally consumed almost daily in healthy food. It can be taken in supplement form and is available in capsules, powders, and in a special-super-easily absorbed “liposomal” form. It can also be given intravenously, which has been found to be safe and beneficial in certain disease states at high doses. Source.
What does it do?
1. Supports brain and heart health
2. Reduces and combats oxidative stress
3. Enhances immune function
4. Improves collagen production
5. Boosts iron absorption
6. Reduces inflammation
7. Fights free radicals
8. Improves white blood cell function
9. Contributes to cellular repair
10. Shortens wound healing
11. Essential for synthesizing elastin and collagen
12. Important for healthy nerve cells
13. Mineralizes bones
14. May be toxic to cancer cells
15. Lessens cognitive decline
16. Reduces incidence of cataracts
17. Amps up the skin’s glow
How do I know if I need more Vitamin C?
Some common signs of Vitamin-C deficiencies are:
- Dry and splitting hair, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, rough or dry, scaly skin, easy bruising, and lowered ability to fight off colds or infections.
- Your doctor can test your blood to determine your body’s levels. Since Vitamin C is not stored in your body, working in collaboration with your doctor is key in fine tuning how your body specifically metabolizes Vitamin C and how much your daily intake should be for your unique needs.
How do I get more?
Eating a wide variety of foods rich in Vitamin C is the best way to maintain good levels. (see full list below)
When you’re sick, and your levels are super-deficient, the most bio-available form of Vitamin C is an intravenous drip, but must be given under the supervision of your doctor.
Oral supplements are also an option when the diet lacks adequate vitamin C. The most bio-available oral form of supplemental-C is called a “Liposomal” form, which is a liquid that gets absorbed easily through the GI-tract mucosa and allows for lower total doses.
Working in collaboration with your doctor will help determine the best form and dose to suit your specific needs–which changes over time, depending on the situation!
Vitamin C rich foods
- Citrus fruits
- red sweet peppers
- brussel sprouts
- sweet potatoes
- bell peppers
- chili peppers