Vitamin C may be one of the best known nutrients, but it’s powerful health benefits are often under appreciated.
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and many other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is a water soluble antioxidant. Most people know that a deficiency in vitamin C can lead to scurvy1 (remember the stories about the British Navy having lemons on their ships?) but do we know what Vitamin C can do for us when we consume it in abundance?
- It supports healthy immune function
- Viruses and bacteria do not like vitamin C, so it both prevents and treats illness
- Keeps our bones healthy
- Helps promote collagen synthesis (skin, anti-aging, repair and wound healing)
- Involved in production of several neurotransmitters (aka supports mood)
Ways to increase vitamin C intake:
- add lemon or lime juice to smoothies and dips (guacamole, hummus) for flavour and a boost of vitamin C
- use green leafy veggies (in everything!)
- keep a bowl of high vitamin c fruit on the counter for easy snacking
- eat more fermented foods (kimchi and sauerkraut are high in vitamin C and also support healthy gut flora – win win!)
- take a supplement – *vitamin C is water soluble and generally safe. Higher doses may contribute to loose stool, which will resolve once the supplement is stopped.
- Get an IV boost!
- Carpenter KJ. Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;61(3):259-264.