Vitamin C is more than just the micronutrient that keeps you from getting scurvy.
Vitamin C is essential to keep your whole body working–everything from keeping your immune system in top shape, to adding that extra glow to your skin.
Really, making sure you get enough vitamin C to keep from actually getting scurvy is easy. You only need about 75-95 mg per day, according the standard amounts (that’s less than 2 oranges per day). But if you’re looking to truly reap the benefits of this micronutrient, you should aim to add more than just the minimum. And because you excrete vitamin C in your urine, it’s really hard to take too much!
Fun fact: the RDA (recommended dietary amount) for most vitamins and minerals is really just the minimum standard to keep you from getting too sick. If you want to optimize your health, do a little research on what your body needs! But always know the maximum allowance of any vitamin. Don’t worry, it’s pretty difficult to take too much if you’re sticking with real food and following any supplement guidelines!
How vitamin C supports your immune system:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it helps to reduce the free radicals in your body and lets you use your energy to fight off the bad guys. Along with this, it supports the cells that are important for your immune function, and is essential for the growth and repair of tissue in the body.
Why vitamin C is your go-to beauty product:
While you have likely seen vitamin C in some of today’s hottest beauty products, it’s also important to include this in your diet to get a beauty boost from the inside out.
Vitamin C is essential for collagen formation in the body (and in case you didn’t know, collagen is essential for strong hairs, nails and skin elasticity). As you get older, it becomes more difficult for your body to produce collagen. So if you’re not supplementing with collagen, be sure that you’re getting a good amount of vitamin C in your diet (think around 500mg per day).
Where to get it:
1 medium orange: about 70 mg
½ cup cooked broccoli: about 60 mg
1 cup sliced strawberries: 95 mg
1 medium kiwi: about 75 mg
500 ml fresh-squeezed orange juice: about 25 mg
(You can see a full list here).
What you should avoid:
Vitamin C supplements with sugar: those supplements that taste like candy actually don’t do your body too many favours. Sugar acts against vitamins in our body, and makes them harder to absorb.
Orange juice from concentrate: when it comes from concentrate, it means it’s been pasteurized (heat was applied). As we know, when we cook our veggies or fruits, they lose vitamins through the heating process… meaning most of the vitamin C is gone from that morning cup of OJ.