What do you know about Vitamin C?

by Lauren on February 28, 2011

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Vitamin C is probably one of the most well-known vitamins, but also comes with a few common misconceptions. Put a check-mark next to the points you think are true:

1. You can only take one dose of vitamin C/day

2. Vitamin C cures the common cold

3. The best source of vitamin C is from oranges

4. You get enough vitamin C

If you put a check next to most of the above, you are misinformed about vitamin C.

Let’s start with number 1. Because C is a water-soluble vitamin (which means your body doesn’t store it, and it’s easily lost during cooking, over time & when exposed to light) you can actually take up to 2000 mg of Vitamin C per day (as recommended by a nutritionist).

Misconception #2: While vitamin C doesn’t cure the common cold, what it does do is strengthen your immune system, which can prevent you from getting a cold in the first place, or reduce the severity of your cold symptoms, and help you fight it quicker. So, if you feel a cold coming on, go ahead and take more vitamin C! You can buy vitamin C in the form of powder that you mix into your water, which is better absorbed into your body than the tablets. I tried one called “Emergen-C” from my local health food store and it was really good. You can also add a squeeze of lemon or lime to your water. One little warning: a lot of Vitamin C can cause the runs so proceed with caution.

If you’re not interested in taking supplements; vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits and veggies, which leads me to misconception number 3. While citrus is a good source of vitamin C there are others that are even better.  Below is a list of common food sources of vitamin C in order of highest to lowest (mg/100g):

Red pepper – 190mg
Kiwi – 90mg
Broccoli – 90mg
Papaya – 60 mg
Strawberries – 60mg
Oranges – 50 mg
Lemon – 40mg
Cauliflower – 40mg
Grapefruit – 30mg
Lime – 30mg
Spinach – 30mg
Surprised?

Also, did you know that vitamin C is an antioxidant?  I’ll spend more time on this subject in another post, but here’s a quick explanation: antioxidants are substances that protect our cells from unstable molecules known as free radicals (free radicals are caused by pollution, hydrogenated & rancid oils, etc). They protect us by interacting with and stabilizing the free radicals and minimizing the damage they can cause to our cells. And this is important because this damage can cause cancer, premature skin aging and other problems.

Ok, misconception #4. Do you still think you’re getting enough vitamin C?

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