Vitamin C supplements gets footage for being a key to good health. This is because vitamin C reduces the sickies associated with the cold and flu. But are all sources of vitamin C created equal?
The short answer is – NO. Whilst the body absolutely needs vitamin C, what matters is where it comes from. Food vs the Lab? It probably won’t surprise you to learn that food is the safest source of vitamin C. What is surprising is who shouldn’t take high doses of synthetic vitamin C. Keep reading to find out.
Five things vitamin C does in the body
Be the source from food or a supplement, have you ever questioned about all the hype around vitamin C – is it really as important as everyone says it is? Well, it is. And here are a few reasons why!
Vitamin C is an antioxidant.
This means that it protects the body against the noxious effects of stress.
Vitamin C helps out your immune system.
It’s a nutrient that guards your immunity while they fight off infection, making vitamin C pretty useful if you’re battling a cold or the flu.
Vitamin C helps your body make collagen.
Collagen is the stuff of skin, joints, and connective tissue. And while collagen is wonderful to take as a supplement, you need a little vitamin C to make your own.
Vitamin C controls the production of cortisol.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that’s stored in the adrenals. Vitamin C can minimize the release of cortisol – which partially explains why high doses of vitamin C lowers blood pressure.
Vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron. Specifically, non-heme iron or the kind of iron you find mostly in plants.
That said, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. While its toxicity it low, taking excessive amounts of synthetic vitamin C can stir up tummy troubles like diarrhea, nausea, and cramping.
Why you need Vitamin C every day
Vitamin C is the kind of nutrient that you must get from food or a supplement. This is because the human body doesn’t make it’s own vitamin C.
Funny, isn’t it? That nature would somehow forget to equip us with the ability to make vitamin C.
Historically – we’ve been able to get plenty of vitamin C from food. It’s abundant in plants and even some animal-sourced foods contain vitamin C. Some microbes also make vitamin C. But an overly processed diet that’s missing a rainbow or fruit and veggies means you’re getting very little natural vitamin C.
Plant foods that stand tall in vitamin C and that you’ll see in food-based vitamin C supplements that include berries like camu camu, acerola, and gooseberry. The high-fiber food baobab – which feeds good gut bacteria – is also an excellent source of vitamin C. Other herb-foods that will give you a increase in vitamin C:
- Citrus like lemon and orange
- Tropical fruits like guava, kiwi, papaya, and pineapple