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Foods High In Vitamin C & The Health Benefits

By Rob Poulos...

When you get the sniffles or start to feel a little sluggish, your mom and officemates often advise you to get more vitamin C. This is perhaps the vitamin most of us are pretty familiar with because of its health benefits, but there’s more to vitamin C than immune boosting.

Our bodies need vitamin C to perform basic functions and when we don’t get enough of it we feel the effects of a vitamin C deficiency. You can take vitamins to get the benefits of vitamin C but a better option is to eat more foods high in vitamin C.

What Is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient also known as ascorbic acid, that can easily be removed from the body (by the body) when it is no longer needed. Unfortunately we need to get the benefits of vitamin C from foods or supplements because humans are one of few creatures who are unable to produce vitamin C within our own bodies.

What Does Vitamin C Do?

Vitamin C performs many functions in the body, one of which is to produce collage which is required for you to heal properly from wounds. It’s no secret that one of the major benefits of vitamin C is its immune-boosting properties and that is because it helps the body absorb iron from plant foods. This keeps you healthy, helps you fight and prevent disease.

[When you want a sweet treat but need more vitamin C make these your go to snacks!]

Benefits of Vitamin C

One of the most intriguing health benefits of vitamin C is that it can reduce blood pressure, which can greatly reduce your risk of hypertension and other related illnesses that include heart disease. Along those same lines, eating vitamin C rich foods can make sure your blood vessels dilate properly to stave off high cholesterol, poor blood circulation to the heart and atherosclerosis.

Adding more vitamin C to your diet can reduce the level of lead in your blood, which can prevent developmental disabilities in children and kidney damage in adults. A high level of lead in the blood can also lead to high blood pressure, and eating foods that are high in vitamin C can help.

One of the most common health benefits of vitamin C is as a protector from free radicals that cause oxidative stress, which can lead to a host of medical problems. For starters too much oxidative stress can lead to stroke and heart disease, but also a wide variety of cancers from esophagus to mouth and colon cancers.

Although we know that one of the health benefits of vitamin C is that it can boost your immune system, but it can also reduce or alleviate some of the symptoms of the common cold. It’s a myth that vitamin C can prevent it, but you can experience a shorter cold as well as less severe symptoms by eating more foods high in vitamin C.

How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?

The amount of vitamin C you need to reap the health benefits varies depending on age, gender and pregnancy. In general it is recommended that adult men consume approximately 90mg of vitamin C each day, while adult women consume 75mg. Pregnant and breastfeeding women require more vitamin C in their diets, while younger children require much less.

[Eating your veggies has never been so colorful or easy to do!]

Vitamin C Rich Foods

In order to fully enjoy the health benefits of vitamin C you need to eat more foods that have a high vitamin C content. There are a surprising amount and variety of foods with vitamin C in them, so you’re bound to find some foods that suit your fancy!

Some foods can provide you with more than your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C in just one serving. They are:

  • Papaya
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges

There are plenty of fruits, beyond those mentioned above that are high in vitamin C. Eat more of these foods to enjoy the full healthy benefits of vitamin C. Citrus fruits like limes and lemons provide you with a significant portion of vitamin C as does cherries and black currants. One guava can provide you with more than 200mg of vitamin C, making it a vitamin C super fruit!

If you prefer to snack on vegetables then don’t worry, there are plenty of vegetables high in vitamin C so you can still reap the benefits. Tomatoes, whether fresh or not are packed with vitamin C. Sun-dried tomatoes in particular have a high concentration of vitamin C, with one serving give you more than 100mg!

Cauliflower, greens, chard and spinach are other foods high in calcium that you can add to your diet. Other dark leafy greens like kale, which provides you with 130mg of vitamin C per serving. So you can see that if you haven’t been getting enough vitamin C in your diet, there’s no reason you can’t start enjoying the benefits of vitamin C today!

About Rob Poulos

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