It’s cold season! Which means that many people are loading up on vitamin C to help their colds. But does vitamin C actually heal colds? Is it good for us? Are we eating enough? I’m going to answer some of those questions!
Why is Vitamin C important?
Vitamin C is considered an essential nutrient; meaning because our body does not naturally make it, we need to consume it on our diet. This vitamin is an antioxidant, playing a role in fighting against aging and diseases caused by free radicals.
Vitamin C is also known for having healing properties. It’s a necessary component of collagen synthesis. A sufficient intake promotes wound healing and maintenance of bone, cartilage, skin, and teeth.
Does Vitamin C heal the cold?
Although it’s a common practice to load up on citrus to prevent the common cold, there is no actual evidence proving that vitamin c treats it. However, vitamin C is an important nutrient to maintain overall health and healing.
What are sources of Vitamin C?
Some fruit sources of vitamin C include:
- Citruses, such as oranges and grapefruits
- Strawberry, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries
Vitamin C can also be found in vegetables such as:
- Spinach and other leafy greens
- Green & red peppers
- Winter squash
How does cooking affect vitamin C levels?
Cooking foods vitamin c rich foods have shown to decrease the amount of vitamin c in the food. Consuming vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables maximizes their vitamin potential. But that doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid cooking vitamin C rich foods as they still contain plenty. If being cooked, steam or microwave lightly to retain some of the vitamin.
How much vitamin C do I need?
It’s recommended for the average male to consume 90 mg/day and women 75 mg/day- and it’s super easy to meet this recommendation! Just one cup of pineapple has about 76 mg of vit c! Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and smokers are recommended to consume an increased amount to meet increased needs.
Do I need a vitamin C supplement?
If you are a generally healthy individual (free of chronic illness), and you eat a balanced diet the answer is likely no. As I noted before it’s pretty easy to get adequate vitamin C if you’re eating fruits and vegetables in your diet. However, because collagen supplements have been extremely popular lately, it is important to note that adequate vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis.
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