Why is it important for the body: Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, meaning it donates an electron to free radicals to prevent them from causing damage to our cells. It also helps regulate gene expression.
Daily Recommend Allowance: 90mg for men / 75mg for women
What is the highest amount you can take before starting to show signs of toxicity (tolerable upper limit)? 2000mg per day. More than 3 grams of vitamin C per day has been shown to cause bloating or diarrhea.
Fruits with the most Vitamin C:
- Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit
- Kiwi fruit
- Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries
Veggies with the most Vitamin C:
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
- Green and red peppers
- Spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens
- Sweet and white potatoes
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
- Winter squash
- Vitamin C is often promoted as being a cure for the common cold, however, this has been studied extensively and research does NOT support this.
- Since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it can dissolve in water based cooking. Because of this, cooking can reduce the vitamin C in vegetables by about 60%.
- The vitamin C content in foods drastically decreases if they are stored at high temperatures. A low storage temperature is needed to delay the breakdown of Vitamin C.
Symptoms of deficiency: People who are vitamin C deficient are at risk for a disease called Scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue, depression, joint pain, dry mouth/eyes/skin as well as gum and tooth decay.
Keep in mind: Vitamin C is best absorbed at LOW intakes (less than 180 mg). At low doses, about 80-90% of vitamin C is absorbed, however at high doses, only about 40-50% is absorbed. Mega doses of vitamin C will be lost in your urine and, as mentioned above, can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.