Vitamin C is the granddaddy of immune-supporting vitamins. It's involvement in immune function has long been known and there's more research about the immune-supporting effects of Vitamin C than perhaps any other nutrient. Concentrations of this vitamin in the body’s white blood cells (the major immune cell type of the body) become rapidly depleted during infections, making it important to consume adequate amounts of vitamin C.
Foods High in Vitamin C
If you're convinced you want more vitamin C, how do you encourage your body to make more of this amazing nutrient? Hmmm....that's the issue. the human body does not synthesize its own vitamin C; it has to be obtained from the diet. To take full advantage of this vitamin's health effects, make sure you get enough in your regular daily diet and/or supplement regimen. A higher dietary intake and blood concentration of vitamin C is associated with better health.
Vitamin C is found in many different fruits and vegetables. One of the highest levels of vitamin C, coming in at a whopping 1,644 milligrams in 1 cup, is acerola, or West Indian cherry. Green peppers and red peppers, by comparison, contain about 120 to 190 milligrams of vitamin C per cup. The famous fresh-squeezed orange juice has about 124 milligrams per cup whereas one navel orange will get you about 83 milligrams of vitamin C. Don't forget strawberries and broccoli, which can get you just under 90 milligrams of vitamin C per cup.
These are all great foods to incorporate into your daily and weekly routine to make sure you're getting a healthy daily dose of vitamin C.
Vitamin C Dosing and Safety
First, aim to get your nutrients from the vitamin-C containing foods in your kitchen. For extra immune support, take 500 to 1,000 mg throughout the day with meals and snacks. I like to use liposomal vitamin C for a couple reasons. First, anything liposomal is superb absorption, especially with higher doses vitamin C that could potentially irritate the stomach. Second, I can add the liposomal liquid to water or a smoothie for ease. I can mix in water or smoothies. If you prefer capsules, get 850 mg vitamin C in one capsule of Uckele Bio-C.
More is not necessarily better though. Taking more than 3,000 mg/day can lead to toxicity. When you take too much vitamin C, some of the symptoms you may experience could include diarrhea, nausea, kidney stones, abdominal cramps, and pro-oxidant effects (as opposed to the beneficial antioxidant effects we get in healthy doses).
One word of caution, vitamin C can increase iron absorption and in susceptible individuals could result in iron overload.
My Final Word About Vitamin C
My final word is this...vitamin C is a powerful ingredient in our efforts to maintain optimal health and support the immune system, and we must get it from food or supplements. While you can take a vitamin or supplement that has vitamin C in it, remember eating vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C can be even better because you're not only giving your body vitamin C, but also numerous other vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber that comes along with it.