My girlfriends and I were sitting around our hotel room during holidays in Italy this past week when one of them starting emptying out 3 packets of Emergen-C into a glass filled with water. I watched her and thought “what on earth is she doing?!”
She said that she must LOAD UP on Vitamin C so she can beat her cold and have more energy for the night out.
This isn’t common knowledge, but it is actually a big no-no to take too much Vitamin C.
While Vitamin C is generally believed to boost the immune system, taking too much won’t do anything for you. According to Mayo Clinic, you can take up to 2000 mg of vitamin C per day. Once you exceed the recommended dose, your body will just eliminate the surplus. Taking too much Vitamin C has even been shown to trigger bloating, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headaches, insomnia, and kidney stones.
Chances are once you have the cold going, overloading on vitamin C won’t help. The best way to keep your immune system high all year around is to eat a healthy diet that includes produce that contains high amounts of natural Vitamin C. Also, make sure to drink a lot of water when consuming a diet high in Vitamin C because it can have a diuretic effect.
Below is a list of several fruits and vegetables that are naturally high high in vitamin C.
Fruits & Veggies that are high in Vitamin C (per cup)
Green Chilli Peppers – 244 mg
Currant – 200 mg
Bell Pepper – 200 mg
Papaya 140.1 mg
Parsley – 130 mg
Kiwi – 90 mg
Broccoli – 80mg
Orange – 70 mg
Strawberry – 60 mg
Lemon – 40 mg
Kale – 41mg
Grapefruit 38.4 mg
Vitamin C Health Benefits
When taken in the right dosage, Vitamin C has many health benefits, including:
1. Decreases duration of colds. While Vitamin C has not been proven to prevent the common cold, a 2013 review of supplementation trials shows that it is proven to reduce the duration of colds.
2. Fights free radical damage. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells against free radicals.
3. Boost the immune system. According to a 2009 study, several cells of the immune system accumulate vitamin C and need the vitamin to perform their task, therefore a “higher supply enhances several immune system parameters.”
4. Reduces wrinkles and keeps your skin healthy. Vitamin C is essential for the body to make collagen, a protein that is the principal component in skin, cartilage and connective tissue. Collagen keeps skin looking taught and wrinkle free. Also, many studies show Vitamin C to reduce wrinkles when applied topically.
5. Helps increase iron absorption iron from plant foods. According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition: “Vitamin C is especially effective in enhancing iron absorption not only because it forms soluble complexes with iron but also because it is effective in reducing the ferric form to the ferrous form.”
sources: NCBI, Mayo Clinic, Council for Responsible Nutrition, University of Maryland Medical Center