Boost Your Vitamin C with this
Green Smoothie Recipe
Video by Dr. Bryan Stephens
Greens vs. Orange
When it comes to nutrition, there are a few questions I hear on a consistent basis. Some of them revolve around vitamin C. How much do I need? What are the best foods to get it? Does it really prevent a cold?
I’ll start with the first. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 90 milligrams for adult men and 75 milligrams for adult women. It is further recommended to add another 35 milligrams per day if you smoke as it adds more harmful oxidation to your body. Another thing that can increase your need for vitamin c is pregnancy.
As far as the best foods that contain vitamin c, everybody thinks of oranges and other citrus fruits. What most people don’t realize is that there are many different kinds of vegetables that actually have more vitamin c than an orange. Green leafy vegetables for example. Spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and peppers all contain more. Not to mention that berries, tomatoes, and potatoes can be good sources of it. The wide variety of foods also makes it helpful for those trying to change up their daily meals and still incorporate the proper micronutrients.
As far as the common cold is concerned, taking vitamin c has turned out to not be the answer. While it is important for helping your body heal, it is not a cure all for the immune system to fight off a cold virus. The research doesn’t back up the myth. It does, however, contain other benefits that are necessary for the body. It’s antioxidant nature helps protect the body from free radicals and assists in prevention of cancers and heart disease. It is also beneficial for the eyes and in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration as vitamin c is needed for the health of soft tissue such as cartilage, muscles, and blood vessels.
So, while vitamin c is not the magic pill for the common cold, it is still a very important nutrient for our body. Next time when you’re looking for that vitamin c boost, look to some of the greens instead of the oranges for an extra dose and keep eating well.
Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoidsexternal link disclaimer. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2000.
Jacob RA, Sotoudeh G. Vitamin C function and status in chronic disease. Nutr Clin Care 2002;5:66-74.
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