We already know that drinking orange juice is a great way for kids to get their daily dose of cold-fighting vitamin C. But with Winter on the horizon and germs in abundance, we're all about upping their intake of immunity-boosting goodness. Click through to learn about six fruits and veggies that are unexpectedly high in vitamin C and how to incorporate them into your family's repertoire.
While studies are mixed as to whether or not vitamin C reduces the severity of a cold, it is an essential vitamin that keeps your immune system strong and healthy. Here are the top five vitamin C packed fruits and vegetables that are in season during November.
- Guava (one medium fruit / 280 percent vitamin C daily value)
- Broccoli (one cup / 168 percent vitamin C daily value)
- Orange (one medium fruit / 128 percent vitamin C daily value)
- Brussels Sprouts (one cup / 125 percent vitamin C daily value)
- Kiwi (one medium fruit / 120 percent vitamin C daily value)
Remember that vitamin C is water-soluble, which means cooking reduces the vitamin content. Lightly steam or blanch your broccoli and brussels sprouts to maintain as many nutrients as possible. Other seasonal vegetables high in vitamin C include bok choy, butternut squash, and leafy greens like Swiss chard. What is your favorite way to load up on vitamin C?
Picture Source: Flickr User Esther Gibbons
Nutritional Source: Calorie Count
Last week, YumSugar had a box of kiwis up for grabs, but she was having trouble finding any takers. Kiwis are a polarizing fruit, but they're definitely a healthy food worth trying.
This fuzzy-skinned fruit is packed with vitamin C: one medium kiwi contains about 70.5 mg of C, just slightly less than one medium orange. Better yet, buy organic, and vitamin C and polyphenol levels are even higher.
With just 50 calories per kiwi, the green flesh is also high in vitamin E, potassium, and dietary fiber. You can peel them or add a bit of texture by leaving the skin on (vigorously washed of course). They're good in fruit salads and green salads. Can't convince your friends to eat kiwi? Perhaps you'd have more luck serving up a kiwi cocktail.
I don't worry too much about vitamin C, since citrus fruits are high in the vitamin and eat some just about every day, especially during the Summer. This vitamin is beneficial for protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
An adult woman doesn't need much — 75 mg of vitamin C a day. Since it's a common vitamin found in many foods, it's easy to get your RDI, but you want to make sure not to consume more than 2,000 mg a day. Taking too much can lead to dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, kidney stones (because the kidneys filter waste from your blood), and inflammation of the stomach lining.
Are you getting your RDI? To find out what surprising foods contain vitamin C, read more
The benefits of vitamin C are plenty. Not only does this antioxidant protect skin from free radical damage, it also smooths and helps to fade hyperpigmentation. Reader Bellaressa recently reviewed Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder ($35), and here's what she had to say about it:
I had hyperpigmentation and it was suggested that I try this product. I started using this in the a.m. with my Oil of Olay and I am amazed. Since I started using this six weeks ago, the brown spots have started to fade more rapidly. It used to take me a full 15 months to 24 months to fade spots. My skin in brighter, I haven't had severe hormone breakouts in the last six weeks, and my skin looks just fabulous.
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Free radicals create oxidative stress on a cellular level and have long been considered a major culprit of the aging process. Since antioxidants clean up those free roaming bits of "reactive oxygen compounds," one would think vitamins loaded with free radicals would help folks live longer. However, last Spring, researchers found that taking high doses of vitamins may decrease life span rather than lengthen it.
Now a new study has found that taking moderate doses of vitamins E and C interferes with the benefits of exercise, specifically the increase of metabolism and diabetes prevention through insulin sensitivity.
It seems the antioxidants found in vitamins C and E are too efficient at mopping up free radicals, and our muscles need a little bit of cellular damage caused by oxidative stress to jump-start their natural defense systems. Researchers wholeheartedly believe more research should be done in this area, and that we should not worry about getting too much of these vitamins in our diet naturally; it is supplements that should possibly be avoided.
Maybe you know that vitamin C is an antioxidant responsible for fighting the signs of aging or that this essential nutrient helps burn fat. But, when reader Brig482 tried out The Body Shop Vitamin C Moisturizer SPF 15 ($15), she was disappointed by the paltry amount of actual vitamin C in the list of ingredients. Here's what she had to say:
I was on a mission to find a good vitamin C product for my face, and before I did my research I was talked into buying this from The Body Shop. Bad idea. It's a decent moisturizer, but the actual amount of vitamin C is less than 1 percent! For a vitamin C product to work effectively, you need at least 10 percent.
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Vitamin C might not keep you from catching a cold, but not getting an adequate amount of the vitamin can keep you from burning fat.
A study from Arizona State found that folks with low-blood concentrations of vitamin C, who walked on treadmills for a 60-minute session, burned 25 percent less fat than other participants with adequate amounts of C. Fortunately, a simple dose of vitamin C remedied the lackluster fat-burning potential of the participants. Vitamin C is necessary for creating the compound carnitine, which helps turn fat into fuel.
While the recommended daily intake of vitamin C is low, 90mg for men and 75mg for women, many health advocates recommend larger daily doses. Holistic health doctor Andrew Weil recommends 200mg daily, while the Linus Pauling Institute (named for the scientist that made the vitamin famous) recommends 400mg daily. The health team at Real Age recommends consuming 1,200mg daily between foods and supplements.
On this note, I am going to add some strawberries to my cereal tomorrow morning since a half cup contains 42mg of vitamin C.
You're asking and I am answering.
I am suffering from an awful Summer cold and have been taking two or three 1000 mg vitamin C supplements and drinking an EmergenC a day. Is there any danger in taking too much of the vitamin? Can I overdose on vitamin C?
—Sniffles and C
Summertime colds are the worst. Sorry to hear you are suffering. It sounds like you are determined to get rid of this cold, but I fear you are being overly aggressive with the vitamin C. I think this is a great question, and to hear my answer, just read more
Since we're in the middle of cold and flu season, it's a good idea to get your daily vitamin C. It won't prevent you from getting sick, but it can shorten the duration of your sickness if taken daily. We all know that oranges are great sources, but so many other foods you eat have surprising amounts. Take this short quiz to find out how much you should be getting a day and which foods you should eat.Take the Quiz