Happy Tuesday! Hope you’re finding your day to be one of pure joy in whatever it is you’re doing today! We are back for our second installment of (drum roll noise) “Nutrition Tip Tuesday.” Also, does anyone else out there enjoy a good alliteration?? I really do like ’em!
I feel it is apropos with fall around the corner and cooler weather nipping at our heels–well not in my case for as I type it is currently 98 degrees outside; temperature, not the boy band–we discuss the illustrious Vitamin C. What is it all about? Why does this particular vitamin get all the glory? What foods are the best sources of Vitamin C aside from (in unison everyone) oranges.
Vitamin C is one of the more, if not the most powerful, of the antioxidants. Often known for it’s ability to help ward off germs and “cooties” during cold and flu season, Vitamin C is also heavily used within the body for numerous biological processes. Did you know Vitamin C is used to make collagen–the protein that makes are skin, joints and bones strong? Additionally, collagen is super duper helpful in maintaining the elasticity of the skin….ummmmm I’ll take a double portion of Vitamin C please! Keeping the face nice and tight, ya’ll! Vitamin C is also helpful in the prevention of macular degeneration. It also helps speed up the healing process following surgery or from minor injuries.
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. Water soluble simply means they dissolve in water and are not able to be stored within the body like fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). They can also be quickly lost from the body, so having a daily intake is important for optimal health. Now, what we don’t want you to do is go overboard on the Vitamin C–everything in moderation. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C for males 19+ is 90mg and for females 19+ 75mg. However, always check with your physician to ensure your specific needs are being met appropriately and safely!
(Erin, you mentioned the word ‘antioxidant’–what exactly is that? Well, I’m so glad you asked. An Antioxidant is, “a substance that can reduce the damage from free radicals, which steal electrons from normal cells, damaging them in the process.” Free radicals are, “unstable, highly reactive molecules that are products of metabolism and also form as a result of environmental pollution. They (free radicals) contribute to “oxidative stress” which is implicated in premature aging as well as the onset of many diseases.” (Reader’s Digest Foods that Harm Foods that Heal) ) But, back to Vitamin C and all her glory!
So, where can we get Vitamin C? While you’re able to wander down any vitamin aisle in your local pharmacy or grocery store, my advice to you would be to get the vitamins from food sources first. We are entering a new growing season. This also means the selection of foods, particularly produce, will be changing at your local supermarkets and farmers markets. You’ll be seeing an influx of winter vegetables and fruits as their summer counterparts become less readily available. If you’re able to eat seasonally, do so–get creative with what is in higher supply within your produce section. What tends to be in season, is not only going to provide you with great vitamins and minerals, but will also be less expensive.
The below is not an exhaustive list of Vitamin C dense vegetables and fruits; it will however, get you started if you’re curious what food sources contain a solid amount of Vitamin C!
Vegetables in Vitamin C: (**not an exhaustive list)
- Potatoes (sweet & white)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Spinach (and other leafy greens)
- Winter Squash
Fruits in Vitamin C: (**not an exhaustive list)
- Citrus Fruits (grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, etc.)
- Berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, cranberries, etc.)
Here’s to us being healthier this season!
Until next time,