How much vitamin C do we need?
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C used to be 30 milligrams per day. This is just enough to prevent scurvy.
Many countries have updated the RDI. In the US it is currently 90 mg for men above 19 and 75 for women.
But is that really sufficient for optimum health?
Vitamin C is really important for our immune system. But we need 500 mg a day to have an effect on a cold.
Vitamin C can lower a too high bad cholesterol level and prevent hardening of the arteries. 300 mg a day have been shown to decrease the risk of death due to cardio vascular disease in men with 42% and in women with 25%.
According to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition people who have high blood levels of vitamin C live six years longer than those who have lower blood level.
A professor in London has found that you the body can take up and use 20 mg vitamin C per kg a day. (9 mg per pound). The excess vitamin is released with body fluids.
Since vitamin C is water-soluble there is no real risk of overdosing. If the body should get too much it reacts with diarrhea. Recent studies show that there is no risk in overdosing on vitamin C, a dose as high as 6 g a day should be ok.
More health benefits of vitamin C are:
- A high intake of vitamin C before exercise decreases the risk of muscle injury.
- Vitamin C helps to lower fever
- Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant
- It speeds up wound healing
- Vitamin C helps the body to take up calcium and iron
How to get the most out of your vitamin C
The effect of vitamin C gets a lot more powerful if you get bioflavonoid with it.
Bioflavonoid is the substance that makes citrus fruits yellow. They keep our capillaries clean and flexible and are said to slow down the growth of cancer cells.
Quercetin, the star of bioflavonoid, also has anti inflammatory, anti viral and anti allergen properties.
Foods rich in bioflavonoid are citrus fruits, broccoli and tomato. All these are also rich in vitamin C. But in lemon for example the bioflavonoid is not released in juice. You have to eat the whole fruit to get the full potential.
So there are many reasons to make sure that we eat plenty of vitamin C. Not just as a supplement but also in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables. Yet another reason to eat food like nature intended it.
The energizing vitamin C smoothie from the image above has this recipe:
1 kiwifruit, chopped
1 small apple
7 oz red grape fruit
Put everything in a juicer and then mix it well.
Image a recipe by Untitled blue
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