Written By Sarah Milano
We all learn growing up that drinking orange juice is important to stay healthy because it is packed with vitamin C but most of us probably didn’t give it much more thought. The truth is, vitamin C is far underestimated when it comes to the power it has over your immune system and your overall health. Vitamin C is directly responsible for supporting your immune system, amongst other bodily systems, and helps to protect you for invading germs.
Purposes of Vitamin C in the Body
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient necessary in your daily diet. It is commonly known that vitamin C helps to support and strengthen the immune system so that it can properly fight off infection, but it is also responsible for other functions in the body. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage from free radicals such as toxins and UV rays. Since cell damage caused by free radicals can lead to cancer and other chronic diseases, consuming vitamin C rich foods and supplements can help lower your overall risk of developing these diseases.
Also, your teeth, skin and bones need Vitamin C in order to grow and repair themselves. Without it, nails can be brittle, skin can be dry and bones may be at risk for injury. Finally, vitamin C is necessary to help absorb another vital nutrient: iron. In fact, it is recommended that iron supplements and iron rich foods be consumed along with a food or supplement high in vitamin C density.
It Can Cure Serious Illness
Back in the 1940s, there was a doctor who experimented with vitamin C to treat patients with deadly polio, long before there was ever a vaccine. Out of 60 patients, he cured every single one of them which he attributed to his high dosage vitamin C therapy. During his time using vitamin C, he was also able to cure cases of chicken pox, tetanus, measles, mumps, pneumonia, encephalitis and some cancers. 1
Now, it is important to note that the average person can’t replicate his vitamin C therapy since it involved high doses of vitamin C administered intravenously. However, his studies have shown the power that vitamin C truly has on treating the body of illnesses. With the overgrowing power of the pharmaceutical companies who use man-made medicines to treat these illnesses and develop vaccines against them, it is no wonder that vitamin C therapy is not widely taught or used. Luckily, there are alternative doctors that still use this form of therapy and give patients this option for treating certain illnesses.
It Can Cure Small Illnesses
While you won’t be able to treat major illnesses with vitamin C adequately alone, you can treat smaller illnesses such as winter viruses and flus. As soon as you feel yourself coming down with something, increase your vitamin C consumption immediately and continue until you are better.
Since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, you cannot take too much. Any excess amount of vitamin C will be excreted through your kidneys in your urine. A good rule of thumb of finding a proper vitamin C dosage is to pay attention to your digestive tract. If you consume more than your body needs, you may experience looser bowels. If this is the case, simply reduce your vitamin C dosage until your digestive system returns to normal.
The average adult requires between 75-90 milligrams of vitamin C each day with an upper limit of 2,000 milligrams per day. Children between ages 1-3 years should receive 15 milligrams per day with an upper limit of 400 milligrams; children between 4-8 years should receive 25 milligrams per day with an upper limit of 650 milligrams; children between 9-13 years should receive 45 milligrams per day with an upper limit of 1,200 milligrams; and children 14-18 should receive 75 milligrams per day with an upper limit of 1,800 milligrams.
However, you will find that when you are sick, you can tolerate much higher doses of vitamin C because your body requires higher doses to function. Most vitamin C supplements come in 500 milligrams tablets which are suitable for older children and adults to take daily, particularly in the winter months when illnesses are rampant.
Foods with the Highest Amounts of Vitamin C
Of course, eating a balanced diet full of vitamins C dense foods is the best way to get in your daily requirement of vitamin C. In order of vitamin C density, these are the best foods to consume:
- Red Pepper
- Orange Juice
- Whole Orange
- Grapefruit Juice
- Green Pepper
- Brussel Sprouts
- Tomato Juice
- Green Peas
Overall, vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that doesn’t get the credit that it rightfully deserves. Be sure that you are receiving the right amount of vitamin C through diet, and if you aren’t, then take a daily supplement. With vitamin C, you can take a proactive step in keeping you and your children healthy and ready to battle any germs that come your family’s way.
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