This time of year, as people around me start to sniffle, I think about adding additional vitamin C to my diet. Vitamin C is found in a lot of foods. Bell peppers, oranges, broccoli, strawberries, kale, pineapple, kiwi, spinach, and cabbage contain some of the highest levels of vitamin C. During the summer months we consume a lot of these fresh foods, but when it gets into fall and winter, we eat more cooked, comfort food. Although storing and cooking food decreases vitamin C, it is still possible to consume a fair amount through the food you eat. During the cold and flu season however, I like to take additional vitamin C supplements to support my immune system.
Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant. It is a water-soluble vitamin (your body will excrete any excess that it doesn’t need). Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron, so I like to supplement with vitamin C when eating high iron foods like beef, beans, and dark leafy greens.
It’s great for boosting the immune system. Many people take large doses of vitamin C when feeling like they are getting sick. A recent study shows that increased vitamin C can decrease the duration of a cold in individuals that already supplement with some vitamin C. In fact, intravenous large doses of vitamin C is being tried on many severe illnesses, including cancer.
There are a few different kinds of vitamin C to choose from. Ascorbic acid is probably the cheapest, however, you need to make sure it is non-GMO. Ascorbic acid can be pretty acidic and for some individuals, this can cause digestion discomfort. If this is the case for you, buffered vitamin C or liposomal vitamin C may be a better option.
No matter the season, you may want to consider eating more foods high in vitamin C and/or adding a vitamin C supplement.
* The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely those of the writers’ and may be influenced by our background, occupation, religion or experience. They are provided for educational and informational purposes only and are meant to inform and encourage you on your journey of eating pure in a processed foods world. Content is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.