The Benefits of Vitamin C
What can vitamin C do for your health?
How Much Vitamin C Is Enough? continued...
Still, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman
Dee Sandquist, RD, suggests doing your best to work more fruits and vegetables
into your diet before taking supplements.
"Strive to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily, because you
will get a healthy dose of vitamin C along with an abundance of other vitamins,
minerals, and phytochemicals that are good for disease prevention and overall
health," she says.
While a cup of orange juice or a half-cup of red pepper would be enough to
meet your RDA for Vitamin C, here are all the foods and beverages you'd need to
consume to reach 500 milligrams (mg):
- Cantaloupe, 1 cup (8 ounces): 59mg
- Orange juice, 1 cup: 97mg
- Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup: 74mg
- Red cabbage, 1/2 cup: 40mg
- Green pepper, 1/2 cup, 60mg
- Red pepper, 1/2 cup, 95mg
- Kiwi, 1 medium: 70mg
- Tomato juice, 1 cup: 45mg.
The Health Benefits of Vitamin C
According to recent research, vitamin C may offer health benefits in these
1. Stress. "A recent meta-analysis showed vitamin C was
beneficial to individuals whose immune system was weakened due to stress -- a
condition which is very common in our society," says Moyad. And, he adds,
"because vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress, and [is] the
first nutrient to be depleted in alcoholics, smokers, and obese individuals, it makes it an
ideal marker for overall health."
2. Colds. When it comes to the common
cold, vitamin C may not be a cure. But some studies show that it may help
prevent more serious complications. "There is good evidence taking vitamin C
for colds and flu can reduce the risk of developing further complications, such
as pneumonia and lung infections,"
3. Stroke. Although research has been conflicting, one study in
the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with the
highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were associated with 42%
lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations. The reasons
for this are not completely clear. But what is clear is that people who eat
plenty of fruits and vegetables have higher blood levels of vitamin C.