Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin needed for the human body. It helps with collagen formation. Collagen helps add structure to your bones, ligaments, tendons, and skin. It is also involved in immune function. Many types of cells need vitamin C to complete their tasks in the immune system.
Where to find vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. Oranges and lemons, tomatoes and red peppers are high in vitamin C. Heating or storing these foods may reduce the vitamin C content. So eat these foods raw to maximize vitamin C intake. Vitamin C supplements are also available. They come in different forms like gummies and powders.
Vitamin C foods and how much they contain:
- ¾ cup of orange juice - 93 mg
- ½ cup of raw red peppers - 95 mg
- One medium orange - 70 mg
- One medium kiwi - 64 mg
How much do you need?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is not the same for everyone:
- Men 19+ years old need 90 mg
- Women 19+ years old need 75 mg per day
- Pregnant women should get 85 mg a day
- During lactation, a woman needs about 120 mg per day.
- Seniors should shoot for 90 mg per day
- Smokers require 35 mg more vitamin C per day than non-smokers.
You can't take too much vitamin C because it is water-soluble. Any amount your body doesn't need will be removed via urine. Taking high levels of vitamin C can cause stomach upset and bloating. On the other hand, not getting enough vitamin C may cause Scurvy disease. This disease causes swollen bleeding gums, pain in the limbs, and exhaustion.
Can taking vitamin C decrease my chance of getting COVID-19?
Currently, many clinical trials are being done. They are injecting COVID-19 positive patients with high doses of vitamin C. So far, it is unknown if vitamin C affects COVID-19 in any way. It may reduce the risk of getting COVID or affect recovery time. We do know daily vitamin C helps maintain a healthy immune system. Having a healthy immune system helps fight the virus.
It is thought that very high vitamin C levels may help kill the virus and that it helps renew the body's antioxidant stores removed by COVID. It is too soon to know if these theories are true.
The bottom line
Try to get most of your daily vitamin C intake from a balanced diet. Vitamin C may help cure a common cold, but we are not sure how it affects COVID-19. So, don't depend on vitamin C alone to reduce your risk of COVID-19. Make sure to social distance, wear a mask, and thoroughly wash your hands until the pandemic is over. Stay safe!
Mom's Meals® can help
Our mission is to support customers’ health by providing a variety of delicious and nutritious meals that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. We offer a range of fruits and vegetables in some of our meals that supply vitamin C, including fresh oranges and peppers. Our target with meals is to include at least 30 mg of vitamin C for each complete meal, so it is important to get vitamin C from other sources in addition to your Mom’s Meals dish. One idea is making summer beverages that have citrus fruits in them such as a glass of ice water with some lemon and lime juice. We hope you agree with us about the importance of vitamin C.