by Dr. Danielle Tomko
Every year, but especially in 2020, it is important to do as much as possible to improve our health. We try to exercise, get enough sleep, reduce stress, and make healthy nutritional choices. Not only do we have to eat healthy foods and eat junk food in moderation, but we often need to take supplements to support our nutritional needs.
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient, which means that we need it to function properly. Humans do not produce Vitamin C on our own, so we need to consume it in our diet. Sometimes, when our diets are not balanced enough, or in times of stress, we need to consume Vitamin C as a supplement.
Vitamin C is important for a number of processes in our body. It plays a role in the synthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters (NIH). Vitamin C also plays a role in the synthesis of protein and collagen, which makes it a key component of connective tissue in our bodies. This makes it important for the health of our blood vessels, cartilage, and muscle. We also need Vitamin C for wound and injury repair.
Above all, at this stage in our lives, it is worth noting that Vitamin C is vital for our immune systems in its role as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in our bodies. This means that antioxidants can reduce, and possibly prevent, cellular damage from both exogenous (environmental) and endogenous (internal) causes. In doing so, we can improve our chances of disease prevention, and recovery, with sufficient intake of antioxidant-rich foods.
Vitamin C is naturally found in a variety of fruits and vegetables; such as red bell pepper, oranges, kiwi, broccoli, green bell pepper, and strawberries. It is estimated that consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables each day will provide 200 mg of Vitamin C, which is above the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of approximately 90 mg for an adult. Adults need more Vitamin C if pregnant or lactating. Most notably, smoking appears to increase the RDA of Vitamin C in an otherwise healthy adult by 35 mg. Generally, it is accepted that 2000 mg is the maximum recommended dosage. However, in times of increased viral load, and in some cases of patients with cancer, dosages of up to 7500 mg are common. Some common side-effects to be considered with taking Vitamin C supplements, especially when taking greater than normal dosages, are nausea, stomach aches, vomiting, and heartburn.
When taking Vitamin C supplements, Vitamin C with bioflavanoids tends to be a better option than Vitamin C alone. Bioflavanoids are other forms of antioxidants that can be used by the body to boost the absorption and metabolism of Vitamin C. Bioflavanoids have immune boosting, even potentially antimicrobial properties, too. Many of the whole food sources are similar to those that source Vitamin C. Additional sources include teas, seeds, nuts, chocolate, and some types of grains.
It is always important to remember to consult your chiropractor, or other healthcare provider, when considering a new supplement. We want to ensure that quality and dosage are optimal on an individual basis for every patient in order to achieve health goals. Of course, with warmer weather around the corner, it should be a great time to find natural, whole food sources of Vitamin C too! As always, the providers of Riverview Chiropractic Health are here for you to provide guidance to help you meet your full health and wellness potential!
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Recipe of the Month
Roasted Red Pepper Coconut Soup
Total time 35 mins
2 red bell peppers, roasted, seeded and peeled or (13 ounce) jars roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1 (16 ounce) can canned tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 ounce) can reduced-fat coconut milk
2 cups water
Warm oil over medium heat in large stock pot.
Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and sauté for about 15 minutes, until the onions are very soft and translucent.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the tomatoes, coconut milk, water, and the roasted red peppers.
In batches in a blender, puree the soup until smooth.
Return it to the soup pot and cook on medium heat until hot.
All recipe images and text ©food.com