Vitamins are the behind-the-scenes heroes of your body's health. Vitamins are essential micronutrients that support your body in functioning in a wide variety of ways.
Vitamin C is likely the most famous of all the vitamins. Many of us are familiar with Vitamin C thanks to its presence in oranges and the regular reminders we get to consume more of it when flu season rolls around.
But what exactly is so special about vitamin C? And why are oranges the most famous of the sources? Are there ways to get vitamin C?
The short answers are: because it’s amazing, because oranges commonly feature in our diets, and yes, there are plenty more ways to get vitamin C.
Buckle up tight because we are going on a journey to discover the truth about vitamin C, what it is, what it does, and where to find it and consume enough for a healthy life.
So, What Is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the essential vitamins our bodies need to function regularly and optimally. The human body does not produce vitamin C on its own, so you need to consume enough of this water-soluble vitamin through the food you eat or a dietary supplement to get enough.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it fights free radicals in your body to balance them out. Free radicals are molecules that your body produces when it metabolizes food, is exposed to tobacco smoke, UV rays, among other things.
Free radicals are a key contributing factor to all sorts of chronic conditions and diseases, ranging from heart and cardiovascular diseases to cancer. Vitamin C is one of these antioxidants that helps mitigate the negative consequences of these free radicals in the body.
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin C?
Before we get into sources of vitamin C, we should briefly discuss the benefits that vitamin C can offer to your health. Beyond the factors that we’re going to discuss below, vitamin C is also essential for your body to form collagen and maintain healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage.
Helps To Manage High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a symptom and contributing factor to all sorts of cardiovascular diseases and conditions. What's more, high blood pressure affects a high percentage of the population, making managing blood pressure a common struggle.
Luckily, vitamin C seems to have some very positive effects against high blood pressure (aka hypertension), both for people with high blood pressure and those with normal or lower blood pressure.
This review of 29 different human studies on vitamin C and blood pressure found that vitamin C supplementation had an impressive impact on lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Prevents Iron Deficiency
Iron is another important nutrient that your body needs in order to function properly. Iron is consumed in the diet, but your body needs to absorb the iron for it to be useful. If you bruise easily from broken blood vessels or that you’re often cold, these are just a few of the symptoms that indicate you might be dealing with an iron deficiency.
Luckily, vitamin C helps your body absorb iron better. One study found that consuming just 100mg vitamin C improves the absorption of iron by 67%.
If you want to combat iron deficiency, particularly if you eat a plant-based diet, then vitamin C could be a great way to increase your body's ability to absorb more iron. Along those same lines, it can help with wound healing.
Supports Immune Health
Your immune system is one of the most important body systems, protecting your body from infection and disease 24/7. Vitamin C gives your immune system a little boost, helping it function better and more efficiently. That’s why people so often cite it as a preventative measure for the common cold.
Vitamin C supports the generation of white blood cells, which seek out invaders in your body and destroy them before they can make you sick.
Vitamin C does a lot to benefit your body, and if you aren’t getting enough in your diet as it stands, you could do well to find ways to get more vitamin C.
Good Sources of Vitamin C
You already know that vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits (after all, there’s a reason pirates used to eat oranges to prevent scurvy from a vitamin C deficiency). Still, there are tons of other good sources out there. Here are a few of the best sources of vitamin C to include in your diet.
If you are a fan of red or green peppers, you may be shocked to hear that yellow peppers are just as delicious and even more bursting with vitamin C than their red and green brethren.
Seventy-five grams of yellow pepper contains 137 mg of vitamin C, well over the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Peppers taste great and are a perfect addition to almost any dish.
Add roasted yellow peppers to your tacos, burritos, or fajitas for a Mexican-inspired dish, or sprinkle some yellow peppers over your pizza for a burst of vitamin C and vegetables on your pizza. You could also dip them raw in hummus and enjoy a healthy snack.
Kale is one of the more famous leafy greens, known for its incredible health benefits and deep green color. Not only is kale a great source of vitamin K, but kale is also jam-packed with vitamin C.
One cup of raw kale gives you 80mg of vitamin C, almost 90% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. If you prefer cooked kale, then one cup of cooked kale will deliver you 53mg, almost 60% of your daily value.
You can use kale as an ingredient in salads or smoothies or bake the leaves until they’re crisp and enjoy them as kale chips. However you like your kale, a little extra in your diet will ensure that you get more than enough vitamin C.
Kiwis are some of the less talked about yet more nutritious and delicious fruits out there. These fuzzy little fruits with a green interior are often considered a superfood due to their intense nutritional value.
One kiwi contains 71 mg of vitamin C, 71% of your daily intake. Eating kiwis on their own is delicious, but you can also toss some kiwi slices into granola, yogurt, or oatmeal as well for a delicious breakfast or snack.
VINA Prebiotic Soda
Another brilliant way to give your body a boost of the vitamin C it needs to thrive is by drinking VINA prebiotic sodas.
VINA is a new, healthy soda option that gives you a boost of the vitamin C your body craves. VINA is sweetened with stevia, a natural, zero-calorie sweetener, instead of sugar so you don’t have to deal with a heightened sugar intake.
VINA is also made with prebiotic fiber so that you can feed your gut microbiome with the fiber it needs to stay happy and healthy. We also use natural ingredients to flavor our sodas, like real fruit juices (full of vitamin C) and real ingredients like ginger.
Give VINA a try today, and see how great you feel after drinking our prebiotic sodas.
We’ve listed some of the biggest players in the vitamin C game above, but the following foods are also good sources of this essential vitamin:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Red Cabbage
Vitamin C Takeaways
There are few vitamins as beneficial as vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help manage blood pressure, prevent iron deficiency, and support a healthy immune system.
There are all sorts of great ways to get more vitamin C in your diet, from eating more yellow peppers, kiwis, or even drinking VINA prebiotic soda.
VINA prebiotic soda is made with real fruit juices, which give you a blast of vitamin C, along with a healthy dose of prebiotic fiber to keep your gut and digestive health in check. Not to mention VINA is not sweetened with sugar, so you don’t have to worry about boosting your sugar intake while you are at it.
Make sure that you are consuming enough vitamin C in your diet to stay happy and healthy, and be sure to check us out online and keep checking back for more content like this.