Vitamin C: Your best defence against the common cold

Common misconceptions for vitamin C include:

1. You can only take one dose of vitamin C/day

2. Vitamin C cures the common cold

3. The best source of vitamin C is from oranges

4. You get enough vitamin C

Let’s start with number 1. Because C is a water-soluble vitamin, (which means your body doesn’t store it, it’s easily lost during cooking, over time & when exposed to light) you can actually take up to 2000 mg of Vitamin C per day. I wouldn’t recommend this dosage all the time, but if you feel a cold coming on; you can take this dosage for about a week or two.*

#2. Vitamin C does not cure the common cold, but it does strengthen your immune system. This can prevent you from getting a cold in the first place, or reduce the severity of your cold symptoms, and help you fight it quicker.

You can buy vitamin C in the form of powder that you mix into your water, which is actually better absorbed into your body than the tablets. I tried one called “Emergen-C” from my local health food store and it was really good. I would also recommend a brand called ‘Sisu’ with 600mg. Warning: a lot of Vitamin C can cause the runs so proceed with caution.

If you’re not interested in taking supplements; vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits and veggies, which leads me to misconception number 3. While citrus is a good source of vitamin C there are other foods that are even better.  Below is a list of common food sources of vitamin C in order of highest to lowest (mg/100g):

Red pepper – 190mg

Kiwi – 90mg

Broccoli – 90mg

Papaya – 60 mg

Strawberries – 60mg

Oranges – 50 mg

Lemon – 40mg

Cauliflower – 40mg

Grapefruit – 30mg

Lime – 30mg

Spinach – 30mg

Surprised?

Also, did you know that vitamin C is an antioxidant? Antioxidants are substances that protect our cells from unstable molecules known as free radicals (free radicals are caused by pollution, hydrogenated & rancid oils, etc). They protect us by interacting with and stabilizing the free radicals and minimizing the damage they can cause to our cells. And this is important because this damage can cause cancer, premature skin aging and other problems. Protect yourself by eating antioxidant-rich foods everyday!

#4. Do you still think you’re getting enough vitamin C?

*Always check with your doctor before taking supplements

If you have any questions, please email me at laur1982@gmail.com

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