You’ve heard it before and I have to remind you again. Eating fruit and vegetables containing Vitamin C (AKA L-ascorbic acid) is great for your skin and health in general, especially more so now during the Coronavirus outbreak, but can it prevent it? If you read the isolation ideas post you probably know the links between Coronavirus and Vitamin C already. But let’s dig a little deeper.
Fruit & Vegetables Higher in Vitamin C Than An Orange
Many people associate oranges with Vitamin C but there are so many more fruits & vegetables higher in Vitamin C. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of OJ as much as the next person, but we need to up our intake now. 1 medium Orange has nearly 70 mililigrams (mg) of Vitamin C. For adults, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C is 65 to 90 mg a day, and the limit is 2,000 mg a day. Please note: taking large amounts (more than 1000 mg a day) can cause side effects such as diarohea, nausea, stomach cramping and bloating. (NHS)
There is a limit to how much the Vitamin C the body can absorb into its tissues at one time too. If you take in 200 mg of Vitamin C, nearly all of it will end up in your bloodstream. If you take 1000 mg all at once, a large portion of it will probably end up in your urine, so spread it out through out the day. Smokers should also increase their Vitamin C intake by 35 mg a day.
So here’s which Fruit & Veg to add to your next shopping list.
1. Bell Peppers
A medium yellow bell pepper has a whopping 341 mg. One medium red bell pepper has about 152 mg of vitamin C. Green bell peppers don’t have quite as much – just 95 mg per one medium pepper, but still more than an orange. Red peppers are also a great source of Vitamin A, which is required for healthy eyes, vision, reduces the risk of cataract, prevents eye inflammation and night blindess. So nevermind the carrots.
1 cup of chopped Kale contains 80.4 mg. Kale is arguably the number 1 superfood (not just because it’s Beyonce’s favourite vegetable), because it is packed with antioxidants that has one of the highest ORAC rating, (rating of a food gives an indication of the food’s antioxidant capacity, healwithfood.org), and can help keep your skin looking great.
One cup of cooked Broccoli has 101 mg of vitamin C. Tastes amazing grilled with finely sliced garlic, mild chilli’s, drizzled with lemon juice and seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper.
4. Brussel Sprouts
Sprouts aren’t just for Christmas! With 1 cup of sprouts containing 74.8 mg, they’re a better source of Vitamin C than an Orange. If you don’t have toasted chestnuts and bacon to add, roasted peanuts are just as delicious with them.
Hands up if you’ve never had a lychee? Oh my, you are missing out on these tasty little exotic delights! 1 cup of Lychees has 136 mg of Vitamin C. Nearly twice as much as an Orange.
Yellow and red fruits are known for having a high vitamin content but one 100g Guava fruit contains over 200mg of Vitamin C. Great as a coconut smoothie.
The Kiwi shows us love with 196 mg of Vitamin per cup! Complements a fruit or veg salad splendidly.
1 small papaya is around 94 mg of Vitamin C. This beautiful exotic fruit is great served with sweet & savoury dishes. Although the seed are edible, it isn’t advise to eat too many.
Who doesn’t just lurve strawberries. 1 cup of Strawberries has around 89 mg of Vitamin C. Even dipped in a bit of cheeky chocolate – and no, there isn’t Vitamin C in chocolate. (Not even Terry’s Chocolate Orange.) On top of this, they’re teeth whitening! What more could you ask for.
Last to the party we have Pineapples, with nearly 79 mg of Vitamin C per cup of chopped, fresh pineapple. The same amount of canned pineapple only has 17 mg. Fresh is always best! (Yes I am judging you if you have it on pizza.)
That’s great and made me hungry, but what’s this got to do with Coronavirus?
As mentioned in the Isolation Ideas Post, recent reports from New York state’s largest hospital system showed patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C. Each dose was more than 16 times the National Institutes of Health’s daily recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C, and were administered in addition to other medicines. Please do not increase yours that much, just remember to take the recommended daily amount at least.
This doesn’t show that Vitamin C can prevent you from Coronavirus, but if you’re asymptomatic, it could help you better as shown from the reports, so there’s no harm in making sure you’re getting your daily recommended amount.
Vitamin C Functions
Vitamin C has endless benefits when consumed in the right amount, or applied directly on to the skin (another post about that coming soon) including:
- helping to protect cells and keeps them healthy
- maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage
- helping with wound healing
- important physiological antioxidant
- regenerates other antioxidants within the body
Vitamin C Supplements
If you’re unable to get fresh fruit and veg, Vitamin C supplements are also available. eVitamins have a whole range of Vitamin C supplements availables from capsules to powders to chewables but this is the one I recommend.
✔ Each capsule contains 1000g of Vitamin C, well above your daily recommended but not too much to cause side effects.
✔ Great for the production of collagen which is important for skin, bones, and joint health.
✔ 250 capsules will last you at least 8 months
Vitamin C is Vital
I am not sugesting in any way, shape or form that Vitamin C will prevent you from getting Coronavirus, I’m merely spreading the facts and evidence. The National Institute of Health states “Vitamin C contributes to immune defense and Vitamin C deficiency results in impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections.”. Unlike other animals, the human body can not store or produce it’s own Vitamin C, so it is vital that we consume ourselves with a balanced diet. Whether it’s in the form of supplements, or fruit and vegetables, Vitamin C should be an essential part of our diet to support our immune system right now more than ever.
Other Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet with enough good foods
- Eat more dark chocolate, probiotic foods, yogurts, oats and berries (Elderberry is one of the most beneficial berries).
- Eat more bone broths and fresh homemade soups.
- Use more fresh herbs, mushrooms, ginger and garlic (not just to keep vampires away).
- Add more oily fish and turmeric to your diet (turmeric works wonders when used in a facemask too)
- Get enough sleep. (Have an electronic shutdown an hour before bed to help you sleep meaning no digital devices)
- Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes (get a FitBit to track steps and sleep, or an affordable Akasma Fitness Tracker to keep you motivated).
- Get enough Vitamin D (if not 20-30 mins of sunlight, supplements are available)
- Stay warm (see body brushing benefits if you have bad circulation that causes cold hands and feet)
- Laugh more. Studies show stress weakens your body’s defenses system so opt for a comedy instead of the news.
- Adopt a rescue pet. Studies show stroking animals helps you to switch off from stressful situations.
- Kick back and relax with a good book (or listen to one with Audible. Try Amazon Unlimited Kindle FREE for 1st month).
- Drink PLENTY of water as it helps all of your body’s systems function at optimum levels.
Stay clean. Stay home. Stay safe and well most importantly.
Other articles you might find useful:
- Coronavirus and Vitamin D – Can low Vitamin D levels increase your risk?
- COVID-19 Ideas for Isolation
- Stress effect on the skin & Tips to De-stress