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Prevent A Sad, Sick Winter With The Top 39 Vitamin C Foods

flu trends, flu trends us 2013, flu 2013, flu epidemic 2013, flu epidemic 2012, flu graph 2012, flu chart 2012, flu graph 2013, flu chart 2013

US Flu Incidence, 2012 vs. Past — Source: Google.org/FluTrends

 

With the flu going bananas and hitting epidemic levels, and the always-lurking threat of a Wintertime cold, it’s absolutely critical to crank up your immunity in whatever way possible. Your surefire, au natural, dietary defense — Vitamin C.

Vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a powerful antioxidant, which fights off disease-inducing, age-accelerating free radicals; supports the development of collagen, a protein used to heal wounds and build blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and skin; improves iron absorption from food sources; and boosts the strength of the immune system and its ability to ward-off disease, most notably from the common cold.123

Fortunately, vitamin C is a quick, inexpensive, thoughtless safeguard that’s naturally abundant in many every day foods (and consequently, many processed foods are fortified with VC to keep up).

 

Recommended Daily Intake and Safe Upper Limit

The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends a minimum daily intake of 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men for general health, with a safe upper limit of 2,000 mg per day.45

To achieve immunity and antioxidant benefits, consume 500 mg – 1,500 mg per day. Because vitamin C is water-soluble and it’s constantly flushed out of the body (whenever you go to the bathroom), it’s essential to take in a constant stream of vitamin C every day via the foods below.

  • Deficiency — Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, a tissue disease characterized by anemia, gum disease, bleed, and easy bruising.




 

What Are The Best Vitamin C Foods And Sources?

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Everyone views oranges as THE vitamin C food, but contrary to popular belief vitamin C does exist outside of the tangerine galaxy. In fact, oranges aren’t even a member of the top 5 vitamin C clubhouse — that elite space is reserved for various peppers, guava, and black currant.

Here are the top 39 vitamin C foods, accompanied by % DV and calorie counts. Cuddle up, find your favorites, and learn to love ’em in full-force over the next few months (it doesn’t hurt to double-down on vitamin C during the warm months, either).

 

The Top 39 Vitamin C Foods

*Note: The first two charts show a vitamin C — calorie distribution, with vitamin C on the Y-axis and calories on the X-axis. The second chart is a zoomed in version. Foods appearing in the top left quadrant have very high vitamin C content with very few calories.

The third table contains the full top 39 vitamin C rankings.

 

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References, Notes, Links

  1. Effect of vitamin C on common cold: randomized controlled trial. Sasazuki S, Sasaki S, Tsubono Y, Okubo S, Hayashi M, Tsugane S. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jan;60(1):9-17. []
  2. The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. Gorton HC, Jarvis K. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Oct;22(8):530-3. []
  3. A combination of high-dose vitamin C plus zinc for the common cold. Maggini S, Beveridge S, Suter M. J Int Med Res. 2012;40(1):28-42. []
  4. ODS — Vitamin C []
  5. MedlinePlus– Vitamin C []

 

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto