Vitamin C is one of the most instantly recognizable types of vitamin and one that people probably know the most about. However, there are plenty of misconceptions about Vitamin C, where you can find it and how beneficial that it really can be. Getting enough of this micronutrient from fresh food sources is believed to be best but can be difficult for a wide range of reasons. And, even if you are eating all of the fruits and vegetables that you can get your hands on, you might be depleting your C levels and destroying the health benefits with unhealthy habits. For example; smoking, not getting enough sleep and even just living in a highly polluted area. It’s a delicate balancing act between getting enough C, living a fairly healthy life and still actually living that life.
Why Vitamin C is Important
Also known as ascorbic acid, C is one of the key micronutrients in the creation of collagen. Collagen is used in the body to do a huge number of tasks. Everything from healing wounds and building and maintaining bones, cartilage, and your teeth.
Another of the benefits of Vitamin C is that it can prevent or slow the growth of certain types of cancer. This happens through a complex process in which C attacks free radicals in the body and prevents them from doing any damage to cells. Even someone who tries to keep to the healthiest lifestyle. Eating only clean, organic foods, getting 8 hours of restorative sleep per night and avoiding smoking, drinking and other habits will have damage from free radicals. They are a natural part of the human body even a perfectly healthy one.
Since you cannot completely eliminate them, it is best to minimize the amount of damage that a free radical can do. C and other vitamins play a role in that by blocking, slowing and repairing some of the damage that is done.
It is also believed that another of the benefits of Vitamin C is that it can slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a disease that can lead to gradual blindness. That beneficial link is still being studied and evaluated.
How to Get More of C and Other Vitamins Naturally
Everyone knows that oranges, grapefruits and their juices are high in ascorbic acid but there are other equally healthy and delicious food sources that you can use as well. Some people cannot handle citrus because it is highly acidic. Some people just do not care for juice of any kind. These are some of the best fruit and vegetable sources for C and a whole range of other vitamins and minerals:
- Cantaloupe and watermelon
- Berries including strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
- Tropical fruits like mango, papaya and pineapple
- Red and green bell peppers
- Spinach, turnip greens and other dark green, leafy vegetables
One of the best things that you can do is to eat food at its freshest. Find out which method of preparation will give you the biggest yield of vitamins per serving. Take spinach for example. Raw spinach which can be used as the base of a salad, on sandwiches in place of lettuce and just eaten as is, has three times more of the C vitamin than when it is cooked.
Because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it breaks down in excessive amounts of water so you shouldn’t boil anything you are eating for this particular nutrient. There are plenty of ways to prepare these foods but most of them can just as easily be eaten raw. Lightly chop cauliflower, red peppers and toss with raw spinach and serve with a lemon/olive oil dressing. Lemon, by the way, will give you an extra zingy bit of C and a host of other nutrients as well as preventing your vegetables from turning brown once they are cut.
The Benefits of IV Vitamin C
For some people, just eating fresh fruits and vegetables will not get them the optimal level of the right nutrients. During the digestive process, vitamins and nutrients can be lost before they are of any use. That puts people with chronic health conditions. Those with digestive health problems at an even higher risk of deficiencies. Supplements such as tablets or gummy vitamins are fine for people who are pretty close to the right level of their nutrients but they must be digested as well.
One of the biggest benefits of IV Vitamin C is the 100% absorption rate. Getting this type of therapy can help correct a number of deficiencies while preventing others from developing. It can also help improve the immune system and raise energy levels quickly. And without the need for someone to try to eat more food than they may be able to handle for one reason or another. This is especially good for people who have diseases that may make them nauseous, too tired to eat or who are in constant pain from their digestive system’s many flare-ups.
In cancer, for example. A 2008 study showed that injecting large amounts of vitamin C into laboratory mice with aggressive cancers caused their tumors to shrink by between 41 and 53 percent. In 2016, researchers at the University of Kansas found that high doses of IV vitamin C helped to kill ovarian cancer cells and reduce the toxic effects of chemotherapy.
Critics argue the IV version offers little more than what a balanced diet and a vitamin tablet would. There are studies that show the efficacy of the intravenous delivery. In 2004, the US National Institutes of Health found that blood concentration of vitamin C were 6.6 times greater when given intravenously than when the same amount was given to patients orally
It is not perfect and there are people who should not use IV nutrient therapy. It is important to know your body, your health, and your healthcare needs. Only seek treatment from someone who knows what they are doing and can provide the very best care for you.
Cancer.gov: National Cancer Institute.“High Dose Vitamin C”
Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: US National Library of Medicine.“High-Dose Vitamin C”