Organic Vitamin C: Your Best Vitamin C Sources

You need vitamin C so your body can make collagen in bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels and to help you absorb iron from your diet. It also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the cells in your body from harm. Wounds need vitamin C to heal. A plethora of organic products are rich vitamin C sources, including apples, asparagus, berries, broccoli, cabbage, melons, cauliflower, citrus fruit, kiwi, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes. For example, just six ounces of orange juice has more vitamin C than an adult requires daily.

A severe deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy, a disease that has been described since the days of ancient Egypt.  Epidemics during the 16th-18th centuries especially affected sailors. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, leg pain, anemia, and bleeding. Scurvy can even cause sudden death.

Organic Products Rich in Vitamin C

One-and-a-half cups of cantaloupe, a cup of strawberries or six ounces of red or green peppers provide the majority of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement. Three-fourths of a cup of orange juice is more than the daily requirement for most adults. Three-fourths of a cup of broccoli has 58 mg or half a grapefruit have more than half the amount you need daily. But keep in mind that the vitamin counts in food are based on conventionally grown crops. Some studies have suggested that organic crops, including spinach, carrots, potatoes and oranges, may have higher amounts of vitamin C than conventionally grown crops. In one study, organically grown oranges had 30 percent more of the vitamin than traditionally grown oranges.

How Much Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is available in thousands of vitamin formulas. The government’s Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for adult men is 90 milligrams daily, and women, it’s 75 mg daily. For women who are breastfeeding, the DRI is 120 mg per day. Some experts believe people who smoke should take an additional 35 mg daily. Toxic doses of the vitamin, which would be more than 2,000 mg daily, may cause kidney stones, diarrhea, nausea, or dizziness.

Vitamin C and Disease

The usefulness of vitamin C in preventing and treating colds and respiratory infections remains controversial, although some studies have found no significant risk reduction or treatment benefits. However, research did find the vitamin reduced the risk of colds by 50 percent for athletes and soldiers living in certain conditions. Moreover, some health conditions may increase your need for vitamin C. These include burns, diarrhea, a prolonged fever or infection and alcoholism. Claims that vitamin C can prevent cancer, blood clots, gum disease or hardening of the arteries have not been proven.

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