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The Power of Vitamin C: Boosting Health and Immunity

August 14, 2023 5 min read

The Power of Vitamin C: Boosting Health and Immunity

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being. It is renowned for its powerful antioxidant properties, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and chronic diseases. In this article, we will delve into the numerous benefits of vitamin C, its impact on collagen production, the immune system, and its potential role in preventing chronic diseases. 

Additionally, we will answer some of the most-asked questions surrounding vitamin C, including it’s recommended daily intake, best food sources, effectiveness against colds, side effects of supplements, and its impact on the immune system.

The Importance of Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a vital nutrient that our body needs for various cellular functions. Its antioxidant properties help counteract the damaging effects of free radicals, which can lead to chronic diseases and accelerated aging. Additionally, vitamin C plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis, promoting healthy skin, bones, and connective tissues. 


The immune system relies on vitamin C to function optimally. It supports the production and activity of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases. Research suggests that vitamin C can enhance immune function and reduce the risk of developing infections. Adequate intake of vitamin C can help strengthen the body's defenses and promote overall well-being. 


Numerous studies have highlighted the potential protective effects of vitamin C against chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C help combat inflammation and oxidative stress, which are key contributors to these conditions. While more research is needed, incorporating vitamin C-rich foods into your diet may help reduce the risk of developing these ailments.


One of the most well-known benefits of vitamin C is its ability to reduce the severity and duration ofthe common cold. Regular intake of vitamin C has been shown to boost immune function and reduce the risk of catching a cold. When taken at the onset of symptoms, vitamin C may help alleviate symptoms and promote a faster recovery. However, it is important to note that vitamin C is not a cure for the common cold, but rather a supportive measure for overall immune health. 

Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin C

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C varies depending on age, gender, and life stage. According to a source, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults 19 years and older is 90 mg daily for men and 75 mg for women. For pregnancy and lactation, the amount increases to 85 mg and 120 mg daily, respectively. Smoking can deplete vitamin C levels in the body, so an additional 35 mg beyond the RDA is suggested for smokers.

While the tolerable upper intake level is the maximum daily intake unlikely to cause harmful effects on health. The UL for vitamin C is 2000 mg daily; taking beyond this amount may promote gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. Only in specific scenarios, such as under medical supervision or in controlled clinical trials, areamounts higher than the UL sometimes used. 

What are the best natural sources of Vitamin C?

Here are some of the best sources of vitamin C: 

  • Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits are perhaps the most well-known sources of vitamin C. These include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and tangerines.

  • Bell Peppers: Bell peppers, particularly red and yellow varieties, are rich in vitamin C. They can be eaten raw in salads, as crunchy snacks, or added to various dishes.

  • Strawberries: Strawberries are delicious and packed with vitamin C. They can be enjoyed on their own, added to yogurt, or used as a topping for cereals and desserts

  • Kiwi: Kiwi is a tropical fruit that is an excellent source of vitamin C. Its unique flavour makes it a refreshing addition to fruit salads or smoothies.

  • Guava: Guava is a tropical fruit that is exceptionally high in vitamin C. It can be enjoyed fresh or used to make juices and jams

  • Papaya: Papaya is another tropical fruit that contains a significant amount of vitamin C. It can be eaten fresh or blended into smoothies. 

  • Pineapple: Pineapple is not only a good source of vitamin C but also contains bromelain, an enzyme with potential health benefits. It can be enjoyed fresh, as well as in juices and fruit salads. 

  • Mango: Mangoes are rich in both flavour and vitamin C. They can be eaten on their own, added to salsas, or blended into smoothies.

  • Acerola Cherry: Acerola cherry is a lesser-known fruit that is extremely high in vitamin C. It can be consumed fresh or found in supplement form

  • Dark Leafy Greens: Certain leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard, contain good amounts of vitamin C. These greens can be added to salads, smoothies, or sautéed dishes. 

  • Broccoli: Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that provides vitamin C along with other important nutrients. It can be steamed, roasted, or added to stir-fries. 

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are not only a source of vitamin C but also contain lycopene, another beneficial compound. They can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in various dishes.

  • Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe is a type of melon that contains vitamin C. It's delicious on its own or as part of a fruit salad. 

  • Watermelon: Watermelon is another hydrating fruit that provides vitamin C. It's perfect for staying refreshed on hot days. 

  • Berries: Apart from strawberries, other berries like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries also contain vitamin C and can be enjoyed on their own or added to various dishes. 

It's important to note that vitamin C is sensitive to heat and can be destroyed during cooking. To preserve the vitamin content, consider consuming some of these sources raw or cooking them lightly. A varied and balanced diet that includes a combination of these vitamin C-rich foods will help ensure you're getting an adequate intake of this essential nutrient. 

Vitamin C supplementation 

For those who struggle to meet their daily intake of vitamin C naturally, it is best to opt for vitamin C supplements. However, while vitamin C is generally safe, excessive intake from supplements may cause gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea and stomach cramps. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation regimen, as they can provide guidance on the appropriate dosage for your specific needs. 


Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that offers numerous health benefits, including antioxidant properties, immune support, and potential protection against chronic diseases. By incorporating vitamin C-rich foods into your diet and considering supplementation under professional guidance, you can harness the power of vitamin C to boost your health and immunity. 

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