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Did you know that Vitamin C is vital for your immune system, heart and blood vessel health, and your body’s connective tissue? If your body isn’t getting enough of this vitamin it can have negative effects on your health.  The recommended daily dosage of vitamin C is 65mg to 90mg per day but varies by life stage and health habits. Some individuals need more and some need less. For example, someone who smokes needs at least an additional 35mg of vitamin C each day.

Since vitamin C is so important to our overall health, we must make sure that we are getting enough of it each day. There are some things to remember when it comes to getting enough vitamin C to meet our daily needs. Vitamin C and sugar, yes, sugar, enter a cell through the same pathway. The cell will choose glucose from sugar over vitamin C. What does this mean for you and me? If we are consuming sugar and taking vitamin C, the cell will be filled with sugar and the vitamin C is rendered useless. There’s one more reason to cut the sugar out of your diet.

Taking a vitamin C supplement which can be found at most health food stores is a good way of getting vitamin C in the body. Remember, you get what you pay for. Quality is important. Vitamin C is water soluble which means the body does not store vitamin C. If someone takes one high dose of a vitamin C supplement in the morning, whatever is not immediately needed by the body is excreted in our urine.

A better way of taking a vitamin C supplement is to take a lower dose periodically throughout the day. For example, one can take 250mg with breakfast, lunch and dinner. It does not have to be taken with food but it seems cause less upset stomach if taken this way. The key is take the supplement more than once daily to get the most benefit. If you feel like you can’t remember to take your vitamin C in this manner, taking it at least once a day is still much better than doing nothing. A good alternative would be to try the next method.

The best way to get adequate amounts of vitamin C during the day is to eat foods that contain high amounts of this vitamin. Not only will you be adding this essential vitamin to your diet but you will receive additional health benefits from the foods you are consuming. Below is a list of foods that are considered high in vitamin C. These foods lose nutrients when cooked so it’s best to consume fruits and vegetables raw, when possible.

Strawberries 1 cup 89mg Lemon w/peel 83mg
Orange medium 70mg Kale raw 80mg
Parsley 2 TBSP 133mg Kiwi medium 93mg
Yellow Pepper ½ cup 137mg Broccoli 1 cup 106mg
Mustard Greens 1 cup 117 mg Acerola Cherries 1/2 cup 822mg

This is not a complete list but it does give several examples of ways to incorporate vitamin C into your diet. If you take a few minutes to eat some of the foods suggested above each day, your needs should be covered. A diet rich in vitamin C is an essential step toward good health and disease prevention. You only have one body and there is only one you. Take care of yourself now. Your body will thank you later. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Yours in Health,

Julie Dillon

Rigs without Cigs Coordinator/Wellness Manager

St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund