Have you also heard that a shot of lemon on an empty stomach is enough to ward off viruses and flu?
This belief has become popular because this fruit is loaded with vitamin C , but such a small dose is not enough to offer you extra protection.
For this reason, we are going to reveal to you the amount that does help to invigorate the immune system and offers you other additional benefits that, perhaps, you do not know yet.
If you wonder how much vitamin C has a lemon, approximately 50 milligrams. And it's nowhere near the amount you need to stay healthy.
What is vitamin C and how can it help you?
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble micronutrient with many virtues that positively impact health.
Its properties and effectiveness have been more studied than those of any other vitamin or mineral.
So many investigations and tests gave birth to a Nobel Prize in Physiology in its name and have lengthened the list of protective effects that we present below:
Revitalizes the immune system
It benefits the innate immune system (with which you were born) and the adaptive one that develops over the years as you are exposed to external substances such as bacteria, toxins and environmental contamination.
Experts explain that it is because it could stimulate the natural killer cells that fight any threat against the body.
Therefore, when you lack vitamin C, the probability of contracting diseases, viruses and infections increases.
Acts as an antioxidant
Helps protect cells against free radicals, fearsome enemies that cause aging and diseases such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
Free radicals are molecules produced by the body as a result of biological reactions; from the most basic ones such as eating, drinking and breathing, to when your food is converted into energy, you exercise or you are exposed to solar radiation.
Well, it has been determined that to stay young and healthy you must neutralize them through healthy habits, including taking advantage of the antioxidant power of vitamin C.
Helps repair tissues
When you cut or scratch yourself, this nutrient helps you heal wounds faster, thanks to the fact that it is part of the scar tissue growth process.
Among its functions is to form collagen, a protein that the body uses to produce skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.
As if that were not enough, it helps to repair and maintain cartilage, bones and teeth.
Increases iron absorption
One way to take advantage of the richness of food is to combine them intelligently.
And one mixture from which you can absorb many benefits is iron with vitamin C.
It turns out that it is easy for the body to assimilate iron from foods of animal origin, but it is difficult for it to do so in the chemical form of iron found in vegetables.
Good news: Vitamin C can improve that absorption process.
So when you eat legumes, try to include foods rich in this vitamin. And for greater effectiveness, opt for supplementation.
What happens when you have a Vitamin C deficiency?
Although severe deficiencies are not common, many people do not achieve optimal levels of vitamin C.
It is estimated that one in 10 adults consume enough vegetables and fruits with this vitamin, when precisely in this food group is where its largest suppliers are.
There are people more prone to suffering from its deficiency:
- Those who have decreased ability to digest and absorb food.
- Those who do not have a balanced diet and consume processed foods.
- Older adults with little capacity to absorb nutrients due to age.
- Smokers who are exposed to oxidative stress caused by cigarette smoke.
- Pregnant and lactating women require extra vitamin C.
When you have a deficit, it's easy to notice the signs: feeling sick, dry skin, joint pain and swelling, muscle weakness, tiredness, mood swings, swollen and bleeding gums, poor wound healing, bruising and loss of appetite.
Then, when the deficiency is prolonged, scurvy, anemia and depression can develop.
The magic number: how much should you take?
The human body does not produce vitamin C on its own.
Nor does it store it, so there is no point in consuming more than the recommended dose; if you do, the extra amount will end up in the toilet.
Experts suggest between 100 and 200 mg daily, which is easy to get through diet.
But when it comes to strengthening the defenses, the daily intake should reach up to 2,000 mg per day.
This amount helps prevent oxidative stress on muscles (high-performance athletes and sportsmen) and reduce the duration of the common cold.
Daily upper limits vary by age:
|Stage of life||Limit||superior||diary|
|Birth to 12 months||not established||not established|
|Children from 1 to 3 years||400mg||400mg|
|Children from 4 to 8 years||650mg||650mg|
|Children from 9 to 13 years old||1200mg||1200mg|
|Adolescent from 14 to 18 years||1800mg||1800mg||1800mg||1800mg|
|Adults (19+ years)||2000mg||2000mg||2000mg||2000mg|
IMPORTANT: if you exceed the maximum allowable limits of vitamin C according to the WHO , you may experience diarrhea, nausea, heartburn and abdominal pain.
Get the exact dose with food and supplementation
Its main source is food, specifically citrus fruits and vegetables.
In this table we point out the contribution that each of them makes to your diet:
|Food||Milligrams x serving||Percent Daily Value (%) DV Amount of vitamin C that one serving contributes to your total diet.|
|Red bell pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup||95||106|
|Orange juice, ¾ cup||93||103|
|Orange, 1 medium||70||78|
|Grapefruit juice, ¾ cup||70||78|
|Kiwi, 1 medium||64||71|
|Green bell pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup||60||67|
|Cooked broccoli, ½ cup||51||57|
|Fresh strawberries, sliced, ½ cup||49||54|
|Brussels sprouts, cooked, ½ cup||48||53|
|Grapefruit, ½ medium||39||43|
|Raw broccoli, ½ cup||39||43|
|Tomato juice, ¾ cup||33||37|
|Cantaloupe, ½ cup||29||32|
|Cooked cabbage, ½ cup||28||31|
|Raw cauliflower, ½ cup||26||29|
|Baked potato, 1 medium||17||19|
|Raw tomato, 1 medium||17||19|
|Spinach, cooked, ½ cup||9||10|
|Green peas, frozen, cooked, ½ cup||8||9|
When you prepare your food, take into account that vitamin C deteriorates due to the action of light and high temperatures. It also dissolves in the cooking water.
The best way to cook them is to steam them for a short time.
And remember that the qualities of this vitamin decrease when stored for a long time, so try to eat your food as fresh as possible.
A large percentage of people do not get enough vitamin C, a bleak picture, especially in times of a global pandemic.
The most common reason is that they don't eat enough fruits and vegetables , or if they do, they don't include a wide variety on their plates.
There are also those who do not have time or do not know how to prepare healthy meals, and those who opt for processed foods.
The good thing is that you can shorten that nutritional gap with a supplement that serves as an elevator and lifts you up to 2000 milligrams in one push.
The need to have a defense system that resists from the most common attacks to the unexpected ones is becoming more and more evident.
Therefore, supplementing with vitamin C will be an effective backup, as long as you complement it with a healthy lifestyle.
We have an option in enhanced absorption tablets, without stimulants, dyes, gluten or genetically modified organisms.
It is also suitable for those who practice keto, vegans and vegetarians.
You no longer have to think about how much vitamin C a lemon has, better supplement yourself with Vitamin C.