Every grocery store sells foods and snacks fortified with Vitamin C or they are promoted for their naturally high doses of the stuff. North Americans feel better about their eating choices if they contain this essential vitamin.

What is special about Vitamin C? For one thing, it is underrated. Most consumers fail to realize how amazing it really is and all the good things it does for a body.

Vitamin C for Immune Health

The primary reason people take Vitamin C is to ward off common viruses. If your diet is rich enough in this vitamin you might not succumb to a cold or flu that is going around the office or school while colleagues and fellow students are laid low. Vitamin C is not just a cold and cough killer injected into cough drops: a strong immune system fights off all types of invaders including more serious pathogens.

Scientists believe there could be a connection between its antioxidant properties and cancer reduction because antioxidants kill free radicals. If you can prevent colds and cancer, could Type 2 Diabetes, inflammatory diseases, fibromyalgia, and asthma also be susceptible to Vitamin C’s power? One thing is certain: it can’t hurt to take some. Your arthritis could improve.

Vitamin C for Energy

If you are anemic, you could be lacking in Vitamin C. The body uses this vitamin to facilitate its daily uptake of iron. Make sure you consume iron and Vitamin C together: perhaps orange juice with eggs or two supplements simultaneously. Anemic individuals should also avoid iron-leaching caffeinated drinks. Otherwise, the benefits of Vitamin C are moot.

Vitamin C for Aging

Many anti-aging creams, gels, and lotions contain this vitamin because of its antioxidants. These cleanse the skin and help it to fight off free radicals by supporting cellular regeneration. Vitamin C helps the body to look after cells that are healthy, repair broken cells, and replace dead ones throughout the body.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Vitamin C?

If you take too much of certain supplements, you can potentially hurt your body. Iron and calcium are two examples. Excess Vitamin C, however, is excreted in urine. You just flush out anything your body is not using, so there is no way to consume too much, at least not at the cellular level.

Too much Vitamin C can, however, cause canker sores and high acidity in the stomach. Tooth enamel is also worn down by acidic foods, so be careful with citrus fruits and juice.

How to Obtain Vitamin C Naturally

A supplement will not be necessary if you are following a sensible eating plan. Most diets full of fruits and vegetables plus plant-based protein contain lots of it. Examples include all citrus fruits: pineapple, orange, lemon, kiwi, lime, grapefruit, etc. You can tell that the vitamin is present by the tang of food; that slightly sour taste and tingly sensation most prominent when you eat lemons and limes. Green leafy vegetables, apples, and potatoes also contain Vitamin C. Enriched juices offer a convenient method of intake but are not as good as fruit unless they are freshly squeezed. You’re better off drinking water and eating an apple than pouring a glass of orange juice made from concentrate.

Synthetic Vitamin C and Fortified Foods

Vitamin C is also found in synthetic forms and taken by many consumers as a lab-made supplement. There are lots of products to choose from in numerous formats: fizzy tablets, pills, liquid vitamins, and others. The primary concerns are:

• ensuring intake matches your personal needs
• products are high-quality
• you don’t buy a supplement made with products you are allergic to
• vitamins contain no artificial sugar and dyes
• you avoid GMO ingredients

One misconception among shoppers is that synthetically enriched foods (bread, cereal, and juice) are automatically good for you. The level of sugar in a fortified product could cancel out all the positives.

Read packaging thoroughly. You really are better off feeding children real fruit than sending them to school with fruit-type candies packaged as health foods. These are full of sugar and low in nutrients.

A well-balance diet is always preferable to lab-made creations. Teaching children to eat colorful meals made up of real food starts with modeling positive behaviors and filling our own plates with nutrient-rich choices.