As one of the most recognized vitamins, many people understand that vitamin C comes from organ juice and other citrus fruits like lemons and mandarins.
Beyond that, there’s not a lot commonly known about the vitamin known as ascorbic acid, including how much is enough.
How do you know if you’re getting enough vitamin C? According to Mayo Clinic, adults should have between 65 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C a day.
There may be cases where up to 2,000 mg a day is allowed, but taking vitamin C supplements to do so can lead to symptoms like diarrhea and nausea.
Vitamin C is hugely important for the human body and getting the levels right is essential. We’re going to discover how much vitamin C in orange juice and other rich foods you can incorporate into your diet, plus how to make sure you’re eating enough.
What Is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin and nutrient that the body needs for many of its general functions. However, because we’re incapable of producing or storing it, we rely on outside sources to get the vitamin C that our bodies need.
Many people will find that a cup of strawberries or an orange each day can help them reach the recommended 65 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C a day.
However, certain groups like pregnant women and children have different requirements for their recommended daily intake of the vitamin and may need more or less.
On the flip side, people who take vitamin C supplements in an effort to fight colds and flus or increase their intake beyond their daily diet might find that they consume too much.
This usually doesn’t occur until you take close to 2,000 mg a day, with symptoms including insomnia, diarrhea, and nausea.
The Role of Vitamin C in the Human Body
As one of the most essential vitamins that humans need, it’s not surprising when you learn just how much vitamin C can do for us. This vitamin is crucial for our overall health and wellbeing, but most importantly it helps to grow and repair the tissues within our body.
With the right amount of vitamin C, you’ll ensure your body makes enough collagen which helps with the production and renewal of components like skin, blood vessels, tendons, and more.
Vitamin C also helps repair damage to the body, like with wounds, and improve the strength of our bones and teeth.
Eating foods loaded with vitamin C can also help you to absorb iron which is another important nutrient that we need. It will protect you from infections, help to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms, and boosts your immune health overall.
When it comes to important vitamins, C would have to be one of the best.
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
While it’s rare that someone in the modern world wouldn’t be able to get enough vitamin C through healthy foods, it may be possible.
These are some of the signs that could indicate you need to increase your vitamin C intake, so speaking to a health professional is recommended.
Skin becomes easily bruised
Bumpy or rough skin
How Much Vitamin C in Orange Juice?
Ask anyone what the best source of vitamin C is and they’ll probably tell you it’s oranges or orange juice. According to the experts, a standard 8-oz glass of freshly squeezed orange juice contains 67% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C so it’s quite a powerful source.
There are other health benefits associated with orange juice, as well as being a highly concentrated form of vitamin C.
The same cup serving also provides you with 2 grams of protein, 15% of your RDI of folate, 10% of your RDI of potassium, and 6% of your RDI of magnesium, according to Healthline.
However, just as there are good sides, we should also consider the potential downsides of consuming orange juice. As with any juice, it’s always better to eat the whole fruit to ensure you get the best parts of it which can sometimes be filtered out during processing.
You should only ever drink fresh juice as well, and none that have sugar added to them.
Other Sources of vitamin C
The good news for us is that there are loads of vitamin C sources available, and not just from oranges. Check out these foods that are packed with L-ascorbic acid and try to add more of them to your diet.
Peppers: If you like spicy things, try adding some chili peppers to your meals for a boost of vitamin C. Just half a cup of chili peppers contains 107.8mg of vitamin C which is more than you’ll get from oranges. Better still, because they contain capsaicin, peppers are also good for relieving joint pain.
Potatoes: Most people don’t realize how packed full of nutrients potatoes can be, especially when cooked the right way. An average medium-sized potato contains half of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, plus a good amount of iron, so the two work together beautifully to give your body what it needs.
Broccoli: There’s no denying the health benefits of broccoli, a vegetable made of 90% water and virtually zero fat. However, it’s also a great source of vitamin C for those looking to improve their intake. For every 100 grams of broccoli you eat, you’ll get 89mg of vitamin C, so just half a cup with your dinner will give you 57% of your daily recommended intake.
Brussel sprouts: Although not everyone loves eating them, Brussel sprouts can sure do a lot of good for the human body. In a seriously impressive feat, a half cup of cooked sprouts contains more than 80% of your daily vitamin C needs. You’ll also get 137% of your vitamin K needs for the day, as well as protein, fiber, folate, manganese, and more. It’s worth chowing down on a few Brussell sprouts with dinner just to get all of these nutrients.
Strawberries: Oranges get the most press about vitamin C content but strawberries actually contain a more concentrated amount, so you should be eating more of them. For every 3.5 ounces you eat, you’ll get 98% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, so you could just survive on the fruit alone. Eating 10 large strawberries is the same as a larger size orange, and both are great for your health.
Blackcurrants: Blackcurrants are another fruit that contains high levels of vitamin C but doesn’t get any of the attention. A single serving will cover about 85% of your daily vitamin C requirements plus give you a load of other health benefits. Most notably, they’re packed full of antioxidants which can reduce the signs of aging and equip your body to fight off damage better.
Vitamin C for a Healthier You
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or neither, you need a healthy dose of vitamin C in your everyday diet to stay healthy. Thankfully, there are loads of tasty foods to enjoy that ensure you keep supplies up, so make sure you’re implementing a few of them into your regular meal plan.
The human body is a unique machine and it requires the right balance of vitamins and nutrients to stay as healthy as possible. If you’re struggling to get your vitamins in check and want to find out more about what’s required, check out these FAQs for some basics.
What Food Contains Vitamin D?
As well as receiving vitamin D from natural sunlight, certain foods also contain high levels of it and they should be incorporated into your daily diet.
Oily fish varieties like salmon and sardines, liver, egg yolks, and red meat all have vitamin D, otherwise fortified breakfast cereals are a better option for people on a vegan diet.
Do Vegans Get All Vitamins?
It is possible for a vegan to get all of their required vitamins and nutrients without taking a supplement, but it requires some careful planning.
The most commonly missed vitamins and nutrients for vegans are iron, calcium, and vitamin B12, so making an effort to eat more of the foods that contain these is essential.
Are There Vegan Sources of Vitamin A?
Most of the vitamin A-rich foods that we eat are suitable for vegans, including green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, red bell peppers, mango, and cantaloupe.
For non-vegans, the best sources also include milk, eggs, fish oil, and beef liver, but these aren’t required if you’d prefer not to eat them.
Lorraine Pinnix is a passionate nutritionist and loves seeing people living healthy, and fulfilled lives. She believes that food is an essential piece of staying fit and strongly believes in going vegan. PureGrowthOrganic is a passionate work that details her research in helping you go on complete organic diets. She is available for questions, comments, and follow-ups.