Top 5 Immune-Boosting Supplements: Whole Food Vitamin C
We’re on our second Top 5 Real Food Supplement.
“C is for cookie. That’s good enough me. Oh, C is for…”
Wait. I think I got distracted.
We’re here to talk about the immune-boosting and all around popular antioxident Vitamin C. I, of the original Sesame Street generation and having a 4-year-old, break out in Cookie Monster’s theme song whenever I see one.
Hello, Old Friend
Vitamin C is not one of the exciting new superfood buzzwords that we hear about today like acai, chia seeds, and coconut oil. It does bring a little sexy back with newly discovered sources like camu camu and acerola though.
It may be old news, but it’s just as important as it was 30 years ago when we were popping ascorbic acid chewables like they were going out of style.
The Importance of a Whole Food Vitamin C
We now know that there is synergy at work in foods. Nutrients work together in nature and in our bodies. One of our bodies main jobs is to support and repair itself to stay in optimal health.
The synthetic Vitamin C sources that come from a typical grocery store shelf contain only part of the Vitamin C nutrient. Our bodies then need to rummage around inside and find the other parts to make it usable. That creates imbalances.
Guess where those other nutrients are coming from? Other places in your body that needed them. Those other places need them back.
Eating nutrient-dense real food can do that for you. My supplement picks? Real food too.
Why We Need Whole Food Vitamin C
assists in collagen production (read: less collagen=saggy skin and wrinkles)
repairs wounds, bones, and teeth
important for gum health
adrenal glands support
organ function, including eyes
can help repair arteries and aid in the removal of arterial plaque
increases iron absorption
Adrenal glands rely heavily on Vitamin C to function correctly and have the highest concentration of it in the body.
If you are dealing with fatigue, increase your whole food Vitamin C sources. Some doctors recommend a daily intake of between 1-3 grams during acute illness, but work with a whole-listic practitioner skilled in nutrition to find your sweet spot.
Another benefit of whole food sources of nutrients is the lowered likelihood of toxicity with larger, therapeutic doses.
When We Need Extra Whole Food Vitamin C
The short answer is when the body is under stress or is ill. Most of us have inadequate levels due to chronic stress levels and chronic illnesses, and our bodies use up Vitamin C like crazy when trying to heal and repair.
Some Food Sources High in Vitamin C That Blow Oranges Out of the Water
camu camu (1 cup = 2432.5 mg, 3243% RDA^)*
acerola cherry, raw (1 cup = 1644 mg, 2192% RDA)**
rose hips (1 cup = 544 mg, 725% RDA)**
oranges (1 cup = 97.5 mg, 130% RDA)
^ USDA recommendation for women over 19 years of age
Photo Credit: Xurble, Michael Weber photography
Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.
When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.