• Jacquie Harper

Crucial Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports the body during times of sickness, especially colds and the flu. But this amazing nutrient is crucial for many functions to support optimal health. As a water-soluble vitamin (excess is peed out), it needs to be consumed every day. Humans cannot make vitamin C so we must get it from our food. However, the more we eat, the less is actually absorbed. What that means is approximately 70%–90% of vitamin C is absorbed at moderate intakes of 75-125 mg/day. In doses above 1 g (1000 mg) absorption falls to less than 50%, with the remainder being excreted in urine. Therefore, eating vitamin C-rich foods throughout the day is ideal. When taking high-dose supplements, split the dose.

Major Functions of Vitamin C:

  • Powerful antioxidant – reduces free radical damage (caused by excess sun exposure, toxins and pollution) that results in inflammation in the body and can lead to degenerative diseases

  • Important for collagen production (elastic tissue that makes up skin, blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and cartilage) to decrease wrinkles and other signs of premature aging (needed in conjunction with iron and protein)

  • Required for the manufacture of neurotransmitters – brain chemicals like dopamine, tryptophan and serotonin

  • Essential for making hormones including sex, thyroid and adrenal hormones

  • Assists with the absorption of some minerals (e.g., plant-based iron and copper)

  • Supports immune function for colds and flu, infections, wound healing, hepatitis C

  • Helps to reduce histamine release in conditions like asthma and hay fever

  • Promotes healthy teeth, gums, bones and joints

  • Assists with cholesterol breakdown, converting it to bile acids to be excreted by the body

  • Useful in the liver for detoxification of: drugs (e.g., aspirin, oral contraceptive pill, smoking, proton pump inhibitors), heavy metals (e.g., lead, mercury and arsenic), chemicals in the environment/food and radiation

  • Required in higher amounts when there is increased physical stress on the body (e.g., allergies, infection, burns, high stress, smoking, surgery, cancer, chronic and inflammatory illnesses)

  • Needed in greater amounts in the elderly, pregnancy/lactation, growth and development and with athletes.

Are you getting enough vitamin C?

Recommended daily intakes are 75-125 mg for adults. Half the dose for children. Include vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet daily. Keeping in mind, when food containing vitamin C is cut, it oxidizes and therefore loses much of its vitamin C content. Other things that destroy it are boiling, light and heat – so raw is best! Check out my delicious recipe below.

Vitamin C rich Food Amount Vitamin C (mg)

Blackcurrants 1 cup 202 mg

Guava 1 medium 180 mg

Blackcurrent cordial (diluted) 1 cup 180 mg

Red pepper (raw) 1 cup 174 mg

Kiwifruit (gold) 1 large 130 mg

Orange juice, commercial 1 cup 124 mg

Grapefruit juice 1 cup 94 mg

Papaya 1 cup 86 mg

Strawberries/ Green Pepper 1 cup 82 mg

Kiwi fruit (green) 1 large 70 mg

Oranges 1 fruit 68 mg

Cabbage (lightly cooked) ½ cup 60 mg

Broccoli (steamed) ½ cup 60 mg

Cauliflower (steamed) ½ cup 50 mg

Green leafy vegetables ½ cup 30 mg

Tomato 1 medium 25 mg

Other good sources include asparagus, parsley, sweet potato, pineapple

Zesty Lemon Treats

(makes 20-24 balls)


1 ½ cups raw cashews

6 Medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 cups desiccated coconut

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Gently heat the coconut oil, honey and dates.

Add the lemon zest and juice.

Then place the wet ingredients and the dry in to a food processor and whiz until fairly smooth.

Roll into balls and cover in extra coconut.

Keep refrigerated or freeze.

If you would like to give your health a boost - make an appointment at to see me.

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