If you are looking for a blog that explores the importance of foods with iron, vitamin C and other nutrients to improve health, look no further. We’ll demystify the topic of nutrition and make it easy for you to understand how food can be used to improve your own health or that of your loved ones.
Iron and vitamin C: the perfect pair?
Consuming iron and vitamin C together may be better than alone, increasing absorption of non-heme (plant) sources of iron.
Iron is a vital nutrient that contributes to the correct functioning of the human body. It is found in red blood cells and transports oxygen throughout the body through the blood stream. Additionally, it removes waste such as carbon dioxide, transporting it to the lungs to be exhaled.
Iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. It is most common among young children and pregnant women due to rapid growth, girls/women of child bearing age due to menstruation and vegetarians. Signs of iron deficiency include fatigue, pale skin and fingernails, weakness, dizziness, frequent headaches and an inflamed tongue (glossitis). However, these symptoms only arise when iron deficiency has reached the classification of anemia; where the iron stores have become so depleted there is not enough iron containing red blood cells to transport the oxygen the body needs. It is important to get iron levels tested regularly in order to catch a deficiency before it progresses to anemia.
Iron is found in foods such as meats, beans (black, pinto, kidney, soy and lentils), dark green leafy vegetables and fortified breakfast cereals. Iron originating from meats (heme iron) and plant sources (non-heme iron) are absorbed differently; the body does not absorb the plant sources as well. It has been found that vitamin C can increase the amount of iron that the body absorbs from plant sources, the non-heme iron. Vitamin C is found in foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, green and red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kiwis.
Try pairing the mineral iron with vitamin C to have maximal absorption from non-heme (plant) sources. Breakfast is a great time to consume this dynamic duo! Add sliced strawberries to oatmeal, or have a glass of orange juice alongside a bowl of iron fortified cereal. To be considered a good source of a mineral, a food must contain 20 percent or more of the recommended daily allowance. Take a look at the nutrition label of your cereal to ensure it contains enough iron. Many contain up to 100 percent!
While it is always preferable to obtain nutrients from real food, the source of the vitamin C does not impact how well the iron is absorbed. For example, vitamin C obtained from eating a grapefruit will have the same impact on increasing iron absorption as that of vitamin C coming from a multi-vitamin supplement.
3 TASTY WAYS TO SQUEEZE MORE VITAMIN C INTO YOUR LIFE
Are you craving more wellness in your diet? Incorporating more vitamin C into your routine can help boost your immune system, offer collagen support, aid iron absorption, and so much more! Adding this powerful, antioxidant-rich vitamin to your diet is an easy step to a healthier lifestyle.
Sometimes getting enough vitamin C in our diets can be a struggle; it can be daunting to think about eating mountains of citrus fruit. Thankfully, there are plenty easy of ways to incorporate more vitamin C into our diets including delicious cold-pressed juice.
Here are out top 3 ways to squeeze more vitamin C into your life.
1. EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES RAW
When vegetables and fruits are cooked some of the vital nutrients, including vitamin C, get stripped from the food. By leaving them raw you’re ensuring that all of the vitamins and nutrients are getting into your body.
Try adding raw vegetables or fruits to salads or add a sauce or dip and have them as a side with lunch or dinner.
2. ALWAYS HAVE VITAMIN-C RICH FOODS AVAILABLE
Try keeping a bowl of vitamin-C rich foods in your kitchen that you can easily snack on. Fruits like oranges, red bell pepper, mangos, broccoli, grapefruit, or kiwi are all tasty and high in vitamin C, which makes them an easy choice.
For quick grab-and-go options, make sure you always have a selection of fresh cold-pressed juice in the fridge that you can take with you to work or to run errands. Having a well-stocked fridge means you can keep on track with your goals and won’t have to think about where your Vitamin C is coming from.
3. DRINK MORE COLD-PRESSED JUICE
100% cold-pressed juice that is filled with vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to increase your vitamin C intake.
Meinhardt Fine Foods is proudly selling bottles of 100% cold-pressed juice made by Chasers Juice in British Columbia. For a boost in Vitamin C try a bottle of Orange, Turmeric Sunrise, Cold K, or Grapefruit Juice. They’re made with ingredients that are pure, authentic, and delicious.
Top Foods High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also called L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is an essential part of your diet. Although some animals can produce their own vitamin C, humans have to get it from other sources.
Vitamin C is found in many fresh fruits and vegetables, but can also be made into dietary supplements. Research suggests that eating foods rich in vitamin C supports healthy function of your immune system, maintains your bones, teeth, and cartilage, and helps your body heal wounds.
Why You Need Vitamin C
Vitamin C is involved in the development and function of various body parts. It helps your body produce essential compounds (collagen L-carnitine and neurotransmitters) that help your nerves, heart, brain, and muscles function and your body produce energy.
Vitamin C also helps restore antioxidants in your body. Antioxidants prevent cell damage that can lead to diseases. It also helps your body metabolise protein and absorb iron.
Adults aged 19 to 64 need about 40 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day. If you eat the right foods, you can easily get your daily value from your regular diet.
Although vitamin C deficiency is relatively rare, it can lead to the disease called scurvy. Symptoms of scurvy include:
- Irritability and sadness
- Severe joint of leg pain
- Swollen, bleeding gums
- Red or blue spots on your skin
- Your skin bruising easily
On the other hand, too much Vitamin C may cause stomach pain and other digestion issues. However, overdose of the vitamin is not a concern as it is not stored in your body.
Some health benefits of Vitamin C are:
Vitamin C is needed for the biosynthesis of collagen, which is a protein that is an essential component of connective tissue. Because of this, Vitamin C plays an important role in wound healing.
Vitamin C contributes to immune defense against disease and infections. Vitamin C deficiency impairs your immune system and increases your risk of getting infections.
Maintenance of Bones, Teeth, and Cartilage
Vitamin C helps repair and maintain healthy bones, teeth, and cartilage (the rubbery material that covers the ends of bones).
Vitamin C might also reduce the risk of cartilage loss in people with osteoarthritis.
Foods With Vitamin C
Cantaloupe is a rich source of vitamin C, with 202.6 mg of the vitamin in a medium-sized melon, and 25.3 mg in one slice.
- Citrus Fruits
Raw citrus fruits are very high in vitamin C. One medium orange provides 70 mg of Vitamin C, while one grapefruit provides about 56 mg. Citrus fruit juices contain even higher amounts of vitamin C, with a 225 mg glass of orange juice providing around 125 mg of vitamin C.
Surprisingly, a cup of broccoli contains as much vitamin C as an orange. Broccoli is a good source of other vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Red Cabbage
Red cabbage, also called purple cabbage, is high in vitamin C and low in calories. A half-cup contains only 14 calories but almost half of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It is also a rich source of fiber and other vitamins.
One serving of kiwi contains most of your recommended daily intake. Studies have also shown that adding kiwi to a marginal vitamin C diet largely improves plasma vitamin C levels.
- Bell Peppers
All varieties of peppers are low in calories and high in nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Bell peppers have more nutrients than other peppers because they are kept on the vine longer. Red bell peppers have almost 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C than green bell peppers.