Food With Vitamin E And C


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Food With Vitamin E And C

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that it dissolves in water and is delivered to the body’s tissues but is not well stored, so it must be taken daily through food or supplements. Even before its discovery in 1932, nutrition experts recognized that something in citrus fruits could prevent scurvy, a disease that killed as many as two million sailors between 1500 and 1800. [1]

Vitamin C plays a role in controlling infections and healing wounds, and is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize harmful free radicals. It is needed to make collagen, a fibrous protein in connective tissue that is weaved throughout various systems in the body: nervous, immune, bone, cartilage, blood, and others. The vitamin helps make several hormones and chemical messengers used in the brain and nerves. [2]

While megadosing on this vitamin is not uncommon, how much is an optimum amount needed to keep you healthy, and could taking too much be counterproductive?

Recommended Amounts

  • RDA:  The Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults 19 years and older is 90 mg daily for men and 75 mg for women. For pregnancy and lactation, the amount increases to 85 mg and 120 mg daily, respectively. Smoking can deplete vitamin C levels in the body, so an additional 35 mg beyond the RDA is suggested for smokers.
  • UL:The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is the maximum daily intake unlikely to cause harmful effects on health. The UL for vitamin C is 2000 mg daily; taking beyond this amount may promote gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. Only in specific scenarios, such as under medical supervision or in controlled clinical trials, amounts higher than the UL are sometimes used. [2]

Vitamin C absorption and megadosing

The intestines have a limited ability to absorb vitamin C. Studies have shown that absorption of vitamin C decreases to less than 50% when taking amounts greater than 1000 mg. In generally healthy adults, megadoses of vitamin C are not toxic because once the body’s tissues become saturated with vitamin C, absorption decreases and any excess amount will be excreted in urine. However, adverse effects are possible with intakes greater than 3000 mg daily, including reports of diarrhea, increased formation of kidney stones in those with existing kidney disease or history of stones, increased levels of uric acid (a risk factor for gout), and increased iron absorption and overload in individuals with hemochromatosis, a hereditary condition causing excessive iron in the blood.

Absorption does not differ if obtaining the vitamin from food or supplements. Vitamin C is sometimes given as an injection into a vein (intravenous) so higher amounts can directly enter the bloodstream. This is usually only seen in medically monitored settings, such as to improve the quality of life in those with advanced stage cancers or in controlled clinical studies. Though clinical trials have not shown high-dose intravenous vitamin C to produce negative side effects, it should be administered only with close monitoring and avoided in those with kidney disease and hereditary conditions like hemochromatosis and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.

Vitamin C is involved with numerous metabolic reactions in the body, and obtaining the RDA or slightly higher may be protective against certain disease states. However, a health benefit of taking larger amounts has not been found in people who are generally healthy and well-nourished. Cell studies have shown that at very high concentrations, vitamin C can switch roles and act as a tissue-damaging pro-oxidant instead of an antioxidant. [2,3]Its effects in humans at very high doses well beyond the RDA are unclear, and can lead to increased risk of kidney stones and digestive upset.

Vitamin C and Health

There is interest in the antioxidant role of vitamin C, as research has found the vitamin to neutralize free radical molecules, which in excess can damage cells. Vitamin C is also involved in the body’s immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells. Does this translate to protection from certain diseases?Chronic diseasesAge-related vision diseasesThe common cold

Food Sources

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of this vitamin.

  • Citrus (oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit)
  • Bell peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)
  • White potatoes

Food With Lots Of Vitamin E

These eight foods are the best natural sources of vitamin E:

1. Wheat Germ Oil

At 20 milligrams per tablespoon or 135% of your daily value, wheat germ oil is the richest natural vitamin E source. It can be used as a substitute for most other cooking oils, although cooking it with high heat can reduce its vitamin content. Other oils like hazelnut, almond, and safflower oils are good sources of vitamin E as well — but contain about a quarter of the amount present in wheat germ oil. 

2. Almonds

One ounce of almonds — about 23 nuts — contains 7.3 milligrams of vitamin E. While helping you meet your daily requirement, studies also link almonds to a variety of health benefits, including reducing your risk of obesity and heart disease. 

3. Sunflower Seeds

Most seeds are great sources of vitamin E, but sunflower seeds are particular powerhouses. One ounce added to a smoothie, cereal, or salad has 7.4 milligrams of vitamin E, half of your day’s requirement. Sunflower oil only has about one-third of the vitamin E content of whole seeds, but it is still a great source of the vitamin. 

4. Pine Nuts

Although almonds are the nut highest in vitamin E content, pine nuts also add a significant amount to your diet, at about 3 milligrams per two-tablespoon serving. While expensive, pine nuts are often included in pesto, baked goods, and spreads. 

5. Avocado

Avocados are a rich source of many nutrients, like potassium, omega-3s, and vitamins C and K. Half an avocado also contains up to 20% of your vitamin E requirement. Mangos and kiwis also have vitamin E, but they have slightly less vitamin E content than avocados. All three fruits are great options, however, especially for people with nut allergies or sensitivities. 

6. Peanut Butter

Peanuts and peanut butter are high in vitamin E as well: you can get about 18% of your daily value in a two-tablespoon serving. For the best health benefits, make sure to choose a natural product without added preservatives or sugars or make your own peanut butter at home. 

7. Fish

Fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential nutrients for both physical and cognitive health. Research shows that, in addition to its own individual health benefits, vitamin E can also help protect and promote omega 3’s effects in your body. Fish high in vitamin E include Atlantic salmon at 4 milligrams per fillet and rainbow trout at 2 milligrams per fillet. 

8. Red Bell Peppers

Sweet pepper varieties have a range of nutrients, and research shows that red bell peppers’ vitamin and mineral content is especially potent. A medium raw pepper has around 2 milligrams of vitamin E, although cooking it reduces this content by about half.

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