Vitamin C is a naturally occurring water soluble vitamin found in different kinds of foods around us. Vitamin C is obtained through food or in dietary supplements since it is not naturally produced by the body. It is essential to the human body for a variety of reasons: it aids in the healthy functioning of the adrenal gland, in the growth and repair of tissues, and also promotes healthy gums. It is also a great detoxifying agent, which makes it ideal for fighting cancers since it kills free radicals, although that has not been conclusively proven yet. At any rate, it is known to fight illnesses by boosting the immune system of the body, and aids in the fast healing of the body in case of wounds and burns.
However, like everything else, Vitamin C can cause side effects if taken in immoderate amounts, and at inappropriate times. It is important to know when and how much of this essential vitamin should be taken.
With a big meal
There is never a really wrong time to take vitamin C. It is best to divide the dosage, however, preferably into two parts. Each time, take them with a heavy meal, like breakfast and lunch. Avoid taking it during the night because your body will react slowest to any supplement intake during this period. If you do need to take the dose at one go, however, that is perfectly alright, since any excess amount will be flushed out by the system. Always kick back the pills with some room temperature water; too hot or too cold will kill the effect.
If a deficiency occurs
According to dietitians, an adult needs approximately 75 to 90 mg of vitamin C, or a whole medium sized orange, on a daily basis. However, if you are a smoker, you need more of this since smoking makes it difficult for the body to absorb the vitamin efficiently. This is also true for people who are dependent on drugs and/or alcohol, and also for those who regularly take steroids, oral contraceptives, or antidepressants. Vitamin C deficiency is common in such people since the vitamin does not work on them as well as it should, so they need to take supplements along with vitamin C-enriched food.
When on a diet
If you are on a diet, it is best to include as many foods with vitamin C in your diet as possible. Fad diets that exclude a great many items can lead to sever vitamin C deficiency, which will make it difficult to recover from side effects from your diet, if any. Include vitamin C-enriched fruits and vegetables, and do not omit the supplements from your daily meal plan either. This is also true for people undergoing treatment for certain illnesses, such as cancer.
Citrus fruits, green vegetables, and berries are very rich sources of vitamin C. These include oranges, lemons, asparagus, mangoes, spinach, kale, radishes, peppermint, fennel seeds, melons, avocados, broccoli, and grapefruit, among many others.
Also read: Best time to take Vitamin D
Depending on your requirement, you can include one or may of these food items in your daily diet. Most of these are available in most parts of the world; even if some are not available where you live, you can always obtain your vitamin C through the means of supplements.