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The heart is a critical organ in the body. If your heart stops, it’s not long before you do. As such, the body needs a lot of nutrients to keep the heart functioning properly. When you’re deficient in specific vitamins or minerals, the organs and processes that rely on those nutrients cannot function as needed, and your body suffers. The opposite happens when you supply those depleted nutrients – the body’s functions improve, and you begin to feel better. These are the miracles Wellness Way practitioners see frequently. One of the critical nutrients for the heart is Vitamin C. 

What is Vitamin C? 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant needed for many organs and processes of the body. It is a free radical scavenger that protects against oxidative stress. [1] It’s also involved in collagen, amino acid, and neurotransmitter production and helps regulate many other metabolic processes. This nutrient helps regenerate other antioxidants like glutathione and supports immune function and wound healing. 

Like many other nutrients, you need to eat enough vitamin C daily because your body doesn’t make it on its own. Your body will feel the effects if you don’t include enough in your diet. 

Deficiency Symptoms 

Some symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include bleeding gums, frequent bruising, or recurrent infections due to its wound-healing properties. Scurvy is a well-known condition caused by this deficiency. Anemia also could be a sign of a deficiency, sometimes due to scurvy. [2]

Scurvy can also result in hair and tooth loss, bone fragility, high blood pressure, and heart disease. [3] It’s also worth noting that other micronutrient deficiencies, absorption issues, and a poor-quality diet often occur with vitamin C deficiency. [4][5]

Your body needs this nutrient to function properly. However, it is more complex than just a deficiency, and it is possible to have too much of a good thing. 

Vitamin C Excess Symptoms 

Like serotonin syndrome, too much of a good thing can result in negative repercussions for the body. When you take too much, you may start to notice the following:  

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Stomach cramps or bloating 
  • Fatigue or sleepiness 
  • Insomnia 
  • Headache 
  • Skin flushing 
  • Heartburn 

Clearly, taking lots of vitamin C isn’t the answer. Unlike pharmaceuticals, vitamins and other nutrients don’t force the body to do anything. So, taking more will not necessarily result in a better outcome. As one study reported, the risk of developing hypertension didn’t substantially change for those who had an intake of at least 1500 mg/day compared to those taking in less than 250 mg/day. [6] 

That’s because the heart only needs so much. If you give the body too much, it won’t continue to improve function – it will flush it out because it doesn’t need it. That’s why some symptoms of an excess of this nutrient are vomiting and diarrhea. The body treats the excess like it treats food waste – it’s expelling it. 

How to Include Vitamin C in Your Diet  

The first food scientists successfully isolated this nutrient from was lemon juice. That was back in 1924. In 1928, they isolated it from cabbage, paprika, and the adrenal glands of some animals. [3] While many people think of oranges and other citrus fruits as the best way to get vitamin C, they aren’t your only food options.  

Some other not-as-well-known foods high in vitamin C are: 

  • Kakadu plumsThese plums have 100x more vitamin C than oranges. At 484% of the Daily Value, they’re also the food with the highest concentration of this nutrient. Fresh Kakadu plums aren’t available in the USA, but you can find them powdered to add to smoothies. 
  • Acerola Cherries – Acerola cherries are also anti-inflammatory and loaded with polyphenols. These are another excellent superfood powder you can add to smoothies.  
  • Camu camu This is another superfood we talk about often. Camu camu berries come from the rainforests of South America and are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are rich in vitamin C and may reduce blood pressure.
  • Chili peppers – Just one green chili pepper provides over 100% of your daily requirements.
  • Guavas – Studies show that guavas also lower blood pressure. [7] People will also say they lower cholesterol levels, but that isn’t as important for health as people think.  
  • KaleKale is also high in Vitamin K. 
  • Broccoli – Broccoli is known for its benefits as a cruciferous vegetable, but it’s also a good source of vitamin C.  
  • Brussels sprouts – Brussel sprouts are also a good source of vitamin C. However, keep in mind that the vitamin in question is destroyed by heat. Raw Brussels slaw is a great way to keep the benefits of this nutrient. 

While Vitamin C is necessary for cardiovascular health and supports many other processes, remember that your body can only take so much. If you eat a few guavas, you don’t need to eat a bag of Brussels sprouts, too. It’s hard to overdose on this vitamin through what you eat. However, if you add a bunch of concentrated powders to a smoothie, don’t be surprised if your skin starts to flush or you get diarrhea. 

The Wellness Way Can Help!

As with any nutrient, the amount you should take depends on how much you need and are currently getting. When buying any of the foods above, look for organic. To get your nutrient levels tested, contact a Wellness Way clinic today! For more lifestyle tips, subscribe to our newsletter.  


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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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