Maintain optimal immune health with vitamin C
When it comes to maintaining your immunity, nothing beats the health-supporting powers of vitamin C.
Vitamin C, also known by its other names, ascorbic acid and ascorbate, is primarily known as a powerful antioxidant, which means it supports the body’s immune system by helping fight off free radicals. In addition, vitamin C has been linked to an array of other benefits, such as supporting good heart health and the production of the body’s other natural antioxidants, as well as supporting optimal cognitive function. 
Vitamin C, just like most vitamins, is considered an essential nutrient. Essential nutrients cannot be naturally produced by the body and must be obtained from external sources, such as whole foods and dietary supplements.
It must be noted that not all supplements containing the popular vitamin are created and formulated the same way – some are inherently more potent and pure. According to experts, this is because of “bioavailability,” meaning how much of a nutrient is actually absorbed and used by the body.
As a rule, vitamins and minerals – both categorized as micronutrients – have low bioavailability, meaning they are not readily absorbed and used by the body. The opposite holds true for macronutrients such as proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, which are highly bioavailable.
This means that, in order to experience all its health-supporting benefits, you must have a constant supply of bioavailable vitamin C.
Fast facts on vitamin C
First isolated by scientist Albert Szent-Györgyi in the 1930s after building on the research of Norwegian biochemists Axel Holst and Alfred Fröhlich, vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients needed by the human body.
However, people tend to get too little of vitamin C, especially those who follow an extremely unhealthy diet.
Vitamin C, aside from its generally low bioavailability, is water-soluble, meaning it is not stored in the body the way fat-soluble vitamins are. Because of this, it has to be consumed on a regular basis, either through fresh, whole foods or dietary supplements, to avoid developing any deficiencies.
The importance of vitamin C is even underscored in the federal government’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which describes a healthy eating pattern as one that includes vitamin C-rich foods such as fresh fruits and homemade fruit juices, as well as fresh vegetables. 
Also, despite its relatively recent introduction to mainstream science, the importance of vitamin C, as it turns out, has long been known -- since ancient times.
In fact, the Ebers Papyrus, an ancient document dated to around 1550 BC, gives an account of a condition whose symptoms are quite similar to that of vitamin C deficiency. What’s even more telling is its natural remedy: the consumption of onions, which are known to contain vitamin C. 
What makes vitamin C your immune system’s best friend?*
Vitamin C works as an antioxidant, which helps the body fight off** oxidative stress and damage caused by constant exposure to harmful molecules from the environment known as free radicals. 
However, its immune-supporting properties don’t stop there. The vitamin – naturally found in many fruits and vegetables – has also been observed to support the body in fending off many other external threats.
What are the signs of vitamin C deficiency?*
Vitamin C deficiency, while rare, can be quite problematic, especially since the vitamin is linked to so many important bodily processes. 
Signs of vitamin C deficiency include:
- General weakness
- Poor wound healing
- Irritability and anxiousness
- Poor blood circulation
According to data provided by Merck Manuals, those who are at risk of vitamin C deficiency include:
- People with poor diets
- People suffering from alcoholism
- People who are heavy smokers
- People who need to undergo dialysis treatments
- The elderly
What else can I get from vitamin C?*
While vitamin C is best known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system, it is also known for other impressive health benefits,** such as:
- Vitamin C helps maintain optimal cardiovascular function * – Studies have shown that vitamin C supports healthy blood pressure levels already within the normal range. In addition, several studies have shown that taking vitamin C supplements can support healthy blood circulation. Vitamin C has also been shown to help maintain healthy levels of blood cholesterol already within the normal range.  
- Vitamin C supports healthy cognitive function* – Vitamin C has been known to support healthy cognitive function. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can help protect the central nervous system from oxidative stress.   
- Vitamin C supports optimal bone health* – According to researchers, vitamin C plays an important role in healthy bones. This is because vitamin C is essential to the formation of collagen, the foundation on which bone mineralization is built. Collagen is also key to having healthy and youthful looking skin. 
What are the best natural sources of vitamin C?*
As with all nutrients, the best way to get your fill of this immune-supporting vitamin is by eating whole foods, such as fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.
Some of the best dietary sources of vitamin C include:
- Red bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Green peas
However, before you start picking up produce at the grocery store, you should note that not all fruits and vegetables are of high quality in terms of nutrition: Some produce is laced with chemical fertilizers and some are even straight-up genetically modified organisms.
If you want to be sure about the quality of produce that you’re going to consume, go to your local farmers’ market instead. Not only are you going to be assured of getting good deals, you’ll also pick up produce that are farm-fresh and organic.
That said, you can get your vitamin C fix in a more convenient – and practical – way, such as Chief Originals® Non-GMO Vitamin C, which is made from a purified, highly bioavailable form of premium vitamin C known as L-ascorbic acid, and then packaged in capsule form.
If you want to start experiencing more of the impressive health benefits of vitamin C, here are two easy recipes that you can try:
RECIPE: Super Vitamin C Smoothie
Making smoothies is one of the easiest ways to incorporate vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet: All you have to do is take fresh fruits and veggies, some liquid – this recipe uses flax milk to keep things vegan-friendly – and blitz them up to make one tall glass of liquid nutrition.
This recipe, adapted from The Pretty Bee, is a tasty and healthy smoothie that’s filled with the healthy goodness of tropical favorites like mangoes, pineapples and bananas. Despite not having any added sweeteners, this is already quite a sweet drink, which makes it appealing, even to kids. 
- 2 cups frozen organic mangoes
- 2 cups frozen organic peaches
- 1 cup frozen organic pineapple
- 1 cup frozen organic banana
- 1 cup prepared FlaxJoy™ Organic Instant Flax Milk Powder
- 1 Tbsp Chief Originals 100% MCT Oil
- 1/4 cup organic blackberries
- Health Ranger Select Organic Hulled Hemp Seed, to taste
- Place the frozen mango, peaches, pineapple, and banana in the blender. Let the frozen fruits sit for a few minutes so that they soften slightly and become easier to blend.
- Add the prepared flax milk and the MCT oil and blend on high speed until very smooth.
- Pour into a glass and top with blackberries, hemp seeds, or anything else you desire!
RECIPE: Strawberry-Bell Pepper Smoothie Bowl
True story: Sweet red bell peppers have a much higher vitamin C content than oranges. Just how high? Well, a sweet red bell pepper typically has 209 mg of vitamin C compared to an orange’s 51 mg.
For this recipe, which we adapted from The Natural Nurturer, we blend together several superfoods such as plump juicy strawberries, bananas and red bell peppers to make one lovely – and vitamin-packed – smoothie. 
- 1 ½ cups organic strawberries, frozen
- 1 sweet organic red bell pepper washed and deseeded
- 1 large banana, frozen
- 2 Tbsp raw almond butter
- 1 cup prepared FlaxJoy™ Organic Instant Flax Milk Powder
- 1 Tbsp Health Ranger Select Organic Pea Protein Powder
- 1 Tbsp Health Ranger Select Organic Quinoa
- 1 cup sliced fresh, organic strawberries
- 1 cup sliced bananas
- Place the frozen strawberries, red bell pepper and banana in the blender. Let the frozen ingredients thaw for a few minutes so they become easier to blend.
- Add the prepared flax milk, almond butter and the pea protein powder and blend on high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Pour into a bowl and top with the quinoa, sliced fresh strawberries and sliced bananas.
- Serve immediately.
Do you know of other ways that vitamin C-rich foods and supplements can support your health? Do you want to share other delicious recipes that use vitamin C-rich foods? Let us know in the comments below!
Share this article with your friends and tell us how Chief Originals® Non-GMO Vitamin C has positively impacted your overall health and wellness!
**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.