Taz Bhatia, M.D., is a functional medicine doctor, licensed acupuncturist, and the author of a number of books, including the newly released megahit, Super Woman Rx. She’s also one of the lauded instructors in our first-of-its-kind Advanced Functional Nutrition Program, where we bring the best minds in nutrition together to dive deep into the healing power of food. You can find out more about Dr. Taz, the rest of the faculty (including groundbreaking doctors like Mark Hyman and Frank Lipman), and this revolutionary training here.
With all the fountain-of-youth fads around, most people don’t think to look at the plain old goodness of vitamin C, but getting enough of this nutrient is a powerful way to put yourself on the fast track to slow aging. Most people underestimate it, but vitamin C deficiency can cause rapidly increasing signs and conditions of aging. Plus, humans cannot manufacture large amounts of vitamin C on their own. Signs of deficiency include easy bruising, low iron levels, and bleeding gums. Consider the following benefits of vitamin C.
1. It rejuvenates your skin.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that clears toxins out of your body to keep you looking youthful. This nutrient also helps your body produce collagen, an amino acid that forms connective fibers necessary for healthy, radiant skin.
2. It strengthens your immune system.
Lack of vitamin C also hits your immune system hard because it is the main nutrient that helps keep your body’s disease-fighting antibodies up and battling viral and bacterial infections so you recover faster.
3. It kills cancer cells.
High doses of vitamin C have been shown to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors, according to recent research.
4. It reduces brain fog.
Another benefit of vitamin C is that it boosts amino acids that improve mental clarity.
What are the best food sources of vitamin C?
It’s easy to get your daily vitamin C from the right foods such as citrus fruits including oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruits and other fruits such as strawberries, kiwifruit, pineapple, cantaloupe, raspberries, and papaya. When you’re looking to citrus for your vitamin C, remember to use the zest and flesh, as peels contain five to 10 times more vitamins than the fruit itself.
You can also get vitamin C in leafy greens, red and orange bell peppers, carrots, and summer and winter squash. If you want to front-load your day with a vitamin-C-packed smoothie, this is a great one to try.
How you know when it’s time to supplement
I recommend that you aim to get two grams or 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day. I do add 2 to 3 grams of buffered ascorbic acid to my daily smoothies for an extra boost of vitamin C. Another option for supercharging this anti-aging nutrient is to make an appointment for an IV infusion. I do many IV vitamin C infusions in my practice to help quickly build up your body’s disease- and inflammation-fighting system. Infusions can help reduce fatigue, illnesses, allergies, heart disease, and more. Many of my patients come for infusions who have chronic diseases or conditions, are preparing to travel, or as part of an anti-aging regimen.
Or you could just eat vitamin-packed pumpkin pie for breakfast! And remember, if you want to learn more about hormones and aging from Dr. Taz, be sure to check out mbg’s new functional nutrition program!