Vitamin C for an AIP Diet: Which Foods Are Best?
Now, more than ever, it’s critical to support your immune system with the nutrients it needs. And vitamin C tops the list of what you require EVERY DAY for optimal health. It not only supports your immune system, it also has benefits for your entire body, including your eyes and skin. Plus, it supports vascular health, circulation, and balanced blood pressure.
Yet getting enough can be a challenge. Did you know your body not only can’t produce vitamin C, it also can’t store what you consume? That’s why I recommend supplementing your autoimmune diet with my Liposomal Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an unstable, water-soluble vitamin that has a poor rate of intestinal absorption, meaning it’s very hard for your body to use what you do eat. Plus, this critical micronutrient is quickly excreted from your body. This makes it a challenge to ensure you have proper levels in your body.1
So, how can you guarantee you are getting plenty of this important vitamin? A healthy diet is important, yet it can be hard to eat enough vitamin-c rich fruits and vegetables on a daily basis — especially if you follow an autoimmune diet — to ensure you get the necessary amount.
That’s because some key fruits and vegetables, such as oranges and peppers, are full of vitamin C, yet can cause problems for those of us who follow an autoimmune diet. The good news is that there are many other foods you can enjoy in addition to my Liposomal Vitamin C.
Why Is Vitamin C so Important?
Vitamin C, also called L-ascorbic acid, plays a vital role in maintaining optimal health. In fact, it is critical for the development, growth, and repair of all your body’s tissues.2
Vitamin C is a vital aspect of growth and repair in your body.
Here are some of the key reasons why this nutrient is so beneficial to your health, especially for those with autoimmune issues.
Vitamin C can support your body in scooping up damaging free-radicals from toxic chemicals and pollutants that can lead to serious health conditions as well as premature aging. Of course, this is particularly important for those following an autoimmune diet.
2. Collagen Boost
Collagen, the glue that holds your body together, is necessary for healthy gut, hair, nails, skin, bones, and joints among other things. Your body requires vitamin C for the synthesis of this crucial peptide. Of course, supporting gut health is a priority for anyone with autoimmune issues.
3. Eye Health
Vitamin C supports your body in fending off macular degeneration, a key factor in vision loss.
These are just a few key roles this micronutrient plays in your health. it also aids in the optimal absorption of iron, supports wound healing, and augments the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Vitamin C-Rich Foods to Avoid on an AIP Diet
Unfortunately, some of the “go-to” foods for vitamin C can be problematic for those following an AIP diet. These include:
1. Citrus Fruits
Although citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, tangerines and mandarins, are rich in vitamin C, they’re also rich in histamines which can trigger your body’s natural immune response. For those who have completed an elimination diet, citrus can be reintroduced if tolerated well.
Tomatoes, all forms of peppers, eggplant, and white potatoes are all in the nightshade family, which includes the deadly belladonna plant that contains a poison called atropine. While tomatoes and peppers are good sources of C, all nightshades contain alkaloids that contribute to inflammation and are not well tolerated by those with autoimmunity. Furthermore, tomatoes are rich in histamines and eggplant can provoke the release of histamines already in your body.
3. Non-Citrus Fruits
Strawberries and pineapple are rich in vitamin c, yet are best avoided by those with autoimmunity. That’s because both of these fruits promote the release of your body’s existing histamines. You can learn more about histamine intolerance here.
Vitamin C-Rich Foods to Enjoy on an AIP Diet
Listed below are my top 10 great food sources of this critical nutrient that won’t derail an elimination diet or worsen inflammation.
1. Avocado (18 mg/medium avocado)
Avocados actually help lower cholesterol while supplying plenty of heart-healthy vitamin C, monounsaturated fatty acids, and fiber.
2. Blueberries (9 mg/cup)
Blueberries contain a host of other antioxidants. Together, they support heart health, bone strength, skin health, blood pressure, diabetes management, cancer prevention, and even mental health.3
3. Broccoli (81.2 mg/cup)
Broccoli is high in vitamin C and is also an abundant source of calcium and plant proteins.
4. Brussels Sprouts (74.8 mg/cup)
Brussel sprouts are rich in folate, vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, fiber, and potassium as well as a surprisingly large amount of vitamin C.
5. Cauliflower (51.6 mg/cup)
The fiber in cauliflower can enhance weight loss and digestion. It also contains choline that is essential for learning and memory, in addition to the critical vitamin.4
6. Kale (130 mg/cup)
Kale is packed with more vitamin C than most other leafy greens. This powerhouse also has large amounts of vitamins A, K, and B6 and C as well as the minerals calcium, copper, potassium, and manganese.
7. Kiwi (64 mg/cup)
The little kiwi not only packs in C, it also contains potassium and high amounts of zinc. In fact, kiwi has more potassium than a banana. Potassium can help to combat muscle cramps. The zinc content can help to improve your sense of smell and taste.
8. Mango (60.1 mg/medium mango)
In addition to vitamin C, mangoes contain enzymes that support digestion of protein. They are also high in fiber, which keeps your digestive tract working well.5
9. Spinach (28.1mg/cup)
Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrition! It contains zinc, nutrients, as well as antioxidants, flavonoids, and carotenoids. It also contains iron and protein.6
10. Watermelon (67 mg/cup)
Watermelon not only also contains vitamins A and C and potassium, it also provides hydration,7 making it perfect for summer!
4 Reasons a Vitamin C Supplement is Critical on an Autoimmune Diet
The US RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin C for adult women is 75 mg and 90 mg for males. Yet I recommend 1000 mg per day! Why such a difference? There are four important reasons.
1. Optimal Health
The RDA is just a recommendation for the minimum amount you need to avoid disease, not the optimal amount for your best health.
2. Reduced Nutrients
Because of modern farming practices, the nutritive value of our produce is not what it used to be. This is partly because the nutrients in the soil are being depleted and partly because modern hybrids are bred for size and fast growth, not nutrition. You can learn more in this article.
Our stress levels seem to rise higher and higher all the time, severely impacting immune function. And as we know, rising levels of stress are one of the key reasons autoimmunity is on the rise. Learn more here.
We need more vitamins and minerals than ever to boost our immune systems to resist the ever-increasing levels of toxins in our water, air, and soil. You can learn more about toxins and autoimmunity in this article.
Why Take Liposomal Vitamin C if You Follow an Autoimmune Diet?
My delicious Liposomal Vitamin C is a full 1000 mg, and it’s carefully formulated to ensure it’s in a format your body can process and use. This micronutrient plays such a pivotal role in your overall health, that it’s really not worth the risks associated with having less-than-ideal levels in your body.
Yet, some people find that vitamin C supplements can be tough on their stomachs. My Liposomal Vitamin C is encased in a fat pocket that’s easy on your digestive system. The fat keeps this water-soluble vitamin safe until it can be absorbed and used, and the absorption rate is 135% higher than traditional supplements that don’t have the liposomal form.
And you don’t have to worry that you’ll overdo it if you eat an AIP-friendly, vitamin C-rich diet and take a supplement. That’s because your body easily excretes excess C. However, I do recommend keeping your intake below 2,000 mg a day to avoid stomach upset and diarrhea. That’s easy to do — you can take a supplement while still partaking in meals and snacks that pack in this nutrient!
So, eat plenty of AIP-approved foods and include my Liposomal Vitamin C supplement in your daily regime. It’s one of the best ways you can ensure you’re making the most of your immune system!