I make a point of supporting students with a passion for nutrition. From time to time, I’ll feature student guest posts. This post is written by Lindsay Kastrau, #RD2B and a student at Ryerson University. Check out her gorgeous photography on her Instagram account!
What do citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, cantaloupe, broccoli, and red peppers all have in common?
They are all amazing sources of VITAMIN C!
Your skin loves vitamin C. It’s especially important for good skin health as you age. Vitamin C provides antioxidant protection to prevent premature wrinkles and sun-related and oxidative damage. It stimulates collagen synthesis (for skin elasticity) and helps your skin heal when its wounded.
How much do you need?
It’s recommended that men consume 90mg/day and women consume 75mg/day, which can easily be achieved with a well-balanced diet including a variety of fruits and vegetables.
That amount is enough for basic function and to prevent deficiency (and scurvy, ahoy matey!). That amount might not be enough for optimal health and disease prevention -- vitamin C is being studied for it's potential role in heart health, diabetes and cancer prevention.
Since there is no specific amount of vitamin C recommended just for skin health, I focus on getting enough from veggies and fruits. And that's pretty darned easy. Take a look:
1 large kiwi = 85 mg
1/2 cup cantaloupe = 31 mg
1/2 cup red pepper = 101 mg
1/2 cup broccoli = 54 mg
1/2 cup strawberries = 52 mg
1 medium orange = 68 mg
Is it the vitamin C or something else?
Nutrition intervention studies have linked good skin health with higher vegetable and fruit intake. Although there are several components in veggies and fruits that could be working together to give your skin a boost (e.g. vitamin C + vitamin E), vitamin C status is closely linked with veggie and fruit intake.
Now that we're heading into the summer months, with fresh fruit so plentiful, accessible and DELISH, there's no excuse not to eat it. I don't know about you, but if there's something so simple and tasty with potential benefit for keeping my aging skin all glow-y, I'm all over it!
Here are 7 tasty ways to get your fruit on this summer:
1. Top your peanut butter toast with strawberries -- WAY better than jam!
2. Add blueberries to your overnight oats
3. Whirl together a Vibrant Smoothie with raspberries, cranberries and and orange
4. Top cottage cheese with fruit salad and a drizzle on freshly squeezed lime juice
5. Grill fruit for dessert and serve warm with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
6. Drip strawberries in fresh, real whip cream -- because summer!!
7. Add diced cantaloupe to baby arugula, drizzle olive oil and squeeze of lemon and pinch of sea salt
Lindsay and Shannon
Canadian Nutrient File v2015
Smolin, L. A., & Grosvenor, M. B. (2015). Nutrition: Science and application (2nd ed.). N.p.: ch. 1, 9. Wiley.
Puller et al. The role of vitamin c and skin health. Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866.
Vitamin C and Skin Health. Linus Pauling Institute. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C