Vitamin C for your immunity

Eating a variety of whole plant foods is the best way to ensure your vitamin and mineral stores are full so our immune system has access to anything it needs and is ready like a crouching ninja ready to spring into action at even the faintest whiff of an intruder. However, not all vitamins are equal in terms of their immune-boosting qualities. Immune function is what we’re here for today and vitamin C (VC) is an absolute weapon in terms of arming your immune system warriors to deal with invaders [1].

So what does it actually help with? Well, some rad researchers have found that it supports the cells that make up our initial cell barrier whilst boosting the growth and function of cells needed for an immune response [2]. It helps with transporting our immune cells to where they’re needed whilst also producing antibodies [2], so yeah a pretty nifty vitamin.

As our beautiful bods can’t store VC and we need 40mg per day [6], we have to make sure we munch it on the reg. Apart from the above, without it, we can’t heal wounds properly, repair our connective tissue [4] or deal with those pesky anti-oxidants [5].

We've posted before about where to munch heaps of the stuff but just as a little review we’ve got some ideas here [3]:

  • Red peppers, when you think of VC really you should think of these sweet veggies rather than oranges

  • Guavas

  • Sun-dried tomatoes

  • Kale

  • Brocolli

  • Kiwi

  • Cauliflower

  • Papaya

Just like when we chatted about zinc, getting this vitamin from foods is the best way to get the right amount for your bod. It’s easy to take a little too much with supplements which can cause ‘stomach pain, diarrhoea and flatulence’ according to those powerful peeps at the NHS [6].

As always don’t take our word for it, have a read through the evidence below and always follow the advice of your health professional.


1] Jacob RA, Sotoudeh G. Vitamin C function and status in chronic disease. Nutr Clin Care 2002;5:66-74.

2] Calder, P.C., Carr, A.C., Gombart, A.F. and Eggersdorfer, M., 2020. Optimal Nutritional Status for a Well-Functioning Immune System is an Important Factor to Protect Against Viral Infections.

3] https://www.ars.usda.gov/northeast-area/beltsville-md-bhnrc/beltsville-human-nutrition-research-center/methods-and-application-of-food-composition-laboratory/mafcl-site-pages/sr-legacy-nutrient-search/ [accessed 10.04.2020].

4] Li Y, Schellhorn HE. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. J Nutr 2007;137:2171-84. [PubMed abstract]

5] Carr AC, Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:1086-107.

6] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-c/ [accessed 10.04.2020]