Vitamin C and Stress

Life is full of stress. Struggling to live, we have to suffer from psychological stress frequently. Sitting for an exam, preparing for a job interview, conducting a project, trying to earn money, etc give rise to mental as well as physical stress to us. We need to be wise to pass through these struggles. There is a simple nutrient which can help us to tolerate stress. This is vitamin C.

During stress, our body produces several hormones in response to stress. Major stress hormones are epinephrine and cortisol. In chronic stress, cortisol level in our body becomes high leading to hormonal imbalance which in turn results in derangement of physiological processes and immune system. Scientific studies showed that vitamin C supplementation helps us to fight against hormonal imbalance.

Average daily requirement of vitamin C is about 60-90 mg for an adult individual. If so, we need to know how much vitamin C we will get from the food we eat. We can get vitamin C from various fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is also found richly in vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, spinach other leafy greens. The approximated average vitamin C contents of some fruits and vegetables are as follows. (The values are for average-size fruits and the vitamin C contents are not stated in scientific way but in general English in order to be easy to estimate.)

Citrus fruits
– One orange: 70 mg of Vit C
– One grapefruit: 80 mg of Vit C
– One lemon wedge: 4 mg of Vit C
– One lime wedge: 2.5 mg of Vit C

Non-citrus fruits
– One serving of pineapple: 70 mg of Vit C
– One apple: 5 mg of vitamin C
– One myrobalan(ဖန်ခါးသီး): 5 mg of Vit C
– One tomato: 20 mg of Vit C
– One alma(ဆီးဖြူသီး): about 600 mg of Vit C
Vegetables (for 100 gm)
– Carrot: 4-6 mg of Vit C
– Cabbage: 30- 40 mg of Vit C
– Cauliflower: 40 – 50 mg of Vit C
– Onion: 7 – 8 mg of Vit C
– Ginger: 5 mg of Vit C
– Green beans: 10- 12 mg of Vit C
– Lettuce: 9 – 10 mg of Vit C
– Green leafy vegetables: 3 – 5 mg of Vit C
(Source include: USDA)

Based on these data, we can adjust our daily diet to fulfill the daily requirement. What about stressful conditions? How much vitamin C should we take? Scientific studies showed that taking 400 – 1000 mg of Vitamin C per day is beneficial for stress-related disorders. We can take vitamin C tablets if dietary supply is not enough to fulfill that amount. However, vitamin C intake of a person should not exceed 2000 mg a day or he/she may encounter some health problems such as abdominal upset, diarrhea, headache etc.

15 thoughts on “Vitamin C and Stress”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *