Vitamin C – the vital vitamin!
Vitamin C was traditionally used to prevent scurvy, but these days we understand much more about how vital it is and just how many benefits it has to our health.
The majority of people know that it’s good to take if we have a cold but there are other benefits to the vitamin. Vitamin C is used to help form an important protein (collagen) used to make skin, ligaments and form our blood vessels, it help can heal wounds and form scar tissue and can support the immune system to help fight infections.
There are other benefits too, vitamin C has the ability to repair and maintain cartilage, bones and teeth, as well as protecting cells from damage from free radicals (these are made when we break down foods and are exposed to toxins) - this damage is associated with cancers, heart attacks, blood vessel damage, arthritis and aging.
Reaching the recommended Vitamin C intake can help our liver to clear toxins and is thought to help in the weight-loss process in two very significant ways: it can regulate the hormone that tells your body to store fat and is part of an important amino acid that burns the stored fat you already have.
Humans can’t make or store vitamin C, so we need a very regular supply of it throughout the day to ensure we get maximum benefit from it. The best way is to eat foods that are high in vitamin C throughout the day and vitamin C doesn’t just come from oranges. Below is a list of foods containing high amounts:
- broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower
- green and red peppers
- spinach, cabbage and other leafy greens
- sweet potatoes
- kiwi fruit
- blueberries, cranberries.
Eating the real foods in their whole form is much better for us than taking supplements, as you get other nutrients and fibre from whole fruits and vegetables. But if you require supplements, take a good quality brand where you take a low dose of vitamin C two or three times daily.
There are certain lifestyle and dietary choices that can reduce our ability to absorb vitamin C, deplete what is in our body and increase our need for it. These include:
- drinking alcohol
- being stressed
- taking medications, such as aspirin
- eating foods high in sugar.
In order to see the benefits of vitamin C, it is important to increase the intake vitamin C rich foods in our diet and reduce the dietary and lifestyle factors that are damaging to it. All good nutritional therapists will be able to help you to work towards improving your diet and achieving your health goals – why not see one in your local area?