Today I have chose to write about vitamin C, one of the most important vitamins that we need in our lives for excellent health. It works for so many things in our bodies and I am going to tell you more about them all and even all the available sources of vitamin C to be found in food.
When we think about vitamin C, the first thing probably coming to your mind is Oranges. Now let me tell you, I don’t like them very much, but you know what, luckily for those of us that has a fuss about some foods there are many other fruits and vegetable that contain vitamin C, like Strawberries! I will tell you all about it in a while.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. This means that leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine, meaning you need an ongoing supply of such vitamins in your diet.
Vitamin C is needed for growth, development and the repair of all tissue in your body. It is used to form an important protein that is used to form skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also one of the many antioxidants in the body that blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals and assist in clearing of inflammation. Vitamin C is also needed for wound healing.
Just like calcium needs magnesium for absorption, so does vitamin C aids in the absorption of Iron in the body.
Why do I need iron you may ask?
Although many people don’t think of iron as being a nutrient, you might be surprised to learn that low iron is the most common nutritional deficiency. Iron is an essential mineral. The main reason we need it, is to transport Oxygen throughout the body. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Without healthy red blood cells, your body can’t get enough oxygen. If you’re not getting sufficient oxygen in the body, you’re going to become fatigued. Iron is also necessary to maintain healthy cells and skin. See, these two are working hand in hand for our health, that my friends are why we need to take vitamin C with Iron so our bodies can absorb the Iron, so we can feel good.
Since your body doesn’t store Vitamin C or produce it, developing a vitamin C deficiency is easier than you might expect. Let’s have a look at some of the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.
Dry damaged skin: Healthy skin contains large amounts of vitamin C, especially in the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. Vitamin C keeps skin healthy by protecting it from oxidative damage caused by the sun and exposure to pollutants like cigarette smoke or the ozone. It also promotes collagen production, which keeps skin looking plump and youthful. And remember that drinking water also assist to hydrate your cells.
Easy Bruising: Bruising occurs when blood vessels under the skin rupture, causing blood to leak into the surrounding areas. Easy bruising is a common sign of vitamin C deficiency since poor collagen production causes weak blood vessels. Sometimes it feels like you just have to look at the corner of the table and you already have a bruise.
Corked screw shaped body hair or ingrown hair: Vitamin C deficiency can also cause hair to grow in bent or coiled shape due to defects that develop in the protein structure of hair as it grows. Now this is an interesting one and I am sure many of you have experienced ingrown hair before. Corkscrew-shaped hair is one of the main signs of vitamin C deficiency but may not be obvious, as these damaged hairs are more likely to break off or fall out. Even dry splitting hair is a sign of deficiency. Your hair depends on collagen for strength and health.
Bleeding and swollen gums: Ouch! This even makes eating unpleasant. Your gums are partially made up of collagen; this is why they are more sensitive when your vitamin c levels drop and your gums can bleed more. Swollen gums are a sign of inflammation, which again vitamin C helps to prevent as it is an antioxidant.
Fatigue and moodiness: Vitamin C plays a key role in energy production and mood stabilization, so a lack of vitamin C can throw both your energy and mood out of balance. When fatigue from low vitamin C sets in, it’s also a sign that vitamin C’s support of energy production is flagging, and your metabolism suffers. When your metabolism slows, you’re more likely to start adding weight. Oh boy not what you want to hear right?
Now you might be thinking, why I have not mentioned drinking vitamin C for a common cold, well the sad news really is that taking an oral vitamin C supplements won’t prevent the common cold. However, there’s some evidence that when people who regularly take vitamin C supplements get a cold, the illness lasts fewer days and symptoms are less severe, but starting a vitamin C supplement only after you develop a cold is of no help.
Last but not least, people with a high intake of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables might have a lower risk of getting many types of cancer, such as lung, breast and colon cancer.
Now that we have seen how important it is to have vitamin C as one of your main nutrients for a healthy skin and a good mood, we certainly have to look into what we can eat daily to make sure we get our dose for the day. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adult men is 90 milligrams and for adult women is 75 milligrams. You can also consult your local health practitioner for more information on doses for children.
Foods containing VITAMIN C
Vegetables with the highest sources of vitamin C include:
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
- Green and red peppers.
- Spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens.
- Sweet and white potatoes. Tomatoes and tomato juice.
- Winter squash.
Fruits with the highest sources of vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits and juices, such as orange and grapefruit
- Kiwi fruit
- Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries
Vitamin C foods are also typically rich in a wide array of other important nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants, as well as other vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it’s best to select natural sources of vitamin C instead of supplemental sources whenever possible to help meet your needs.
There are many supplemental sources widely available at most pharmacies and your local health shops; once again you can ask your local health practitioner for their best recommendation.
Until next time . . . . . eat your fruit and veggies and be healthy and happy.
Green Vitamin C Smoothie Blast
- 3 oranges
- 2 guavas
- ½ cup of kale leaves
- ¼ papaya
- To begin, cut the oranges in half and squeeze the juice into the blender.
- Use soft (over-ripe) guavas for the smoothie. Cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the shells into the blender, and use a spoon to strain the seeds out of the fleshy part of the guava.
- Remove the seeds from the papaya, trim away the peel, and add it into the blender. Throw in the kale leaves, add half a cup of water and five cubes of ice and blend. The result: a wonderfully delicious and nutritious smoothie!
My name is Rica Grové,
I started my journey never really knowing what I wanted to do in life, but I always had this interest in the healing properties of foods and a few years back I really found my passion in life, the natural healing of herbs. Living as natural and healthy and earth friendly as possible.
It is so amazing to know the gifts that nature has in store for us, the medicinal properties of plants that God created gave to us. We must just use it! For century’s people has been using plants to heal. It is my passion and mission in life to know as much as possible of natural healing and the amazing benefits of all the plant medicines and to put it to practice to help heal people and animals in the best way possible. I even started my own range of natural ointments and oils.
Practising alternative healings gives me so much Joy in life. Not just healing the body, but the mind and the Soul. I am also a Life Activation Practitioner & Kabbalist in the Modern Mystery School.
I would love to share my knowledge with all of you who wish to learn to heal yourselves the natural way.
Contact Rica at Rica@LiminaLucem.co.za