Boost your Immunity with Vitamin C
Most of us know that Vitamin C is great for supporting our immune systems - it's possibly the most widely used vitamin supplement out there (that's just my guess) and since the COVID-19 outbreak its been leaping off the shelves. Classed as an 'Essential Nutrient', which means it's indispensable for various functions and processes within our bodies, we have to get it from our diet - preferably foods we eat or a supplement.
Some of the top foods for Vitamin C content are (in order of highest content):
Peppers, watercress, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, lemons, kiwifruit, peas, melon, oranges (bet you thought they'd be nearer the top of the list), grapefruit, limes, tomatoes.
Other nutrients can help us utilise Vitamin C in our bodies more effectively, such as bioflavenoids (in simple terms the colour pigments in fruit and veg), Vitamin Bs and Vitamin E. Like all other nutrients we get from our food, they work much better when consumed with a varied diet.
On the other hand, there are the 'adversaries' - factors that hinder the benefits of Vitamin C, such as smoking, alcohol, stress, pollution and fried foods. If we are exposed to these adversaries, we should think about consuming more of the relevant foods or perhaps taking a supplement. Prolonged heat can also reduce the content in food.
Vitamin C is not just good for our immune system. It helps with collagen production, keeping bones, joints and skin strong; it detoxifies our bodies, helping prevent cancer and heart disease; helps make anti-stress hormones and turn food into energy.
The official recommended daily amount is 60 mg per day - just one red pepper will give you this, or a decent size portion of broccoli, so its not really difficult to achieve. In fact, if you eat a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruit daily you are probably getting enough, and you don't need to worry about overdosing. An excess (more often from supplements) may give you a loose bowel, but no lasting ill effects. Deficiency, however, is becoming more prevalent according to a report last year from the BBC. These symptoms may indicate you're not getting enough: lack of energy, frequent colds/infections, bleeding/tender gums, easy bruising, slow wound-healing, red pimples. The last four on this list are symptoms of Scurvy - yes, the sailors' and pirates' disease! Even if we never set foot on a boat we can still develop this condition, particularly if we have a 'beige' diet of chips, nuggets, bread, etc.
Eat a rainbow daily and you'll easily get all the Vitamin C you need.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment on this blog or email me. Hope you enjoyed this information.