Fashion week is over around the world, but that has not stopped any of us from dreaming about the new collections. Many of us are even creating and concocting outfits for the seasons to come. Chances are if you live in a fast paced city with changing seasons like New York City or London, then you are certainly bound to get under the weather as the change of seasons occur. Many of us grew up with a grandmother or a parent who would give us copious amounts of citrus fruit and juices to beat a bad cold or flu. Reality is they were right on the money with these ideas since vitamin C is one of the most amazing low immune system cures in the world.
A nutrient is a substance that provides energy to the body. Yes vitamin C is a nutrient that the body needs, but not only for energy, but to thrive and keep us running healthy. Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, was formally discovered in the 1930’s. However, it was really at the time of pirates and sailors in in the 15th century when people started to make a citrus fruit connection to cure scurvy. During long travels when sailors and pirates ran out of fruit and vegetables, it was the time when people died of the disease. After the voyagers adapted citrus and vegetables into their routines at sea, there were less deaths due to it. The common symptoms of the illness are: depression, spots on the skin, lethargy, and fever. An important factor is that in the 1900’s babies were dying from scurvy due to the process of pasteurization of babies milk. Today’s baby formula has vitamin C added to it. While it is less common now, eating a 100% meat diet can cause scurvy.
Primates, humans, and guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C on their own. Vitamin C is found in breast milk, which means a mother must consume the nutrient in order to share it with her baby. Vitamin C is also found is papaya, strawberries, cranberries, tomatoes, peppers and all citrus fruits. Here are my top facts about vitamin C:
- While it is highly effective to fight infection, foods that are rich in vitamin C should be consumed raw in order to get its full effect. The nutrient decomposes when cooked. Orange, cranberry, and many other popular juices do go thru the pasteurization/boiling process in order to be stored and later consumed. While many of these juices do have vitamin C added, you are better off squeezing your own juice, eating the fruit raw, or just buying vitamins at your local pharmacy.
- Smokers are at higher risk of vitamin C deficiency. One cigarette can deplete the body of 25 mg.
- Alcohol consumers flush the nutrient through their urine. Taking 500 to 1,000 mg daily can aid alcohol drinkers.
- Vitamin C helps the immune system fight free radicals.
- It heals wounds, and repairs bones.
- A stressed mind can lower the immune system and deplete it from the important nutrient.
- It is recommendable to take 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily for proper care. For those who have a cold or are fighting flu, 2,000 mg 3 times per day at meal time will create optimal results.
As the weather and seasons change, its important to check with your doctor if there are deficiencies you need to pay attention to. If you feel low in energy, it’s probably a good time to add some vitamin C to your daily routine.
Maria Andrade is a New York based Certified Holistic Health Counsellor. She graduated from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has been building her wellness coaching practice as well as integrating Pilates and other body healing technique. Maria’s personal nutritional philosophy is based on the concept of bio-individuality. Nutrition should be tackled according to the unique characteristics of the individual, such as ethnicity, blood type, and activity levels. She also bases her healing practice on numerous dietary theories.
Maria co-founded TotalBodyFit in 2008, in the hopes of bringing her message to a larger audience by conducting the health counselling, fitness classes, and massage therapy right in the client’s home, office or resident lounge. She leads TotalBodyFit’s nutrition workshops, corporate, and cooking events. She is available for one on one nutritional counselling.
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