Vitamin C is so important for our health and well-being, that it’s actually critical to supply your body with it on a daily basis. As humans, we lack the functional enzyme to complete the synthesis of Vitamin C itself, so it must be supplied from exogenous sources (food).
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant with many cellular functions, and below are just some examples of the critical roles it performs within our bodies. With many individuals reducing their natural sugar intake or people with food intolerance’s that might choose not to eat certain Vitamin C rich foods, it is important to remember the benefits of Vitamin C and ensure you are getting it an adequate amount from food.
Critical Roles of Vitamin C Within the Body
- Collagen formation
Adequate intakes of Vitamin C is crucial in producing the amino acids that make up collagen within your body. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies; it is located in our muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels and digestive system. This is why Vitamin C deficiency plays a factor in spontaneous bone fractures, and why consuming it on a regular basis plays an important role in controlling osteoporosis. Therefore, to maintain healthy skin, bones and optimal digestion, consuming Vitamin C is critical. I also suggest to my clients to regularly consume broths and gelatin as part of their dietary regime for even better results.
- Support your immune system
During times of infection, Vitamin C levels decrease rapidly in your plasma and leukocytes. This vitamin plays a critical role in the cells that control your immune system, posing antimicrobial properties, assisting natural killer cell activities, lymphocyte proliferation, phagocytes and chemotaxis. Therefore a deficiency leads to a higher possibility of contracting pathogens which can result in illness.
- It may be an effective prevention and treatment for some cancers
Taking high doses of Vitamin C has been shown to be an effective treatment strategy for some cancers, when used alongside other treatment methods. Vitamin C has been shown to slow the growth and proliferation of cancer cells in prostate, pancreatic, liver and ovarian cancers. Consuming Vitamin C orally, is the most preferable way, however taking it intravenously may also be considered if one has cancer, as it bypasses the digestive tract allowing higher doses to be administered.
- Protects the brain in neurodegenerative disorders
Vitamin C has been shown to be a critical antioxidant for the central nervous system. There are high amounts of ascorbic acid found in the brain, as it is dependent on antioxidants to be protected from any abnormal conditions.
- Is essential in the recovery of your adrenal glands
When people are stressed, their immune system tends to be depleted which can result in people being more prone to having colds and flus. Your adrenal glands will require constant replenishment of Vitamin C in your plasma and leukocytes, because during times of stress, the Vitamin C levels within your body can rapidly decline.
In comparison to other organs, your adrenal glands are saturated in vitamin C, so it is important to maintain your Vitamin C levels.
Other benefits of Vitamin C include; lowering blood pressure, detoxifying your body from lead and other heavy metals, preventing Alzheimer’s and strokes.
Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency
- Weakened immune system
- Digestive issues
- Autoimmune immune diseases
- Joint pain and inflammation
- Slow wound healing
- Scaly, dry skin
- Brittle hair
- Easy bruising
For adults, the recommended daily intake is 45mg per day. This is of course a very general recommendation, so if you require extra support from Vitamin C, then I suggest you consume more to suit your individual needs. However, consuming too much Vitamin C will cause diarrhea, so stay in tune with your body and make any changes to your dose accordingly.
How to Source Vitamin C Naturally
- Dried Camu Camu* – roughly 20,000 mg per 100 gm
- Dried kakadu plum – roughly 4, 100mg per 100g
- Capsicum – 250mg per 100g
- Guava – roughly 230mg per 100g
- Oranges – roughly 50mg per 100g
- Strawberries – roughly 50mg per 100g
- Fermented fruits and vegetables – when you ferment foods that are rich in Vitamin C, the nutrient content will rise drastically. Therefore it is a fantastic idea to consider fermenting your own fruits and vegetables, or eating organic fermented foods from your local health food shop.
*Camu Camu, has a high concentration of Vitamin C (460 times more than an orange). Keep in mind that Vitamin C is heat sensitive, so ensure it is kept away from heat, to preserve it’s high levels.
Vitamin C Rich Recipes!
If you’re looking for some recipes so you can add more Vitamin C in your diet, these are some of our favourites:
What experiences have you had with Vitamin C? Do you struggle to get enough? How do you ensure you get it in your diet?