When we think of Vitamin C, we usually associate it with its benefits to help fight off infections, particularly the common cold and flu during the colder months of the year.
However, Vitamin C is actually a water-soluble vitamin that cannot be produced in the body even though it is essential for the proper function of our overall health and body functions. It needs to be taken in through our diet regularly. In Australia it is estimated that over 20% of the population is low in Vitamin C with a reduced intake of fruit directly linked to low blood levels of Vit C. A deficiency can become present in as little as 4-12 weeks.
You may have heard that in the past travellers were at risk of low Vitamin C when at sea for extended periods. The lack of fresh fruit and vegetables put them at risk of developing scurvy. Scurvy symptoms are often due to the role Vitamin C has in collagen formation showing up as bleeding spongy gums, loose teeth, easy bruising and bleeding into the skin, poor wound healing and the early stopping of bone growth in children. It’s essential that we get enough of this vitamin.
IMMUNE HEALTH: Vitamin C is essential for the proper function of the immune system. Low levels of Vitamin C are associated with an increased risk of infection. It also acts as a natural antihistamine, at a high doses it may block the effect of inflammatory substances produced by the body in response to allergens.
SKIN: Our skin also contains high levels of Vitamin C where it works both as an antioxidant and to support the formation of collagen. Collagen formation is dependent on Vitamin C as a cofactor and for its stability. Not only does Vitamin C help build collagen but work to protect the skin against the photo damage caused by UV rays. Click here for Five of our Fave Vitamin C Serums.
ANTIOXIDANTS: Vit C is a powerful antioxidant having the ability to support the body fight of the damaging effects of free radicals. This means it can protect the free radicals from damaging our bodies that make our hair brittle, elasticity of the skin, immune health and sleep.
MOOD: It is required for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters Dopamine and Serotonin which are important for maintaining a healthy mood.
HORMONES: Vitamin C plays an important role in our adrenal glands. They are rich with Vitamin C and it’s important for the production of adrenal hormones. During times of stress like magnesium we use up higher levels of this vitamin and it helps to reduce the levels of our stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
As you can see with the many roles Vitamin C plays in our body we need to keep our levels up all year round not just during winter.
How To Include More Vitamin C Into Your Wellness Routine
As mentioned, we lack the enzyme to produce Vitamin C in our body, so we can only get it through our diet. If you struggle to get enough through your food a supplement may be a great way to add bonus amounts to your body. They recommend that the upper limit is 1000-3000 milligrams daily for adults.
Vitamin C is found in fresh fruit and vegetables, in Australia it is estimated that about a half of adults eat the 2 pieces of fruit recommended but only 1 in 13 eat the 5 vegetables. This can lead to low levels of key nutrients. This can impact how our bodies respond to stress and keep our bodies healthy and happy.
As we go into the warmer months, smoothies are a great way to start your day with a big boost of Vitamin C, along with other essential minerals and vitamins. They’re such an easy breakfast, if you add fruits such as kiwi fruit, pineapple and a range of berries you’ll be well on your way to getting your daily dose of Vitamin C. Did you know the kiwi fruit actually have double the amount of Vitamin C than oranges do?
Of course, adding in as many leafy greens, broccoli, capsicums and tomatoes into your salads are beneficial, but these can also be added to your fav pasta dish too. Frittata’s and stir fry’s are also such an easy way to pile in your vegetable intake for the day!
Vitamin C and Kids
As children are growing fast it is important to ensure they are getting adequate levels through their diet. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that only 5% of children get the recommend daily intake of vegetables and 68% get the serve of fruits. Try including fruit and vegetable into each meal and offering as the first choice before other snack foods.
If you are finding it difficult to get kids to have adequate levels of Vitamin C GO Healthy has a range of children’s vitamin C chews. They have a high dose of Vitamin C and taste delicious, making it easy for the kids to take.
If you aren’t getting enough C through your diet we recommend a supplement such as GO Healthy’s new extended range of Vitamin C products also include extra herbs and vitamins to increase your health and wellbeing all year round. The new range includes chewable tablets (that are delicious) or easy to take capsules.