Naturopath and Holistic Health Expert
The benefits of Vitamin C have been known since the days of long sea voyages and scurvy outbreaks. In 1747, James Lind, a British Royal Navy surgeon, identified a quality in fruit that prevented the disease of scurvy. His prescription; two oranges and one lemon per day for crew to remain healthy. A simple & delicious antidote!
Now that we embark on fewer journeys o’er the high seas, Vitamin C is better known for its treatment of the common cold. It is found in high concentrations in immune cells, thus its potential in addressing states of immune deficiency such as colds, gum disease and poor wound healing.
This water-soluble vitamin is also needed for a host of other processes, not simply limited to nipping flu in the bud. These include tissue growth and repair, strength of capillary walls, lactation and adrenal gland function.
Fun nutritional facts about Vitamin C
• It acts a natural antihistamine by stabilising mast cells, useful for allergic reactions.
• It is a powerful antioxidant and prevents diseases related to oxidative stress such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
• One study showed that Vitamin C supplementation in infertile men might improve sperm count, motility, and morphology potentially having a place as an additional supplement to improve semen quality for conception.
• It is vital for the formation of collagen, the body’s structural substance. Collagen is an important protein for the skin, forming the structure of the extracellular matrix in the dermis. Thin and wrinkled skin, typical signs of ageing, are a consequence of reduced collagen.
• It enhances iron absorption, aiding anaemia alongside iron rich foods such as liver and red meat.
• Alcohol and many common drugs (including aspirin and oral contraceptives) may reduce vitamin C levels in the body.
How to eat more Vitamin C
Natural food sources offer the most complete, digestible & absorbable forms without imparting any side effects. They include:
• Wildcrafted Gubinge powder (Kakadu Plum), an Australian native fruit that can be bought as a powder & also as a whole fruit – delicious!
• Organic Herbs: Rosehip and Elderberries
• Organic fresh fruits & vegetables: guava, capsicum, kiwi and oranges and acerola cherries
Vitamin C has made its way from humble sailors elixir to multi-tasking wonder vitamin, undoubtedly assisting in many other vital bodily processes we are as yet unaware of. If you’re looking to increase your daily intake, favour natural sources offering a spectrum of synergistic nutrients – and a delicious treat for the (scurvy-free) palate!