When it comes to giving your body an immune boost to ward off the cold and flu season the “go-to” nutrient is, and has always been Vitamin C. Luckily there are so many plant-based foods that are rich in Vitamin C that we can consume on a regular basis to help build up our stores.
The most important role of Vitamin C in the body is its ability to help protect our bodies from free radical damage and ward off sickness. If you aren’t sure of what this means – trust me it is a very important function of Vitamin C. Our bodies, lungs, skin, get exposed to so many toxins from the air we breathe and environment we are surrounded by, that we need to eat cleansing and detoxifying foods. Free radicals can cause damage inside the body and are essentially what can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other serious ailments. So, it is very important that we pack our meals with Vitamin C, as our bodies need it to make glutathione (the most important antioxidant in the body responsible for getting rid of toxins).
Not only do the detoxifying properties of this special vitamin help to ward off serious diseases, but it can also even prevent the common cold. Its immune boosting properties help to support good health throughout the entire year.
Since Vitamin C helps to increase the body’s ability to absorb iron, and therefore prevent anemia, pairing an iron rich food (spinach) with a Vitamin C packed food (oranges) in a salad, is a recipe that will surely help improve your iron levels. Or, try a homemade lemon juice based salad dressing and drizzle it over a baby spinach salad.
An easy tip for making sure you are getting your daily dose of this amazing vitamin, is to pack snacks for the day that are rich in Vitamin C. Everyone loves a good orange, strawberry, or plum to snack on, and these foods are tasty enough on their own that you don’t need to prepare any extravagant dishes. So give this super vitamin the acknowledgement it deserves and do your body some good – eat your Vitamin C!
The benefits of consuming Vitamin C regularly include:
- Preventing colds
- Preventing certain diseases
- Detoxifying the body
- Supporting adrenal responses
- Increases iron absorption
- Helps to produce collagen for your skin
Great sources of Vitamin C extend to more than just oranges and citrus fruits. Try some of the following to get your daily dose naturally through food:
- Bell peppers
- Lemon juice
- Camu camu
- Goji Berries
You may have heard about the common symptoms of scurvy before (the proper name for Vitamin C deficiency). However, a lot of the symptoms may go unnoticed – it is important to pay attention to how much Vitamin C you are getting in a day, as all it takes is 4 hours before it is entirely used up by the body! Symptoms of deficiency include:
- Fragile bones
- Excessive hair loss
- Bloating in the face
- Easy bruising of the skin
- Joint pain or muscle pain
It is important to make sure you are getting a few doses throughout the day. And although you may be getting enough Vitamin C, the following can actually hinder its ability to be properly absorbed in your body.
- Prescription drugs
Vitamin C Boosting Hot Elixir
2 cups warm or hot water
1/2 lemon juice
1 tbsp gojiberries
1 tbsp raw honey
Or add 1 tbsp Gojiberries into any smoothie, cereal, desserts for an extra boost of Vitamin C!