We’ve all heard of the benefits that it has on our immune system, but did you know Vitamin C deficiencies can cause depression and cravings for sugar too?
Stress and smoking can really use up our body’s supply of Vitamin C. Smoking reduces up to 40% of the body’s supply of Vitamin C daily. A non-smoker needs an average of about 1,000 mg of Vitamin C per day, whereas an average smoker may require about 3000 mg.
Processed foods are extremely low in Vitamin C since it’s a delicate vitamin that is easily destroyed by air and heat and so for many of us, a deficiency is common.
Fresh fruit & vegetables are the main supplier of this wonder vitamin. For optimum Vitamin C benefit it is best to remember the following:
· foods should be eaten raw, steamed or minimally cooked
· fruits and vegetables should be eaten as soon as possible after cutting or juicing. Orange juice, for instance, will lose more vitamin C the longer it is exposed to the air
· foods cooked quickly by steaming or sautéing will retain higher levels of Vitamin C than those cooked at high temperatures for longer periods of time
· when vegetables are boiled the Vitamin C will leach out into the cooking water and will diminish with high heat and long cooking times
What can you do to increase your Vitamin C levels?
· Reduce stress and practise relaxation techniques
· Quit smoking
· Reduce or cut out alcohol
· Eat lots of fresh seasonal and ideally local fruit and vegetables every day. Aim for 7 – 10 servings. Great sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruit, but also plants from the cabbage family or brassica: kale, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, red, white and pointed cabbage. Other excellent sources are bell peppers and potatoes, rosehips, chillies, parsley, kiwi and papaya.
Article written by Nutritional Therapist Marianne Andrews of https://www.cotswoldnutrition.com/