The Power of Vitamin C

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

· Sleep

· 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.

To find out how to tell if you’re deficient in Vitamin C and the best ways to supplement read the full article here 

Article written by Nutritional Therapist Marianne Andrews of

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