Why Vitamin C Is Essential to Our Health
I know we all hear about the importance of vitamin C, but what does it actually do? Vitamin C is an essential, water soluble vitamin necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissue and one of the many antioxidants that help protect the body against free radical damage. If that hasn't sold you already, here are some of my top reasons why I make sure I consume vitamin C rich foods daily.
Formation of Collagen
Vitamin C has been shown to be critical for synthesis of hyaluronic acid, over half of which can be found in your skin where it binds to water to help retain moisture. Studies have shown that hyaluronic acids boosts collagen in the body, so make sure you're getting enough vitamin C in your diet to help maintain healthy glowing skin.
Absorption of Iron
Eating foods high in vitamin C has been shown to increase iron absorption by capturing non-heme iron and storing it in a form that’s more easily absorbed by your body.
Proper Function of the Immune System
Vitamin C plays a role in many aspects of the immune system. It encourages the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection and helps these white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage from potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals.
Since Vitamin C is an essential part of the skins defence system and it actively goes to the skin, where it can act as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin’s barriers, giving many people a reduced time in wound healing.
Now that we've covered why you should ensure you're getting a enough Vitamin C, lets look at how you can easily add this essential vitamin into your diet.
There are a plethora of supplement options on the market, but vitamin C is best consumed in whole food form when possible. Berries are some of my favourite ways to add vitamin C into my families diets. Here is a break down of some my favourite foods, and their vitamin C content.
1 tsp dried Camu Camu berries: 600 mg
6 Rose Hips: 112 mg
1 cup of elderberries: 52.2 mg
1 cup of raspberries: 32.2 mg
1 cup blueberries: 14.36 mg
Other whole food sources
1 cup raw mustard greens: 195 mg
1/2 cup red pepper: 97 mg
1 cup raw kale: 80 mg
1 medium orange: 70 mg
1/2 cooked broccoli: 51 mg
3/4 cup tomato juice: 33
If you find it tricky to get enough whole food sources of vitamin C into your diet, and feel you still want to supplement try looking for one that is derived from whole food like "acerola cherry" or "camu camu berry" vs. "ascorbic acid". However, during times of acute illness, a synthetic nutrient may serve a purpose as they can often allow for a higher strength dose.
Adding our Berry Radical powder into your smoothies or snacks is also a great way to add whole food sources of vitamin C into your diet. I just one 1.5 tbsp serving, you're getting 1/2 tsp of Camu Camu berry powder, one of nature's riches sources of whole food vitamin c.
For a quick and easy snack packed with vitamin C, try our Radical Berry Balls.