17th June 2021. Written by Emily Westwood for VitalOrganico
Read time: 3 minutes
Why is vitamin C so important? The short answer is that vitamin C is essential to keep us alive and in good health. Without it, we simply wouldn’t survive.
In fact, such is the need for vitamin C that most animals can make it themselves and readily do so; particularly in times of stress, when the body’s requirement for this important nutrient is increased. A goat, for example, can make up to 16 grams of its own vitamin C every single day. To give a little perspective, 1 gram is the equivalent of around 22 medium oranges. That’s 352 oranges per goat, per day. Pretty impressive!
Unfortunately, as humans evolved, we lost the ability to synthesize our own vitamin C, which puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to surviving and thriving. This is why we have to obtain our vitamin C from external sources; either from the food we eat, or via a high quality, daily ascorbic acid supplement, such as VitalOrganico Vital C powder or VitalOrganico liposomal vitamin C.
Vitamin C is water soluble, which means that it only takes around 5 hours to be completely utilised and passed through the body. This is why it’s also useful (though not essential) to take in vitamin C throughout the day.
A powerful antioxidant
Vitamin C is known to be a very powerful anti-oxidant. This means that it protects the body against oxidative stress, which is essentially damage to the cells and tissues caused by molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive, unstable molecules which are essentially a little stressed out because they’re missing an electron. This lack of an electron makes them behave erratically and bounce around the body, causing damage as they go. Vitamin C acts as the good Samaritan – giving one of its own electrons to the free radical, causing it to calm down and behave normally.
Oxidative stress often occurs due to toxins such as smoking, stress, diets rich in sugar and processed foods. It influences key cell structures and can even cause genetic mutations. Oxidative stress has been linked to many conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurological diseases, and this is likely why there has been an increasing amount of research conducted into the use of vitamin C in treating and preventing some of these conditions, over recent years.
Vitamin C plays a role in so many of our body’s vital functions. It is well known for being immune-supportive; it enhances our antibodies and plays an important role as an antihistamine, reducing inflammatory conditions associated with cold, fevers, flu, upper respiratory tract infections and allergies. It also encourages the production of white blood cells and assists them in escorting unwanted microbes and pathogens out of the body, whilst also being a major player in skin, teeth and gum health, wound healing and iron absorption. It helps to form collagen, which keeps your skin youthful and it keeps your arteries strong. Getting enough vitamin C daily could improve your long-term memory and your ability to swerve a number of chronic diseases. And yet still, even in the Western world, Vitamin C deficiencies are actually very common.
Sources of vitamin C
Vitamin C is readily available in whole food form and can be found in a wide variety of fruits, such as oranges, kiwi, papaya, strawberries and cantaloupe melon; and in vegetables such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and peppers.
Camu Camu fruit, Amla (also known as Indian Gooseberry) and acerola cherries are fruits which have the highest concentration of vitamin C on the planet, although they can be tricky to source locally!
The reality is that many of us struggle to eat enough fruits and vegetables to meet our daily Vitamin C requirement, and we certainly don’t eat as wide a variety of these foods as would be ideal. At VitalOrganico we understand that life can get in the way of even the very best of intentions, which is why we recommend a two-pronged approach; eating as wide a variety of colourful fruit & veggies as your daily schedule allows, and then topping it up with your choice of VitalOrganico high quality vitamin C supplements.