STOP! Don't give up on vitamin C!
International Director Of Education chez, Fit Foods
Even though you've put away your winter boots, don't give up on your daily vitamin routine! With Covid-19 being a pandemic with an unpredictable future, it is more important than ever to ensure that you feed your body and are equipped to be as strong as possible in the face of all hazards. For me, North Coast Naturals Pure Immuno-C, a 100% pure vitamin c powder available from Popeye's Supplements, gives me that boost of immunity I need, which is a relief in these uncertain times.
Be sure to read to the end of this article as I have some great recipes for vitamin C supplements!
THE BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C
With all the stress of self-isolation and fears surrounding Covid-19, our free radical levels are sky-rocketing. The great news is that vitamin C’s antioxidant function helps our cells by counteracting the negative effects of free radicals (highly reactive molecules associated with disease and illness). It’s pretty straight-forward: the more stress on the body, the more vitamin C you need.
Luckily, Vitamin C is a very easily absorbed antioxidant, as its chemical name, absorbic acid, would suggest. Unlike other Vitamins (A, D, E, and K), Vitamin C is water-soluble and does not require fat to be absorbed. This means that Vitamin C is versatile and can be used in many different ways. Be sure to read to the end of this article, as I have some great recipes with Vitamin C for you and your family!
Before we get to the recipes, let’s talk about some of the benefits of Vitamin C as part of your daily routine:
#1: Free Radicals
Vitamin C can help neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals. The danger of free radicals is that, in high quantities, they can damage cells, DNA, and even promote cancer and compromise immunity—we don’t want that! Beyond its role in supporting immunity and collagen synthesis, Vitamin C has also been shown to:
- Regenerate other antioxidants in the body, like Vitamin E
- Protect B1, B2, and B5 vitamins from oxidation
- Greatly improve the absorption of plant-based iron
- Be effective and essential for the production of stress response hormones
#2: Chronic Diseases
As global awareness of chronic diseases becomes more common, a lot of us are equally interested in ways to reduce the risk of developing them. Vitamin C has been shown to lower the risk for:
- Heart disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Eye Diseases
- Type 2 Diabetes
#3: Other Benefits
Ever wonder why doctors suggest eating citrus fruit when you have a cold? Well, the vitamin C in that juicy orange can reduce the life-span of your cold as well as possess antiviral activity. It’s also great for those with asthma, resulting from either exercise or the remnants of a respiratory infection. Furthermore, Vitamin C can improve cognitive function (particularly in seniors), reduce cortisol, and manage inflammation in runners, reduce muscle damage during endurance exercise AND accelerate wound healing.
I’m Sold, What’s Next?
With all this information, it’s hard not to get excited about vitamin C. However, to maximize the benefits of vitamin C, it’s important to know the proper dosage.
For best results, take multiple doses throughout the day. It may sound like a lot, but taking Vitamin C every few hours, particularly when you are dealing with an illness, can be greatly beneficial. If you are feeling great and in optimal health, you can go back to taking just one or two doses per day. One exciting strategy you may not have heard of is the “Vitamin C Flush,” a great, natural way of dealing with an illness. Here’s how to do it:
Vitamin C Flush
Clinical evidence shows that a Vitamin C Flush can help speed up healing. It may sound daunting, but I promise you it’s easy. Here’s how to do it:
- Keep a record of how much vitamin C you have consumed.
- Take 2 servings of (1100 mg) of Immuno-C every hour with a glass of water.
- If your stool becomes soft, you’ve reached “bowel tolerance.”
- Make a note of how much Vitamin C you consumed before reaching bowel tolerance, and cut it down by 4 servings.
It might sound like a lot of work, but if you’re like me, you will do anything to speed up healing, and this has proven to be truly effective.
Now, after talking about all the benefits of a daily Vitamin C intake routine, it’s important to discuss the negative impacts associated with a lack of Vitamin C:
Scurvy, Remember Him?
While the days of pirate ships are long-gone, or at least, rare, so is the likelihood of severe vitamin C deficiency known as scurvy. However, the reality is that individuals who are clinically obese, diabetic, or smoke regularly are at a higher risk for deficiency. Although most Canadians and Americans consume an adequate amount of Vitamin C, there are still 43% of American adults and 25% of Canadian adults who do not consume adequate amounts of vitamin C. Making matters worse, a full-blown deficiency is found to exist in 7% of Americans and 3% of Canadians. While it may not sound like a large number, that equates to 22.97 million and 1.12 million, respectively. Not good.
Now that we know the alarming statistics surrounding vitamin C deficiency, the big question is, how do we prevent it? Sadly, the reality is that fruits, vegetables, and grains have been found to be lower in vitamin C today than they were in the past. This results from toxic pesticides and inadequate soil management. However, proper food storage can negate some of the losses. It’s important to research the adequate storage methods for each individual vegetable or fruit, as some require colder or warmer temperatures, and the failure to store correctly can result in staggering losses. Green peas, for example, lose 66% of their vitamin C after 6 months in the freezer—not sure I’ll be putting those on my holiday table anymore!
The Fun Part: Recipes!
Thankfully, in spite of the lack of naturally occurring vitamin C in our foods, we have a multitude of ways we can get it in our diet. The recipes below exemplify two fun and creative ways to help nourish yourself and your family with this powerful supplement. The great news about vitamin C is that it is available in a capsule, tablet, and even liquid; even better, there is little scientific evidence that one form is better than the other, so you are in good hands regardless of how you choose to consume!
A powdered form, however, offers some specific advantages, particularly when it is without added flavor or sweetener. Additionally, the powdered form is the most cost effective, you can control the dosing, it dissolves immediately, and there are no fillers, preservatives, or any other unappealing additives. The other fantastic benefit of the powdered version is that you can use it in recipes that will make the supplement extra appealing to your children and family. Here are two of my favorites:
Recipe 1 - Immunity Gummies – Kid’s (and parents) will love this
- 2 cups of juice (your choice of apple, grape, or combine the two)
- 5 tablespoons (75 grams) of unflavored gelatin powder
- ½ teaspoon (2200 mg) of Immuno-C Vitamin C Crystals
- Mix the gelatin and juice in a saucepan and whisk together
- Heat mixture over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved
- Remove from heat and whisk in vitamin C
- Pour into a small glass dish or for an added bit of fun that kids will love, use silicone moulds that have fun shapes (hearts, stars, animals).
- Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or until firm.
- Cut the gelatin into 10 equal size squares (approximately 220 mg of vitamin C per square)
Recipe 2 - Immune Boosted Smoothie
- 1 cup of apple, grape or your favorite unsweetened juice (preferably organic)
- 1/8 teaspoon (550 mg) of Immuno-C Vitamin C Crystals
- Mix together
- Serve on ice and enjoy it!
Evidently, Vitamin C is not just an important part of a daily supplement routine but a crucial one, particularly during a pandemic. Let’s face it, nobody wants to look like a yellow-toothed pirate, and it’s our job in challenging times to take care of the health of our families and most importantly, ourselves.
The good news is that there are all kinds of ways to take vitamin C and they are all effective. For me, Immuno-C by Popeyes is great because it’s versatile and can be used in delicious recipes like the ones listed above. Regardless of how you use it, I hope you will take all this into consideration and be sure to factor in a vitamin C supplement into your daily routine. Times are tough, but vitamin C can make your horizons just a little bit brighter.
Fill up on vitamin c!