Vicki Martin. Nutritionist, Naturopath
What is it? Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that has several vital functions in the body. These include antioxidant protection against free radicals, winter health protection, and supporting heart health, healthy vision and skin.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that has several vital functions in the body. These include antioxidant protection against free radicals, winter health protection, and supporting heart health, healthy vision and skin. The human body cannot make Vitamin C, so we need to take it in through our diet every day to avoid deficiency symptoms. Fruits and vegetables are the main source of Vitamin C, with just one orange providing 100mg. Essential for white blood cell production, Vitamin C is a vital part of the immune system, which helps to fight winter infections and skin infections such as boils. Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, the "glue" that strengthens many parts of the body, e.g. muscles, blood vessels, teeth, gums, and skin. Vitamin C also plays important roles in wound healing, and as a natural antihistamine. This vitamin also helps to fight viruses and to detoxify alcohol and other toxic substances such as cigarettes and heavy metals.
The Ministry of Health guidelines for Vitamin C intake is 45mg daily for adults and 35-40 mg daily for children. This level helps to prevent deficiency. Research indicates, however that a daily dose of 500-1000mg of Vitamin C (100mg for young children) helps to maintain optimum immunity. This in turn can help to prevent and reduce winter symptoms.
Good sources of Vitamin C include broccoli, red peppers, currants, brussels sprouts, parsley, potatoes, citrus fruit and strawberries.
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