Vitamin C is damaged by heat and air. What does that mean to me, and why do I care? Well, first of all we are coming up on cold and flu season. It’s a common practice of drinking orange juice to boost the immune system. Many people load up on fizzy C loaded drink packets. Not many of us know how much we need or how much we are actually getting. The problem is that when commercial orange juice is produced it goes through a process of pasteurization (it is heated). So much of the vitamin C that was in there is gone by the time it hits your glass.
A similar process happens when we cut or peel our produce. If left exposed to air the nutrients begin to degrade. A cucumber, nicely sliced and left standing will lose 49% of it’s Vitamin C in just 3 hours. Did you know that cucumber is a great source of Vitamin C? A cut up cantaloupe uncovered and stored in the refrigerator will lose 35% of it’s C in just 1 day.
There are many fresh and delicious sources of Vitamin C. Red bell peppers, Kale, parsley, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, and kiwi. Its not just oranges, lemons and limes! A great resource to look at to see what is in your healthy foods is www.whfoods.com. It is very user friendly!
If you just feel a little run down this season, or if you think you need a boost to your immune system here are a few quick and easy tips:
- Eliminate the junk. No gas station food, no fast food or junk food.
- Eat real, whole foods. Cut and juice your own oranges, lemons or limes and drink it fresh!
- Stay hydrated by drinking 1/2 of your weight in daily ounces of pure, clean water.
- If you feel you want or need to supplement your diet with some extra vitamin C choose the best one for you.
Vitamin C supplementation comes in many forms
- Ascorbic acid- this is the cheapest
- With bioflavonoids, in amounts equal to or more than the Vitamin C to help increase the absorption by the body.
- Buffered- has added minerals including Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium to be easier on the stomach for those that are sensitive.
Vitamin C is important not only to support the adrenals and immune systems, but it is a powerful antioxidant. It is supportive to conditions like asthma, cancer, diabetes and wound healing.