For as long as we can remember, it’s been drummed into us that Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for our body so we should therefore ‘eat more oranges’ and dose up before winter or at the first sign of a sniffle.
What many don’t know, is why.
Our body doesn’t produce or retain Vitamin C on its own and so we need to ingest and absorb it through other means – hence our mothers telling us to ‘eat more oranges.’
The benefits of Vitamin C are unparalleled. A natural immune system booster bar none, it is essential to many body functions, not the least of which is the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues. This powerful antioxidant protects your cells from free radicals – the molecules that damage cell tissue and DNA which then leads to premature ageing and chronic disease.
Our white blood cells use Vitamin C to support the immune defences and natural healing. It is also important in the production of collagen, a protein that makes the skin, teeth, bones, joints and blood vessels strong.
However, because our body does not retain Vitamin C, it is essential that we have constant and efficient sources, especially when we’re stressed or unwell. It doesn’t matter how many oranges your mother managed to squeeze into the morning juice or wedge into your lunch box, it was never going to be enough! You are wise to take a Vitamin C supplement 365 days of the year.
Not all Vitamin C supplements, however, are created equal and like many commercially produced products, you get what you pay for. The question you should be asking, therefore, is ‘what am I paying for?'
Many forms of Vitamin C supplements contain additives, fillers, and sugar - all of which significantly decrease your body’s ability to absorb and use it, and can be particularly hard on your stomach and kidneys.
So next time you head off to top-up the Vitamin C supply, ask yourself these two questions ...
What am I actually buying?
Will one bottle be enough?