The Most Effective Way to Get Vitamin C Into Your Diet (and What to Avoid)
Most people think of oranges and lemons when you mention vitamin C, but the best source of vitamin C actually comes in many different colors, mostly shades of green!
Everyone knows that vitamin C is an important antioxidant that’s good for preventing colds, the flu and other illnesses.
What you may not know is that unlike many animal and plant species, the human body is unable to make it’s own vitamin C, and unable to store much of it. So it’s extremely important to eat a diet that provides a continuous source of fresh vitamin C.
Benefits of Vitamin C
There are many reasons to include vitamin C in your diet.
- Is an antioxidant that protects against free radical damage and aging caused by toxins and pollutants in your environment.
- Helps in the development of collagen, an important structural component of bones, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and skin.
- Helps manufacture norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter responsible for mood
- Has many important functions in the metabolism of nutrients and may even help with weight loss[i].
- Assists adrenal and thyroid functioning
- May reduce the toxicity of heavy metals like lead, mercury, and arsenic.
Vitamin C Prevents Allergic Disease
In addition to all of the above, it’s extremely important for mothers who are breastfeeding to make sure they’re getting enough natural sources of vitamin C in their diets.
This is because maternal intake of vitamin C in the diet was shown to increase the concentration of vitamin C in breast milk. In turn, infants of these mothers were shown to have a reduced risk of atopy.
Atopy is the genetic predisposition to the development of hypersenstivity to environmental or dietary allergens, and it can manifest as atopic dermatitis, hay fever, food allergies, or asthma.
What’s most important is that this effect was seen only when mothers’ vitamin C intake was in their diet, not via supplements [ii].
Since the incidence of allergies and atopic dermatitis[iii] appears to be increasing, early intervention is key, and the results of this study, particularly the importance of natural sources of vitamin C, can not be ignored.
Fermented Vegetables for Vitamin C
You already know that we should always look for a healthy, natural diet and whole foods so the results of the above study are not a surprise. This is exactly what we offer you in the Body Ecology Diet. When you eat as we suggest you are obtaining all the nutrients your body needs to thrive.
Citrus fruits, like lemons and limes, are great and probably the most popularly known source of vitamin C, but they’re not the only source.
You may not know that long before vitamin C was identified, Dutch seamen and the famous Captain Cook carried cultured vegetables on long trips in order to prevent scurvy, which is caused by a vitamin C deficiency.
Fermented foods, like cultured vegetables, especially those made with cabbage, kale and collards, are incredible sources of vitamin C. In fact, cultured vegetables help you get the most out of the vitamin C you consume.
This is because fermenting significantly increases nutrients and nutrient availability in vegetables, while providing your body with the good bacteria (microflora) necessary to digest your food.
So in effect, fermented vegetables give you a one-shot double whammy: vitamin C, and microflora which help you better absorb not just vitamin C, but all the nutrients your body needs!
Incidentally, having a healthy inner ecosystem teaming with beneficial microflora is also an important deterrent in the development of many childhood diseases and allergies.
Ferment Your Own Vegetables!
Want to boost your dietary vitamin C? Make your own fermented foods! Body Ecology’s Culture Starter is just what you need to you’re your own cultured vegetables. Just shred some cabbage, follow the instructions in the box and you are well on your way to creating delicious, nutritious fermented foods! Learn more about Culture Starter and buy yours today!
These are the most popularly known types of fermented foods, and with Body Ecology Culture Starter, you can easily make your own kimchi, sauerkraut, or other delicious raw fermented vegetables. (NOTE that the sauerkraut you typically find in grocery stores is mass produced and not traditionally fermented, so to get the benefits of fermentation you have to either do it yourself or find it in “old world” type delis … if you know of one, ask them how it is made.)
To make your own, all you have to do is start with the freshest seasonal organic vegetables you can find, and follow our easy instructions and cultured vegetable recipes .
In addition to getting the most vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals possible from your vegetables, you and your family will begin to enjoy:
- Better digestion
- Stronger immunity and resistance to disease
- Reduced cravings for sugar and processed foods
- Increased vitality and energy
And most importantly, the biggest reward that comes with good health: happier and fuller lives!
- Vitamin C could lower body fat levels, Nutraingredients.com, April 2006.
- Moyer, Paula, “Higher Concentration of Vitamin C in Breast Milk Linked to Lower Rate of Infant Atopy”
- Allergy Statistics