Who doesn’t love feeling healthy and happy? How about having the appearance of glowing, firm skin, strong nails and teeth, and shiny hair? Everybody, right?
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient made internally by almost all organisms except humans and apes, hamsters (weird, I know) and some birds and fish. Somehow, we have lost the ability to synthesize it (don’t ask me how), which means we must find an outside source. Translation: a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is key.
Vitamin C is a main component for beautiful skin, hair and nails. It boosts our immunity, protecting us from the onset of disease and illness, and it is a potent antioxidant, internally and topically. In fact, studies have shown that even in small amounts Vitamin C can protect our bodies from free-radicals, which are the leading cause of physical aging (note I state “physical” – we are all really ageless beings. That thought alone can help keep you young!). Vitamin C can help regenerate oxidized molecules, which essentially means can help turn back our physical clocks! The vitamin can also be used as a food grade preservative in skin care and cosmetics, replacing toxic chemicals shown to potentially cause cancer.
For adults, according to the RDA, the recommended dosage is 75 – 90 mg per day. While that dosage will prevent an ailment like scurvy, most of us are’t voyaging across bodies of water for months at a time, without an adequate source of vitamin C. A short Greek Island sojourn is a possibility for some of us, but that’s another case entirely. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, much higher daily doses up to 2,000 mg can prevent ailments from cardiovascular disease to cancer. And smokers need approx. 35 mg/day more, since toxins in blood lower levels of vitamin C.
How do we get enough of this make happy vitamin? Contrary to popular belief, oranges are not the highest source of vitamin C. Fruits like acerola berries, guava, kakadu plum, kiwi and mango all contribute to a higher daily intake, in addition to some veggies like peppers and tomato. Check out this food guide courtesy of the Natural Food Hub
An apple a day may help keep the doctor away, indeed. But when it comes to fending off aging, illness and the blues, I love an exotic fruit salad! And hey, a tropical scurvy-less cruise is exactly what I need this month – even if it takes place at my kitchen table with my eyes closed.