During the last three months of covid crisis, we all have heard the claim that having a vitamin-rich diet, especially in vitamin C, may prevent or even heal the body from this virus. We have also heard the other side of the story that “no supplement, diet, or healthy lifestyle other than staying home, practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and applying proper hygiene can prevent or protect us from it.
These two sides of the coin obviously leave us with two options to follow, either to eat plenty, tons of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals or do nothing, but just keep ourselves in isolation, wear a mask, stop seeing and hugging our loved ones, use hand sanitizers and wait until others tell us what it is next. I think this is the perfect time to do the former. Now more than ever we must be proactive with our health and become aware of how what we eat, think, and feel can and do either save our lives or make us ill. It is time to use our critical thinking, our intuition, and great wisdom.
We all know that vitamins are essential micro-nutrients required for various biochemical and physiological processes in the body. They are classified as fat-soluble (A, D, E, K) and water-soluble vitamins (C and B complexes) getting vitamin C a great deal of attention among them during the pandemic due to its role as a powerful immune booster. However, it must be outsourced either from food or supplements since the human body cannot synthesize it naturally, due to the lack of an enzyme named gluconolactone oxidase.
6 MAIN HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C
It has been proved that Ascorbic acid – for its organic compound name:
- stimulates the immune system by enhancing T-cell proliferation to attack infections
- is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissues and bone formation
- fights inflammation and accelerates wounds healing
- increases metabolic functions: activates B vitamin and folic acid, converts cholesterol to bile acids, lowering blood cholesterol levels, converts cholesterol to bile acids, lowering blood cholesterol levels as well as the amino acid, tryptophan into the neurotransmitter serotonin, increases the absorption of iron in the gut by reducing ferric to ferrous state, synthesizes collagen and carnitine in the connective tissue
- neutralizes free radicals, prevent and reverse cellular damage as a potent antioxidant
- reduces the severity of allergic reactions
NATURAL SOURCES OF VITAMIN C
It is important to aim to obtain the daily Recommended Daily Amount of vitamin C, with or without coronavirus, from the food we eat. Therefore, more than ever, we need to eat nutrient-dense whole fresh foods that provide us with this essential nutrient.
According to the Government of Canada, the safety “daily value used in nutrition labeling is based on 60 mg of vitamin C for a reference diet.” However, experts in medicine and nutrition, recommend a safety intake of up to 2000 mg a day for good health. This daily value intake may seem a lot and hard to get from the food itself. However, here I am listing the top foods rich in this vitamin C for you to see how easy it is to meet the 2000 mg a day through diet alone so that you strive to reap all its health benefits without taking dietary supplements so that your intake does not depend on them.
Source: “Complete Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements,” Griffith, Winter H.
Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods will provide you with all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for great health. Work on incorporating fruits and vegetables to all your recipes, from meatloaf to soups, eat them as a quick snack with hummus, chili pepper, dips, and salsas, or include them in your sandwiches and wraps, add them to your cereals, but most importantly, enjoy a jar of dark leafy greens and fruit smoothie as a filling and low-calorie healthy jumpstart breakfast.