If you have these symptoms you could be low in vitamin C

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

The greater majority know that vitamin C is important for the immune system and that severe vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy. Most people these days consume enough vitamin C to not develop scurvy, but it doesn’t mean that your levels are ideal. Many do not consume enough fresh produce and unfortunately, most of the produce we do consume has been kept in storage or exposed to heat which destroys the vitamin C. Many people have poor gut health, with an inflamed gut lining, so they don’t absorb nutrients adequately.

Symptoms of low vitamin C can include:

  • Frequent infections / prolonged infections
  • Easy bruising
  • Poor wound healing
  • Joint pain, stiffness and inflammation
  • Dry or rough skin
  • Stretch marks
  • Fatigue
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Bleeding gums

Functions of vitamin C

  • Required by the adrenal glands to produce cortisol
  • The main nutrient needed to produce collagen in the body
  • Needed by the liver to remove toxins from the body
  • Antioxidant activities to protect cell health
  • Reduces inflammation in the body
  • Supports immune cells and has anti-viral properties

How much vitamin C do you need?

The RDI for vitamin C is quite low at only 30-45mg per day, which is enough to prevent scurvy. In actual fact, many people need much more than this (1000-2000mg), particularly if they have a poor immune system, struggle with inflammation in the body, have muscle, ligament or cartilage damage, need extra liver support, have bruising or burns, smoke cigarettes and during pregnancy.

Strawberries 6 = 25mg
Golden kiwi 1 = 130mg
Orange 1 medium = 70mg
Red capsicum 1 = 150mg
Cabbage 1/2 cup = 30mg
Tomato 1 medium = 25mg
Leafy greens  1/2 cup = 30mg
Persimmon 1 = 40mg
Lemon 1 small = 30mg
Guava 1 medium = 180mg
Broccoli  1/2 cup = 60mg
Collagen Food powder 1 tsp = 965mg

Vitamin C is destroyed by heat and light, so keep this in mind when trying to boost vitamin C levels. Cold press juicers are the best type to use as they do not produce heat and therefore retain important enzymes and nutrients such as vitamin C. See the book Raw Juices Can Save Your Life for therapeutic juice recipes.

Dr Cabot Ultimate Gut Health powder contains glutamine, pectin, slippery elm, aloe vera and the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii. It helps to heal leaky gut, thus improving nutrient absorption from your food and supplements.

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