When people talk about vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements, there is often a large amount of misinformation and “Bro-Science.” However, when it comes to Vitamin C, the science is clear that it’s an essential nutrient for immune function, digestion, and even stress reduction.
Humans and primates are unique in the fact that we cannot produce our own Vitamin C like other animals. Instead, we have to get it from our food! Let’s talk about Vitamin C and its many roles in the body.
1. Vitamin C Plays a Role in Digestion
Our stomach produces hydrochloric acid to digest and break down our food. This acid is so powerful that it would melt through your shoes if it touched them. Without enough Vitamin C in the diet, hydrochloric acid production is reduced, leaving us with poor digestion symptoms including burping, farting, and heartburn. By simply getting enough Vitamin C, you can improve your digestion.
2. Vitamin C Reduces Stress
Many people are feeling stressed in the 21st Century; chronic stress elevates our levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. When we have too much cortisol, we can become depressed, anxious, and irritable. Also, cortisol will eat your muscles away, as it is a catabolic hormone.
Getting a quality source of vitamin C from diet or supplementation can help the body rid excess cortisol.
3. Orange Juice is Not a Good Source of Vitamin C
The popular product called “Simply Orange” is far from healthy. The Coca-Cola owned company is in a lawsuit now due to their misleading marketing regarding their top selling orange juice product.
Many juice products on the market are reliant on artificial flavoring and coloring to make it look and taste like the real thing. Most juices are nothing more than expensive, highly processed sugar water. Even if there were remnants of Vitamin C in orange juice, we’re still avoiding a crucial point.
We are designed to eat fruit whole with the accompanying fiber and pulp. This helps the sugar in the fruit digest in a much slower fashion. If you’re looking to get Vitamin C, eat an organic and whole fruit such as blueberries which provide many key nutrients and antioxidants, while keeping sugar content to a minimum. You can also get a good amount of Vitamin C from broccoli, green peppers, and tomatoes. For maximum benefit, supplement with 2,000-3,000mg of Vitamin C from a complex form.
4. Not All Vitamin C Supplements are the Same
When looking for a Vitamin C supplement, it’s important to find the source. Many Vitamin C products are created from GMO corn and are often produced from China where a large amount of pollution and toxins may be present.
Look for a non-GMO labeled Vitamin C supplements. The best forms of Vitamin C are the complex forms which contain multiple versions of Vitamin C. Isolated ascorbic acid is usually what you’ll see in the grocery store. This product is generally combined with low quality ingredients and fillers. Seek out a higher quality complex form.
5. Vitamin C Can Improve the Health of Your Hair, Nails, & Skin
Vitamin C is required for the production of collagen. Some people refer to collagen as the “body’s glue” since we would fall apart without it. Collagen is a type of protein that makes up about 25% of the total proteins in our body. From our teeth to our muscles and skin, collagen is very important to us and can only be produced when enough Vitamin C is present!
This is part of why people develop brittle nails, lose hair, and have wrinkling skin, collagen production slows with age! Keep yourself healthy and be sure to get a quality source of Vitamin C from food first!
Evan Brand is a Holistic Health Coach and Podcast host featured in the top 25 chart of Fitness and Nutrition Podcasts on iTunes. His show is downloaded from over 100 countries worldwide. He performs private consultations worldwide and also works at Onnit Labs in Austin, Texas.