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Benefits of Vitamin C for Optimal Health

BROCCOLIA variety of whole foods familiar to each of us provide most of the essential nutrients human bodies need to experience optimal health and support for our immune system to overcome illness and disease when we succumb to temporary health setbacks.

Vitamin C exerts a widespread influence in human health providing antioxidant protection.  Oxidants and free radicals are rogue atoms from molecules that become freed from their bonds and circulate erratically throughout the body searching for a new attachment.  In that freedom, free radicals damage other molecules creating more free radicals, cause cell walls and tissue membranes to tear creating repair responses, and can disrupt message transmission, especially

brain cell messaging.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant.  This means it collects and diffuses free radical activity.  It supports the immune system warrior cells that circulate throughout the body searching for foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and a myriad of other foreign invaders potentially creating ill health.

High doses of Vitamin C have been recognized as shortening the length and intensity of a cold and helping to relieve some of the symptoms of asthma and allergies.  Another benefit of Vitamin C supports the effects of emotional and mental stress.  When a person experiences chronic stress, the adrenal glands send out an abundance of cortisol and adrenalin to manage the stressors.  This uses up a lot of Vitamin C.  If a person undergoes surgery, smokes cigarettes, has a serious illness, Vitamin C is utilized to help with the healing processes.

Vision health benefits from regular intake of Vitamin C.  When taken with Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc, progression of cataracts and macular degeneration, often experienced as a person ages, can be slowed in its progression.

A link has been made in research studies that Vitamin C has been important in reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.  This is due Vitamin Cs antioxidant properties.  Brain dysfunction has been seen as developing from free radical damage affecting neuronal sheaths transmitting appropriate signals throughout the body.

Cancer is a frightening term on everyone’s mind.  Many people today, especially younger people we would not expect to experience cancer, have been succumbing to this deadly disease.  Vitamin C has been helpful in supporting the activity of chemotherapy in cancer treatment, especially those cancers affecting breast, ovaries, uterus, cervix, and colon polyps.
Vitamin C helps block the body’s usage of nitrites and nitrates, known carcinogens, that turn into nitrosamines in the body creating tissue damage.  Nitrates and nitrates are found in cured foods like bacon, hot dogs, sausage, ham, many processed foods, and can be in polluted air, water, and cigarette smoke.

Good food sources of Vitamin C include the brassicae family like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.  You will find Vitamin C in higher concentrations in black currants, parsley, sweet peppers, collard greens, mustard greens, beet greens, chives, and in the pulp of lemons and oranges.  Don’t be confused by thinking that citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C.  Mostly it is in higher concentrations in their rinds and pulp.

Vitamin C loses its potency in foods quickly, so preparation is key to preserving most of its powerful nutrients.  Lightly steam these foods or consume as much as you can as raw foods.
Krystle Shapiro, MSHN owns NewTritionally Yours! providing nutrition education classes. Next class begins February 4, 2016.  She can be reached at 208/290-6760.

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