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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VITAMIN C
Nutritionist & wellbeing expert
Over the past few months many of us have suffered with colds and flus. Very likely the winter months have left us lacking in many nutrients, especially vitamin C. No doubt vitamin C is perhaps the most well-known vitamin, associated with orange juice or something orangey if you like, but here are some facts that may surprise you!
Why is vitamin C important?
Water soluble nutrient - needs to be consumed on a daily basis as it is not stored in the body
Can help prevent colds and shorten their duration
Powerful antioxidant, protecting us from free radical damage
Maintains collagen and supports its synthesis, which is very important for healthy firm skin, strong bones and connective tissue
Supports cardiovascular system – free radical damage is known to play a role in cardiovascular disease
Some signs that you might be low in this nutrient are:
- Dry and splitting hair
- Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and bleeding gums
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Decreased wound-healing rate
- Easy bruising
- Decreased ability to ward off infection.
The best way to get any nutrient is with food. However nowadays we are faced with many challenges. Vitamin C is found in fresh fruit and vegetables, but we tend to crave more comforting warm dishes such as soups and stews in colder months. Unfortunately vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat and cooking, and we need to pay extra attention to make sure we get enough of this powerful nutrient.
The freshness and quality of produce determine the nutrient density, but unfortunately not many of us grow our own food anymore. And who knows how long fruit and vegetables have been sitting on a supermarket shelf? For example, a fresh, vitamin C rich vegetable like broccoli—if allowed to sit at room temperature for 6 days—can lose almost 80% of its vitamin C.
Not just oranges?
While one medium orange does pack about 70 mg of vitamin C, it is not the richest source of this nutrient, as clever marketing has made us believe. There are some fruit and vegetables that beat the orange on the vitamin C front.
The number one source of vitamin C is a tropical fruit papaya. One medium sized papaya provides about 168 mg of vitamin C. Bell peppers, broccoli and Brussels sprouts all are more nutritious than oranges, and strawberries and pineapple also rise above oranges on the vitamin C ranking table. Make sure to get the freshest produce possible and ideally eat it raw, lightly steamed or stir-fried.
We are not saying oranges are bad, but you should not solely rely on orange juice for your vitamin C fix. Variety is the key, and including the aforementioned fruit and vegetables in your diet will also provide a range of other important nutrients and fibre.
Super berry Amalaki
It is a good idea to top up with additional vitamin C during the winter months and when entering spring. Be careful not to make a mistake getting a cheap high street brand of vitamin C as synthetic supplements might not be absorbed that well by our digestive systems.
A natural source of vitamin C would be a lot more beneficial. Our all-time favourite is an Indian gooseberry called Amalaki. This berry deserves a ‘superfood’ title as it is packed full with vitamin C. Some even claim that Amalaki is the richest natural source of vitamin C on the planet.
What might be even more important is the bioflavonoid content in Amalaki. Bioflavonoids are natural chemicals found in plants and have numerous positive effects on the body. The synergistic effect of all the natural chemicals in this berry can greatly enhance the absorption and potency of vitamin C.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you Emiliano for your comment. In this blog we are referring more to oils, more so than butters and while we agree with you Shea is an excellent emollient for hair, it's consistency is more buttery and it is used more as a leave-in remedy to smooth hair texture. We have suggested Coconut oil as it helps slow down hair loss by penetrating deep into your hair shaft to prevent protein loss, which in turn prevents breakage. When applied to your scalp, it simultaneously moisturises and removes build-up around your hair follicles to encourage hair growth and is one of base oils always used in Ayurveda for hair treatments. As this post is more focused for hair and not for skin, the comedogenic scale applies to skin/pores and not hair follicles. Thank you again for your feedback.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Hello Zu, yes hair loss can be very stressful and this in turn amplifies the cause almost.. Perhaps with Covid, your system may have been depleted of nutrients and fighting the virus can take its toll on your immune system, so sometimes our hair and skin suffer when we have been ill. We really believe in oils for scalp massage as the best way to revive the growth and help regenerate the follicles. It may be also worth at looking at internal supplements and making sure you are getting enough of omega oils, perhaps plant based such as nuts and seeds in your diet. For external oil treatment, would recommend the Really Good Hair oil which we create with Brahmi, this herb is known to help bring the scalp back to health and improve growth. Biotin is also a good vitamin to take as a supplement to help with hair growth so do look into that. So hope these tips will be helpful for you.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?I, am very surprised that your article did not include Organic Shea Butter and that coconut oil, is your number one choice for hair growth and thickness. According to the comedogenic scale, coconut oil, has a rating of (4), on a scale from (0), to (5), on clogging your pores. Why would anyone put coconut oil, on their hair or skin knowing the pores will get clogged up. Shea Butter, on the other hand has a (0), rating on the comedogenic scale, which is great for dry hair and skin and won't clog up your pores.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you for your very informative article. I suffered COVID in December, 2020, and in February I started experience extreme hair loss and all my hair jus falls like a person who is under going Chemo therapy. It's very depressing. Had to cut off all my hair and even the little that is left is falling off daily not sure what to do. Please suggest something.
- Carrot Oil for Face Hello :) You can use carrot oil only in small drops on your skin in the morning/during the day since it is highly potent. Carrot oil is rich in vitamins and is a very effective moisturiser. You can also mix a few drops of Carrot Oil with your favorite face cream. You can do that at least twice a week or include it in your daily skincare routine. Hope this helps.
- Carrot Oil for Face Can I use the carrot oil in the day time? Because I am using Vitamin c serum in the night. Please advise. Thanks