It’s that time of the year again when the sun and sweat are draining you out and the weather change has brought back those nasty nose and throat infections. Looking for some refreshing ways to beat the heat and give your immunity the much needed boost?
Then brace yourself for a lighter summer by loading your system with the Nature’s best coolant ‘Vitamin C’. This water soluble vitamin is also known as ascorbic acid. Unfortunately, human beings cannot synthesize or store vitamin C; hence you have to refill your quota each day with regular intake to obtain maximum benefits!
Vitamin C is your weapon against many diseases because
- It improves immunity or resistance to disease
- It helps in the formation of collagen which is present in skin, ligaments and blood vessels resulting in faster healing of wounds, repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth
- It enhances absorption of iron in the body
- It acts as an anti-oxidant and protects against cancer and cataracts
Deficiency symptoms: Severe Vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy which is characterized by bleeding and inflamed gums, abnormal bone growth, hemorrhages, etc but these symptoms are rarely seen. However, sub clinical signs and symptoms of mild deficiency are observed in most people.
- Dry and splitting hair
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Easy bruising
- Weakened tooth enamel
- Swollen and painful joints
- Decreased ability to fight infection
Summer Coolers in your kitchen!
Richest source of vitamin C is Amla (Indian gooseberry) and Guava (Peru). Other yellow, orange, red and green fruits and vegetables including green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Turnip greens and other leafy greens, Drumstick leaves, Coriander leaves, sweet and white potatoes, Papaya, Mango, Watermelon, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapples are also good sources. Sprouted pulses such as moong, matki, chana also contain vitamin C and should form a part of daily diet.
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Maximize the benefits of Vitamin C!
- Experts recommend that Indians need at least 20mg of Vitamin C everyday. To fulfill the requirement, one has to consume at least 1 ½ lemons or 1 small orange or 1 medium tomato or 1/2 green capsicum, etc everyday.
- It is important to note that Vitamin C is easily destroyed when exposed to heat, light and air. Therefore, it is wise to consume fruits and vegetables in the natural form without excessive cutting, heating or processing. Prolonged storage of cut or cooked food causes loss of this vitamin.
- It is advisable to consume vitamin C in the form of fresh lime water, lime juice, orange juice, etc with meals to enhance the absorption of iron in meals. For best effects, one must squeeze lime into poha, dal, roasted chana, etc.
Activities of daily living including exercise, travelling and mental stress lead to generation of toxic free radicals in the body which can be neutralized by antioxidants. Vitamin C is one of the most effective anti-oxidants which can prevent and cure most of the inflammatory disorders including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. The current lifestyle involving exposure to higher levels of stress, exertion, pollution, dust and smoke demands increased intake of this vitamin for healthy and disease free life.