Vitamin C is one of the most popular vitamins around the world that is known to prevent colds, keep our body immune system strong and build a strong foundation for body cells. However, we have to ensure we have enough Vitamin C as our body does not produce or store this water-soluble vitamin.
Although Vitamin C can be easily available through fruits and vegetables, however, it can also be easily destroyed and lost through oxidation and cooking. Not only that poor lifestyle habits such as smoking and exposure to sun and carbon monoxide are also factors that can destroy Vitamin C.
Fruits and vegetables that are rich with Vitamin C included dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, grain products and fruits with bright colours, for example citrus fruits, mangoes, tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruits, guava, and blueberries.
Vitamin C can be in supplementation form as well. We may find Vitamin C is available in various forms such as tablets, chewable tables, effervescent and liquid form encapsulated in soft gelatin capsules (‘softgel’). My understanding is that Vitamin C in liquid form is the most effective, reasons being:
- No Stomach Discomfort – Rapid absorption prevents stomach acidity and protects our teeth from acidic erosion.
- Easy consumption – For those who have trouble to swallow tablets or softgels, Vitamin C in liquid form provide an alternative mean for easy consumption, this is especially so for children and the elderly.
- Faster absorbility – Vitamin C can be immediately absorbed without having to go through the breakdown process as happened in other forms.
- Concentrated Form – Vitamin C is more concentrated because it requires no fillers and binders that are needed to hold them together when in tablet form.
What is going to happen if our body runs out of Vitamin C? Below are some of the warnings signs that display symptoms of poor health:
- Fatigue (e.g. getting tired easily, falling asleep after dinner, dip in energy);
- Frequent Infections (e.g. coughs, colds, ear infections and other small and disturbing as Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that can keep our immune system strong to prevent infections);
- Delayed healing (e.g. wounds take longer time to heal or do not heal properly);
- Dry, sallow skin and hair;
- Mood changes (e.g. depression, mood swings, inability to focus and irritability);
- Bleeding gums and loose teeth;
- Easy bruising (e.g. just a slight knock or bump against something will result in bruises that take a long time to clear);
- Sudden and drastic weight loss; and
- Joint and muscle aches (e.g. unexplained and chronic pain in the limbs and joints as connective tissue lose elasticity)
I feel that we should not take things lightly if our body displayed the above symptoms as the above health symptoms can be a sign of other more serious health conditions and through time, thing may get complicated. As such, it helps to check with your doctor and see whether you are facing a deficiency in Vitamin C and other minerals.
Tan Kok Hui
Nutrition Made Simple, Life Made Rich