FUNCTIONAL FOOD | Kicking off the Year on the Right Foot

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great start of the year.

I don’t know about you but I’ve been noticing temperatures a little colder than usual this time of year and I’ve also seen a lot of people coming down with “the common cold”–especially after crazy travel itineraries for the holidays.

With this in mind, I saw fit to talk about the importance of vitamin C in case you, or someone close to you, might need to be reacquainted with this health-essential, water-soluble vitamin to kick-off the year properly.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease, among many other illnesses like scurvy (not pretty). So vitamin C is our friend. Our bodies actually are capable of producing some vitamins but not vitamin C like some other animals.

Since our bodies can only store a small amount of vitamin C, it needs to replenish levels daily through diet. The best food sources of vitamin C are: bell peppers (including red chili peppers), guava, kale, spinach and parsley (and all dark leafy greens), kiwi, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), berries (strawberries, blueberries, cranberries), citrus fruits (lemons, oranges), and papaya, to name a few.

Vitamin C is used for the production of all adrenal hormones, especially cortisol. Cortisol and its importance is more than worthy of its own post–more to come. But staying on track, vitamin C is vital for the immune system. When we are stressed (from whatever event or ongoing stress), vitamin C is utilized rapidly to produce more cortisol. The more cortisol made, the more vitamin C is used, which makes vitamin C essential to support adrenal function (control blood sugar, burn protein and fat, react to illness or injury, regulate blood pressure and stress, among others).

So add some spinach to your morning smoothie, add some berries or kiwi on top of your warm oats in the morning (uh! you can even make your own jam!), roast some brussels sprouts, or add some peppers, broccoli, and/or cauliflower to your stir fry. Whatever rocks your boat, make sure you are getting your much needed vitamin C, your body will thank you for it.

Remember to eat the rainbow!

Love,
Gina

Every two weeks, I will be posting nutrition and wellness advice, recipes, and interesting findings worth sharing with all of you. I know that we all have different interests and needs so I will try to cover different topics with every post. I would love to read your feedback so I encourage you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comments section below.

If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website Alimental G.