Vitamin C: An essential addition to your winter diet

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins in our daily diets and contributes to a number of bodily functions. As a health club, the wellbeing of our members is at the heart of what we do and educating our members is important to us. The benefit of Vitamin C to our immune system has widely been documented but it does not stop there. We have spoken to our very own nutritionist Jenny Hargreaves who gives us the following information and advice.

Why do we need to include Vitamin C in our diet?

This vitamin was discovered in 1912 and established its name in the 1920s. Humans are one of the few animals that cannot synthesize Vitamin C in their bodies. That is why it is an essential part of our diet. Strawberries, spinach and uncooked broccoli (since cooking reduces the amount of Vitamin C in foods) are also good sources of Vitamin C.

What are the benefits of Vitamin C?

There are several health benefits of Vitamin C in both our food diets and our skin care. Vitamin C is essential for the stability of collagen which provides the structure of connective tissue such as skin, veins, and arteries. Vitamin C also works in two ways to lower cholesterol.

Furthermore, Vitamin C is an extremely important antioxidant which protects our cells from damage by free radicals. Our body purposefully make free radicals to neutralize viruses and bacteria. Vitamin C further safeguards many indispensable molecules in the body such as our DNA.

Vitamin C is also essential for energy production and in times of stress, since Vitamin C has been found to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. A high level of stress hormones can lead to several negative effects of stress such as weight gain and high blood pressure.

Why do we need more Vitamin C in the winter?

During the colder months of the year, we are more prone to winter bugs and our immune system is compromised. Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in our immune cells so is needed to fight off infections. 

According to research, the optimal amounts for disease prevention ranges from 200mg to 2g daily. To put this number into perspective one orange contains 83mg Vitamin C.

Not only can seasonal bugs be largely reduced and, in some cases, prevented by adding Vitamin C to our diets, but Vitamin C is also excellent for reducing skin dryness (another consequence of cold weather) when applied to the skin.

With all these wonderful benefits of vitamin C in mind, we have lowered the price of our freshly squeezed orange juice in the café over these colder winter months when your immune system needs a bigger boost because WE CARE.