Orange you glad to learn more about Vitamin C?!

Here it is — the first in a regular feature of  info that is Good to Know.  Today: the world’s most famous vitamin.

I’m not kidding.  Ask any team on Family Feud to name a vitamin and I’m guessing  the number one pick would be Vitamin C.

Sure, everyone can name it,  but what do we really know about it?

Did you know that Vitamin C is so critical to living creatures that pretty well every mammal, except humans, can use their own cells to make it?   Hmmm… and we’re supposed to be the superior species?!?

A potent antioxidant, Vitamin C disarms free radicals –  you’ve heard of them, right?  They are those nasty molecules that float around in our body and cause aging and tissue damage.   Tissue damage that could cause any number of serious health issues, including the  Big C’s – cancer and cardiovascular disease, and for an again population, the development of cataracts.   Poor wound healing – a major concern for people with diabetes and other circulatory issues – is a sure sign of Vitamin C deficiency.

If that’s not enough, there’s ample evidence that Vitamin C is a proven immune booster,  like in the prevention and treatment of the common cold, recurring ear infections, and many other immunological diseases.  Cold and flu season is right around the corner – no time to waste in getting your defenses ready!

Healthy grown ups need a minimum of 75 mg/day for women and 90 mg/day for men, but it is certainly safe and desirable (especially for people who have frequent colds or infections or compromised immunity)  to take in double that without adverse effects.  In fact, it’s not possible to overdose on Vitamin C.   As a water soluble vitamin, excess Vitamin C is not stored but will be *a-hem* eliminated during your next trip to the bathroom, if you know what I mean.

Oddly, orange juice  is not the best source for Vitamin C, despite all the marketing and promotion done by Florida orange growers and various giant food companies who compete for ‘share of juice glass’.      Processing of any food or juice depletes the nutrient  levels, not to mention adding in other undesirable by-products that result from the industrial manufacturing processes.   And unless you have an organic orange tree in your backyard, even freshly squeezed juice loses vital nutrition content during the long journey from tree to table.  Afterall how long did it take that orange you juiced in your kitchen today to travel all the way from its little grove in the southern U.S. via the food terminal, the grocery store distribution centre and your local store shelf?   

So what to do?

 Instead of  thinking OJ, boost you vitamin C levels by chowing down on bell peppers, preferably locally grown. One cup – any colour – has 174 mg, more than double that of an orange. 

Other great sources include:  1 cup broccoli (123 mg),  1 cup strawberries (81 mg) or  3 cups of romaine (80 mg), about the amount in a regular caesar salad.    Even 2 Tbsp of parsley (10 mg) can add more sunshine to your daily vitamin intake. And how easy is it to throw that into a smoothie, salad, on top of  a pasta dish or sandwich spread each and every day?  

More alternative sources include cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, swiss chard, raspberries and kale — each containing 30 – 50 mg per 1 cup serving.  And all are available fresh locally which adds to the chances of  of keeping level of nutrients,  including Vitamin C , intact.

Good nutrition doesn’t have be complicated.  Sometimes it’s just good to know about the alternatives so you can make better choices. 

Next up:  making choices – how does our brain help or hurt us when we are faced with decisions?

Freshly squeezed and liking it

Yep, that’s me – finally squeezing out the the first posting of my new blog.    More about me later – but can I just say, what a perfect day to start a new venture!   Today, we celebrate the 118th birthday of the ‘father of Vitamin C’ and honour him with a Google Doodle.   As someone who is passionate about food and nutrition, you have to know how that excites me!    

I’ve been thinking about how to dive in and start this blog — featuring thoughts about health, happiness, and reinvention at any age or stage — for a while,  but haven’t been committed to jumping in until I read today about Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, biochemist, physiologist and general bon vivant (he was married 4 times so he had to have something going for him, right?!).   What really caught my attention was that he is said to have told his biographer “think boldly, don’t be afraid of making mistakes, don’t miss small details, keep your eyes open, and be modest in everything except your aims.”     Oh, is that all?   Well, off we go then :)

I hope you’ll join me here on a regular basis.  And bring friends.   Lots of them.  My aim is to share what I have learned about living life with zest and vitality so that you can build your own happier, healthier future.  

On a regular basis, you’ll see nutrition info, lifestyle tips, yummy  easy to do recipes,  thought provoking conversation starters, and possibly a rant or two.  Okay, for sure there will be rants.   And I take requests so feel free to comment or tell me what you want to know – rant-y or otherwise.

From time to time,  I’ll introduce you to a few of my friends and colleagues who also have plenty to say.     All this designed to give you some ideas about how to embrace — and maybe even seek out – changes that could lead to a new you — however you define that.

Disclaimer:  this isn’t a blog written by a celebrity (bigo or small)  or professional social media expert.   I bet you figured that out already.   Instead, I’m just New Trix, an Old Dog who has learned a trick or two along the way that allows me to live life more happily.  I’m also a communcations professional, holistic nutritonist, amateur social commentator, and a whole lot more —  but you can discover that in posts to come.      

As I grow and learn and reinvent, I expect this blog to do the same.  So if you’re bored right now — hey – keep coming back anyway.   It’s going to get better!!      I expect to make a few mistakes as I master blog etiquette and technical dexterity and there will be a typo or two on occaision I’m sure.  But thanks to my now favourite vitamin scientist,  I’m not afraid of that. 

Coming up next — the first installment of Good to Know, a regular feature of news and information that is, well, good to know!   As a further salute to Mr. Szent-Gyorgyi — I’ll be talking about Vitamin C.

Signing off with zest -

Trix