As I’m writing this blog article, summer rain is pattering against the window and freshening the air all around London. After today’s rain, the plants will shoot out new, fresh leaves, grass will be extra green and the air will feel refreshing again.
This is what a little bit (okay, a lot of) rain can do to the natural world – and I’m going to be talking about something that you can eat, which will do a similar thing for your body.
In nature, there is such a thing as regenerative as summer rain. It’s an antioxidant that has many roles in the body. It’s also involved in the process of creating collagen, which is required for normal skin and bone structure and function. This means that it’s an important part of the healing process. Our bodies also need it for normal function and structure of blood vessels and neurological function. It also increases the absorption of non-haem iron (iron from plant sources) in the gut.
You might have guessed it; we are of course talking about the mighty vitamin C.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants in the body, such as vitamin E. It plays a crucial role in immune function and can help your body cope with stress. If these aren’t good reasons to make sure your vitamin C intake are up to date, then I don’t know what is.
Adults need 40mg of vitamin C a day. You can get this by ensuring you are eating the rainbow, daily.
The bioavailability (how freely it can be absorbed and used by your body) can be influenced by many factors and the amount of vitamin absorbed from the diet following consumption can vary, all depending on your individual needs, your ability to absorb nutrients as well as the amount available in the food and also other components of the diet. This means that combining vitamin C rich foods with each meal is a good way to ensure enough will actually be absorbed for your body to use. Furthermore, some vitamins, such as vitamin C and a few B vitamins are susceptible to damage by heat, light, oxygen, enzymes and minerals – and these losses may happen during food processing, preparation or storage.
Eating vitamin C
Including enough vitamin C rich foods in your diet doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult, there are many ways to enjoy a variety easily. Put it simply. Add some of these example foods to your daily diet and you should be well on your way to restocked vitamin C stores each day:
- Fresh citrus fruits (such as oranges and grapefruits)
- Fresh, frozen or dried berries (such as blueberries, blackcurrants, lingonberries and strawberries)
- Fresh or frozen green vegetables (such as spinach and broccoli)
- Fresh peppers
- Fresh tomatoes
- New potatoes
Creating a vitamin C rich menu plan is a great investment into your health and wellbeing – so spending a little bit of time thinking about which foods are easy for you to add to your existing meals is the easiest way forward.
Try this simple principle: If your meal only has 2 colours, add a third.
With this principle, you can easily add a vitamin C – rich food to each of your daily meals.
Here’s an example (colours in brackets):
Smoothie with oats, nut milk, banana (1), blackcurrants/blueberries, frozen/powder/fresh (2), fresh strawberries (3)
Orzo pasta, mixed lettuce leaves (1), avocado (2), cherry tomatoes (3), pumpkin seeds and vinaigrette
Pan-fried tofu with homemade pesto (spinach, basil, mint), 1, sweet potato fries (2) and sweet corn (3)
Fresh raspberries, yogurt with sprinkle of lingonberry powder, apple slices and peanut butter on an oatcake, pineapple with yogurt
Essentially, this example meal plan can get your inspirational juices flowing and turn your attention to the importance of considering the balance of your diet. Investing some time, effort and even money into wellbeing is the best investment you can make. So, count colours and eat yourself towards better health!
If you need any help with reviewing your diet or how to improve the balance, get in touch with Taru @ ArcticNut Nutrition Coach.