Today, most people understand that eating unprocessed, or minimally processed, whole foods from the earth is key to achieving and maintaining optimal health and wellness. Packaged foods that are full of additives, preservatives, and artificial agents are no match for nature’s goodness when it comes to nourishing our bodies.
One of the very best things about following a plant-based diet is the peace of mind that you are fueling your body and its systems with the vitamins and minerals it needs, while also reaping an array of health benefits. Inspired by the fast approaching cold and flu season, below we discuss Vitamin C and immunity boosting.
Among its many benefits, Vitamin C plays an important role in immune system function, particularly in enhancing white blood cell activity. Strengthening your immune system is crucial to thwarting cold and flu, as this network – comprised of white blood cells, spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes, tonsils and thymus – prevents illness from infiltrating your body.
Most animals have the ability to synthesize all the Vitamin C they need within their bodies. Humans, on the other hand, lack the ability to produce one of the four enzymes necessary for synthesis of Vitamin C from glucose. As a result, we must obtain all necessary Vitamin C from our diet. Being a water-soluble vitamin, Vitamin C is not stored in significant quantities in our bodies, making adequate dietary intake on a daily basis crucial.
Foods you can incorporate into your diet to boost your Vitamin C intake include:
- Peppers (red and yellow)
- Grapefruit (pink or red)
Taking a Vitamin C supplement is also effective, provided that you choose the right one. Many conventional brands of Vitamin C available today miss the mark, failing to produce a supplement that produces functional vitamin activity in our bodies. It is common for Ascorbic Acid to be labelled, marketed and sold as Vitamin C; however, this is not a real or natural form of the vitamin, and our bodies do not recognize it as such. In fact, consuming high levels of ascorbic acid can actually do us more damage than good and cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and upset stomach. We simply do not have the skills and knowledge to produce a functional Vitamin C complex in the laboratory. Luckily, nature does this for us every day in all of the wonderful fresh produce we consume.
All natural Vitamin C supplements to consider:
HealthForce Acerola Cherry Powder harnesses the power of Mother Nature, delivering pure Vitamin C in a powdered form that is fast and easy to use. Acerola Cherry Powder is 100% whole food, coming from acerola cherry extract. Acerola cherry is native to South America, Southern Mexico and Central America, but is now also grown in Texas and other subtropical areas like India. These tart cherries are low in calories and exceptionally rich in Vitamin C.
Simply mix Acerola Cherry Powder with water, fresh juice, your smoothie, vegan milk, or any other food, to significantly boost the bioavailable Vitamin C content in your diet.
Another all-natural Vitamin C supplement you can consume with confidence is Sewanti’s Amla Fruit Powder. This certified organic, non-GMO is made of amla fruit skin and rind. Amla is an excellent whole food source of Vitamin C. In fact, “Fresh amla juice contains 20 times as much Vitamin C as is present in orange juice.” (source)
To use, add one teaspoon to fresh water twice a day on empty stomach. It can also be used topically when made into a paste and applied as a hair mask or skin treatment. Though you won’t get the same Vitamin C benefits that you would by consuming it, you will enjoy shiny hair and radiant skin when used externally.
This delicious herbal jam has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years. Amal fruits form the base of this jam, and the addition of herbs and other natural ingredients make it even more nutritionally potent. You will not get as high a volume of amal fruit as you would with the pure powder, but this is a great option to consider if you would like to improve your intake of Vitamin C. Use Cyavanaprash as you would any jam.
This new product to our shop packs a heavy health punch! Four Sigmatic Ten Mushroom Blend offers immune system support thanks to the wide scale of dual extracted mushrooms used, as well as the Vitamin C content from the added rose hip extract. This whole food supplement also supports energy levels.
To use, add one teaspoon to any beverage (hot or cold), smoothie, or recipe. Ten Mushroom Blend can be enjoyed any time of day. Four Sigmatic recommends starting with one serving per day, so you can get a feel for how the product benefits your body. Once comfortable, adjust your dosage based on your needs.
How will you boost your Vitamin C intake? What’s your plan to protect and enhance your immune system this cold and flu season? Through the dietary choices you make, supplements, or a combination? Let us know by reaching out to us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
If you are interested in discovering other all-natural, plant-based immunity boosting products we carry in our shop, we suggest you visit the following pages: