Why and how to boost your vitamin C intake.

January is a good time to boost your intake of fruit and vegetables; even more so it turns out if you have metabolic syndrome, according to research from Oregon State University. Metabolic syndrome is likely evident in anyone with three of the following conditions: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, low levels of “good” cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides, which reportedly includes some 35% of the US population.

Rich festive season food, high in saturated fat, can result in chronic low-grade inflammation in the body. This in turn can lead to the development of metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with cognitive dysfunction and dementia as well as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes. By eating 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, our bodies get the fibre and vitamin C we need to protect our gut and so avoid these problems.

A higher food intake of vitamin C is particularly crucial for metabolic syndrome patients trying to halt a potentially deadly cycle of antioxidant disruption and health-related problems. The research findings suggest the type of eating that leads to metabolic syndrome can prompt imbalances in the gut microbiome; this impaired gut function contributes to toxins in the bloodstream, resulting in vitamin C depletion, which subsequently impairs the trafficking of vitamin E (food sources: sunflower seeds, almonds, avocado, pine nuts and wheat germ). This becomes a vicious circle of antioxidant disruption that serves to make a bad situation worse. As a result, people with metabolic syndrome can eat the same amount of vitamin C as people without metabolic syndrome but have lower plasma concentrations of vitamin C. This makes it even more important for anyone suffering from this condition to boost their fruit and vegetable intake.

The body cannot produce or store vitamin C. It is therefore important to regularly eat foods that are high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, chili peppers, kiwi, broccoli, kale, red peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, thyme and parsley.

Note: Vitamin C is water soluble and so can easily be destroyed in cooking. Steaming is the best method for retaining vitamin C content. Try to eat some of your vegetables raw or opt for fruit. 

This January, concentrate on what you can and should eat rather than what you can’t and shouldn’t!

Make eating real food Just Routine

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