I awoke to the loveliest request the other day.
(No, not the carnal variety, although that was in play also...)
This one was via email, from my dear friend and co-conspirator, VK-Red Duvivier, photographer and lady extraordinaire. She mentioned her cravings for citrus fruit of late, and asked if I might write a post about it, with its correlation to vitamin C.
The craving for citrus, and its sublime juiciness stirs in me like clockwork twice per year: once in the heart of Summer, and once in the belly of Winter.
It’s the thirst.
And the need for the sense of well-being that springs from these common, yet possibly undervalued fruits as they do greet you with a certain...joyousness, no?
Dig your fingernails into a bright clementine in the middle of January and you cannot help but smile.
Images by VK-Red Duvivier
At the very soul of citrus is Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, which is such a critical nutrient that most mammals can actually use their own cells to make it inside their bodies. Humans are one of the few animals who cannot. As our age and level of health can greatly affect our need for C, humans vary in their requirements for it.
Vitamin C is required by the body for the development and maintenance of scar tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage. It is a powerful antioxidant which helps lessen oxidative stress, thought to lower cancer risk.
Of nutritional note, it increases a person's absorption of iron from plant foods, which should interest you, my vegan loves out there. (Wise food combining once again proves itself necessary.)
On the other end of the green-power spectrum, poor intake of vitamin C-rich vegetables and fruits is a common contributor to vitamin C deficiency. According to the National Academy of Science, in the U.S., one third to one half of all adults get less vitamin C from their diet than is needed. That's not surprising. In addition, the body's immune and detoxification systems make special use of C, so if either of these systems is compromised it can result in increase risk of deficiency. So, lovely ones, if any of you suffer with GI issues (Crohn's, IBS, colitis, etc.,) try upping your intake of C-rich foods, and see how your symptoms compare.
Our bodies really love vitamin C.
And guess what? So does our skin. Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining its health and radiance. When we are very young, our skin is full of C, but we naturally lose it over time, aided and abetted by smoking, second-hand smoke, pollutants, and UV exposure, all of which compound the decline of this vital nutrient for both our inner and outer beauty.
One of functions of vitamin C is its role in the production of collagen, a protein that gives your skin its elasticity. As you age, collagen breaks down and wrinkles begin to form. Stabilizing your skin’s levels of vitamin C can help to counteract wrinkle formation by increasing collagen production.
So, in addition to the health and beauty rewards of having a properly nourished body inside, we can also reap massive exterior benefits by using C topically. But here’s the rub: it HAS to be FRESH. Do not waste time or money on the myriad C products out there, even the natural ones, unless they include fresh vitamin C, preferrably paired with ferulic acid. I have never seen anything like this in a store, so I buy mine online. I love NuFountain. They make it fresh when you order it!
I've gotten very clinical today, haven't I?
Well, now I’m ready to take off my lab coat and enjoy a delicious C-ocktail.
This one pairs succulent citrus with iron (from the almond milk and coconut), a super vitamin A, beauty fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Care to join me?
I’ve got nothing on underneath...
Image by VK-Red Duvivier
Come On Up And C Me Elixir
- 1 C organic strawberries
- 1 orange
- 2 kiwi
- 1/2 lime
- 1 heaping Tbsp tocotreinols
- Liquid vanilla stevia to taste
- 1 C. unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 C. shredded organic unsweetened coconut
Blend it all up until smooth and creamy.
So very sexy.