“Take Your Vitamin…Pills?”
I recently wrote a blog post, “Food is Medicine”, explaining how food is and always will be our source for nourishment, healing or simply, fueling our bodies. My husband has been telling me to buy Vitamin C supplement pills for the last month and now that he is currently fighting a cold I wondered to myself, did he get a cold because he hasn’t been taking Vitamin C pills?? The temperature outside is dropping and cold season is among us, I figured this would be a great time to write about the pros and cons of supplementing Vitamin C and why choosing foods high in Vitamin C is a better choice.
Despite common belief, Vitamin C does not prevent one from getting a cold nor will cure it. However, evidence does support that Vitamin C does in fact reduce the amount of days that one will suffer from cold symptoms. Getting enough Vitamin C on a regular basis will also help keep your immune system on a higher level of functioning.
So fine, maybe I should of have went out and bought the bottle of Vitamin C like a good wife, but my immediate question is,…”why haven’t you had enough Vitamin C in your diet?” We as a society depend far too much on these “magic” pills to take away our sniffles and soreness at the exact moment that we take them. So I ask, why not eat some blueberries everyday and not worry about it? Wouldn’t it be easier to eat the right kind of foods to ensure that you do not have to supplement certain vitamins and minerals?
Even though Vitamin C cannot cure a common cold, it is actually pretty amazing. Research shows that it helps to reduce the risk of many health related problems such as: heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoarthritis, age-related macular degeneration and asthma, to name a few. Your body also uses Vitamin C in multiple ways such as: making collagen, maintaining healthy bones, decreasing blood sugar and many more. However, Vitamin C cannot be stored in your body for it to use when it is needed. So even if we were to take Vitamin C supplements daily, our body can only use so much and the rest is discarded.
Another reason why I would simply eat foods rich in Vitamin C rather than taking a supplement are the amount of side effects one could run into. Any side effect is a reason not to take a pill, however the list of side effects associated with the common ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) pill is surprising. Vitamin C is most commonly made from corn and is a natural diuretic therefore can cause many common bowel issues such as diarrhea, gas, or stomach upset among a list of others. Which, to me, is enough to not want to take another pill.
When faced with the common cold I turn to the grocery store as my “magic”. I buy foods that have the highest levels of Vitamin C available and eat them everyday. Foods that are on this list are: papaya, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, parsley, and mustard greens to name a few. Because the body cannot store any extra Vitamin C for later use, it does not make sense to me why one would supplement when it can be easily accessed at any store daily.
There is no need to “supplement” Vitamin C with a pill. It can be accessed easily everyday and honestly, you know you are going eat some fruit today. Simply make it something higher in Vitamin C during the cold weather months along with a lot of water and plenty of rest and there will be no need to worry about having to supplement anything.