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Monday, January 24, 2011

Vitamin C - not just for the common cold!

For the past several weeks, I have been seeing post after post on my facebook account, of friends near and far who are being taken down by the stomach flu. My house was not immune to this either! I had the nasty bug over New Years and let me tell you I was NOT happy about it! You know the signs - it starts with a little stomach ache that quickly moves to serious nausea. I will spare you the details, but I was pretty sick. My husband watched me go down hill fast as he helped with the kids and let me rest. And then several hours later while I was enjoying some rest and thinking how great it was that I had a husband to take care of me and our 2 boys, he came to me and said he wasn't feeling well at all. Ugh. So it was time for me to be recovered and take over with the kids so he could go through the horrible events that I had just experienced. The only difference was - he didn't! He was spared! How could this be, I thought? Why did I get so sick with the vomiting and diarrhea and he got off so easy with some nausea and a few hours of mild diarrhea? The next day we talked about it and he told me his secret.....

Vitamin C!!!!!

Really??? Vitamin C????! It was that simple? Well, the research isn't exactly conclusive on this topic, but there is evidence that vitamin C can actually be taken for several different things and have therapeutic effects. My husband is a research scientist, so he was aware of this and after he saw me go down with the flu, he took immediate action at the first sign of his symptoms. He took 3 or 4 of the chewable C that we give to our toddler here - chewable vitamin C

Each of these has 100 mg of C in them. He had also taken his usual sustained release C in the morning with 500 mg before his symptoms showed up - seen here sustained release C and he repeated this the following day. One Shaklee chewable vitamin C is equal to eating 1.5 organic oranges! good stuff!

Like I said, the research on this isn't conclusive but taking a higher dose of C sure did seem to work for my husband! And our toddler didn't get really sick either. Just a little bit of diarrhea. During flu season, we give him a chewable C 2-3 times a day plus he takes his chewable multivitamin once a day here Incredivites As a side note, our toddler has never had an ear infection and very rarely gets sick. We attribute a lot of that to the Shaklee supplements that he takes.

My original intention for this post was to help people with symptoms of the stomach flu to stop it in its tracks. But after I started researching Vitamin C a bit more, I was surprised at all of the additional benefits it could have!

Vitamin C is an immune booster, a vital antioxidant. It fights free radical damage and promotes strong bones, healthy gums and teeth, cartilage, fights infection, is anti-stress, builds red blood cells, prevents radiation damage, protects against allergic responses, helpful with arthritic symptoms, boosts good cholesterol, and the list goes on. I was surprised to learn that smokers rapidly use up vit. C with each cigarette they smoke! Vit. C is water soluable so we need to continually replenish our supply daily. Animals can actually produce their own Vit. C but humans cannot. Most people just don't have enough of it in their diet. It is recommended that adults get 500 mg a day of vitamin C, and no more then 2000 mg per day! Vitamin C can help with
immune system deficiencies, eye disease, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, helping us to live longer and even with our skin as we age. Vitamin C is even being used to treat cancer and diabetes!

Vitamin C is found in a lot of the fruit and veggies that we eat, but the problem is that most people just aren't eating enough. I know I am guilty of that, esp. in the winter months in the midwest when it's just not as easy to get. The farmers markets are all closed in the winter. The produce prices increase and the quality seems to decrease in the winter. The result? More sickness.

Here are some natural sources of Vitamin C:

  • Cantaloupe, 1 cup (8 ounces): 59mg
  • Orange juice, 1 cup: 97mg
  • Broccoli, cooked, 1 cup: 74mg
  • Red cabbage, 1/2 cup: 40mg
  • Green pepper, 1/2 cup, 60mg
  • Red pepper, 1/2 cup, 95mg
  • Kiwi, 1 medium: 70mg
  • Tomato juice, 1 cup: 45mg.
Frozen produce is another good option for getting some vitamins. Frozen produce is picked and frozen at the optimal time in order to contain the most vitamins and nutrients. And by freezing the produce, bacteria and pesticides are killed in the process. I still prefer fresh myself, but we have started buying more frozen lately and it isn't that bad.

If you are not getting enough C in your diet, I do think it is a good idea to think about a good supplement. Last week, I talked about a few of Shaklee's wonderful natural cleaners. I didn't mention though, that they also make a wonderful line of food supplements. They are all sourced from nature and have gone through the ringer with scientific testing, looking at the purity of the product. Dr. Shaklee created one of the first multi-vitamins back in 1915 in order to "fill in the gaps" in our nutrition. It was called Vitalized Minerals but today is Shaklee's Vita Lea. This is the most complete multi vitamin on the market and you can get it with or without iron. Shaklee also makes it for people who are over 50 or for children. Dr. Shaklee was very much ahead of his time as he knew that the best source of vitamins and minerals came from natural sources. He used to say that when you go to the grocery store, only shop around the perimeter, where all of the fruits, veggies and natural foods usually are. I think that is more true today then ever as we live in a fast food society and so many of our foods are processed, have additives, dyes, added sugars, etc. My thought is that if God meant it to be that way, then it would be.

So I hope you learned a little more about the many benefits of Vitamin C. I know I did! And I hope you will remember this post at the first sign of the flu, so you can beat it before it beats you!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a healthy week!


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