Why Vitamin C Is So Flippin' Good For Your Skin
Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient essential for human health. Humans are one of the few mammals who cannot synthesize vitamin C, this means we must consume it within our diet....or we will die. Seriously.
Yohoho and a bottle of….lemon juice?
Ever heard of scurvy? Historically known as the “plague of the sea” due to millions dying from it in the age of sail. A condition where your bodily tissues gradually deteriorate - imagine teeth falling out, blotchy skin, reopening of old wounds (physically, not the emotional kind that happens when you listen to Jeff Buckley), lethargy, lack of wound healing, bone deterioration and eventually, death. It was finally discovered that this condition what not in-fact a contagious disease, but a simple nutritional deficiency, thanks to a physician named James Lindt (1716-1794) who successfully cured patients with scurvy by prescribing oranges and lemons, a practice later adopted by a bloke you may have heard of named Captain James Cook (1728-1779) who managed to sail his crew without any deaths caused by scurvy. Whilst it was obvious these citrus fruits were scurvy fighters, neither man fully understood why?
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It wasn’t until a medical physician named Gilbert Blane (1749 – 1834), confirmed that both previous men were somewhat correct in their discoveries, that it was the ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) found in citrus fruits and fresh produce which was responsible for preventing scurvy. This resulted in the British Navy purchasing 1.6 million gallons of lemon juice between the years 1795 to 1815!
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Why Vitamin C Is Essential For Skin Health
Vitamin C helps our skin by supporting normal, healthy collagen production, without it our skin would be frail and would deteriorate. Which means whilst basic levels are necessary to maintain normal skin health, extra doses can be therapeutic for skin conditions requiring wound healing such as:
~ Cold sores
As a potent anti-oxidant it helps protect against the signs of aging, and is excellent for inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Basically, without vitamin C you skin could not produce normal healthy collagen.
Food sources of Vitamin C
If you are having a good variety of fresh fruit and vegetables daily, you should easily be getting your recommended daily intake to prevent scurvy, but if you want to make sure you are getting plenty of it to help your skin, some rich food sources are:
~ Capsicum / peppers
~ Citrus (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit. mandarins)
~ Kiwi fruit
So there it is, eat your way to healthy skin. Nom nom nom.
(Naturopath & Skincare Geek)