Purposeful Nutrient: Vitamin C

Thank goodness for lemons, especially Meyer lemons. 🍋

Don’t you just love citrus? Brightly colored, bursting with flavor, and offering a ray of sunshine on even the dreariest of winter days.

I just can’t get enough of citrus, especially during the winter. My parents have an orange, a lime, and a Meyer lemon tree in their yard that seem to produce fruit just about year round, and you better believe I’m adding the beautiful juice and zest to as many meals, drinks, and treats as possible.  

Today I want to talk specifically about the benefits of Vitamin C, and why it’s such a magical nutrient. Plus I’ll offer tips for how to use / store your citrus so that you have access to it all year long. 

Health Promoting Properties of Vitamin C:

- Acts as a natural “sunscreen" for your eyes and skin, preventing cataracts and age-related or sun-related macular degeneration, and reduces susceptibility to sunburn.
- Prevents cell division in cancer cells
- Natural antibiotic; stimulates white blood cell production, which are the cells that trap and kill invading bacteria and pathogens
- Antioxidant; scavenges the body to find and neutralize reactive oxygen species
- Required for the production of collagen (natural anti-aging for your skin)
- Required for the production of serotonin (mood, sleep, regulation of body rhythms)
- Reduces inflammation, and may be beneficial in improving rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

How to Use / Store Lemon:

- Use lemon juice in salad dressings, sauces, squeezed onto steamed vegetables, added to tea or water, in baked goods, as a natural preservative in homemade jam, to prevent apples and other freshly cut fruit from browning, to make lemonade
- Store lemon juice in ice cube trays so that you can thaw what you need on demand
- Use lemon zest fresh or candied in baked goods and treats, fresh in sauces, dressings, combined with sugar or salt in a jar to flavor it, dried and added to tea blends
- Squeeze 1 large wedge of lemon into a small cup (4 oz) of warm or room-temperature water 10-30 minutes prior to a large meal to stimulate digestive enzymes and reduce acid reflux symptoms

Apart from this, it’s delicious! 

But citrus isn't your only host for vitamin C. Here's a list of the foods richest in vitamin C from the World's Healthiest Foods website: 

Worlds Healthiest Foods Source of Vitamin C Ranking Chart Plant Based

I hope this information is helpful to you, and if you’re interested in learning more, please visit WHFoods and Linus Pauling Institute.

That's all for now,