We all know that we need to get enough vitamins to stay healthy. But how can we actually eat enough vitamins? And why are they really important?
I had the lucky opportunity of meeting up with Vitamin C this week and asked him these questions.
Q: Tell me about yourself
A: Well, I’m synthesized by most animals, except primates. This means that while your pets don’t need to eat me in order to be healthy, you definitely do.
I spend most of my time acting as an antioxidant. By that, I mean that if there are some unfriendly free radicals (a molecule that is hunting for electrons) buzzing throughout your body looking to steal electrons from healthy tissues, I can donate my own electrons to prevent any damage from those vicious free radicals.
Q: What are your strengths?
A: I’m a very skilled collagen builder. Collagen is like the threads that hold a blanket together, but throughout your body. Without collagen, you’d fall apart.
I also help a lot with iron absorption, which is important especially for women or if you’re anemic.
Q: What are your weaknesses?
A: I’m not very stable. The longer I’m left out exposed to air, water, or high and low temperatures, the less likely I am to do my job once you actually eat me.
Since I’m a water-soluble vitamin, I don’t stick around for a long time. Once you eat me and I make it through your system, I’m gone and need to be replenished.
Q: What is your greatest professional achievement?
A: Putting an end to scurvy. Back in the day, sailors and pirates, and pretty much anybody never ate fresh fruits or vegetables, were experiencing fatigue, bleeding in their gums and joints, and hemorrhaging. This was because their collagen was deteriorating. They called me up, and as soon as those sailors started taking limes with them, the symptoms of scurvy cleared up.
Q: What type of work environment do you prefer?
A: I tend to be in most fruits and vegetables, but I especially like citrus fruits. As a college-aged student, you need to eat 90mg/day of me. Some ways to get 90 mg of me would be:
- Drinking 1 cup of orange juice
- Eating 1 cup of broccoli
- Eating one red pepper
- Eating 5 strawberries
- If all else fails, take a supplement
Q: Anything else we should know about you?
A: I am often attributed to boosting immunity, but there aren’t any studies that actually prove this to be true. While that might be the case, I’d leave it up to you to decide if eating more of me helps you not get sick by experimenting yourself.