Vitamin C deficiency symptoms start with tiredness, fatigue and lethargy. Is there anything more typically Western than that? We are quick to blame our lifestyle, poor sleeping habits and hard work, but it's interesting that the primary sign of scurvy is a feeling of malaise.
All of them are cofactors in many vital enzyme processes and are thus essential for life, so there's no pointing making an artificial order of merit, as if one is more important than others.
A serious shortage causes scurvy which results in death. Far more sailors succumbed to the disease than were ever killed in the mighty armadas that brought nations together in violent conflict.
And the first sign of scurvy is tiredness; do you have no get up and go and are no longer bright eyed and bushy tailed?
It's autumn now in South Africa and I find it interesting that the two primary food sources of vitamin C are at this time abundant in our garden. It's as though nature is saying, winter is coming, so it's time to fortify yourself against colds and flu, and get your immune system in order.
So, what are those two main foods supplying our vitamin C? It's not rocket science. I'm sure we all know one, and that's citrus, and the other is the pepper family. And both are abundant right now in our garden. You'll find them both at the greengrocer.
Healthy choice foods are not difficult to get for most of us. The difficulty is not getting citrus and peppers, but finding easy ways to get them in sufficient quantities so that we don't have to resort to supplements, always a second best.
Our mandarin orange tree is bent over almost to the ground, the crop of sweet, juicy fruit is so heavy.
Limes too are abundant. The British were first to realise the cure for scurvy, and more important prevention of this serious disease, causing primarily malaise and tiredness, remember, lay in limes; hence their sailors were called limeys.
Perhaps my favourite though is the Meyer lemon. Flowering twice a year, it has fruit for eight months of the year.
It took me two minutes to pick these mandarin oranges this morning, one minute to halve them, and another two to sqeeze them. Five minutes in all, it beats OJ in a carton hands down. Notice that I've removed the strainer giving us the pulp and all; that's where much of the vitamin C and other nutrients is found.
Pepper family too should be included.
Second in richness of prevention of our vitamin C deficiency symptoms, initially tiredness and malaise remember, is the capsicum family.
That means sweet peppers of all colours, pepperdews and all their fiery cousins. Yes, if you are susceptible to colds and flu, depression and weak blood vessels, they should be daily on the menu, particularly in autumn and winter, but year round in fact.
I enjoy at least two of these delicious jalapenos every single day from early summer to late autumn. If you split them in half and lightly saute or parboil them, they lose much of their real burn, but it also reduces the vitamin C content. They give a green salad that can be a little dull a little something extra, and are wonderful for example in eggs Florentine. I also add a few tomatoes in part for their vitamin C content, but also the prostate gland. A tomato a day keeps the urologist at bay.
Vitamin C deficiency symptoms, so, what are they? You are probably getting irritated but because it's so common, and so neglected, I keep repeating tiredness, malaise and depression. Reach for an orange, not for an anti depressant.
Collagen formation requires vitamin C; it's a vital part of the process in which collagen is built from the protein we eat. If it is even mildly deficient, our slipped discs and sprained ankles simply won't heal properly, and hence our interest as chiropractors.
I'm sure you can see this lady has a serious list to starboard. She has what is known as an antalgia, one of the many signs of a serious slipped disc. I call it the Pisa sign. Reduction of the disc using a chiropractic adjustment, active rehabilitation and vitamin C are major parts of the treatment.
In short, healthy choice foods including citrus and the pepper family on a daily basis is what keeps the flu away, promotes healing should we injure discs and ligaments, and gives us that vitality and energy, that spark, that makes life so interesting.
Not enough energy except to sit and watch TV? Look to your diet.
Don't want to get arthritis and cancer. Let your food be your medicine.
Bernard Preston is a semi retired chiropractor, interested in nutrition, organic gardening and he's also a solar guru.
Becoming a greenie has been a very exciting journey as one approaches the 68th orbit of the sun. The Earth won't stop but how many more orbits will have Bernard Preston on board the late, great, planet Earth?
have decided to do my bit for king and country, and make sure I'm
making my contribution to a planet inhabitable for my great
grandchildren. Will you join me?
Finishing his seventh published book in time is one of the last projects; will the Church ever have another married pope?