It happened. There I was driving home from work and it hit me. My nose started dripping and my throat was getting sore. In a matter of minutes the winter cold found me and stuck its claws into me. Uggggg. I hate colds. I’ve got things to do. I can’t just lie around the house and Netflix all day. (Well, maybe that statement isn’t entirely true. It would be an inconvenience, though). As the cold was engulfing my head I remembered back to the days of when I was a little girl and my mother reminding me to drink orange juice to keep my vitamin C up. Crap. I forgot to put OJ on the grocery list. True to form, when I called my mom and she heard the ugly cold in my voice the first thing she said was “Have you been drinking your orange juice?”
So what is it about orange juice that keeps a cold at bay? The obvious answer is vitamin C. But what does vitamin C do and how does it benefit the body? Well, I’m glad you asked because that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
“Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters”- thanks Wikipedia. In a nutshell, Vitamin C helps the body to repair and regenerate tissues. It is important to the function of the immune system, it is an antioxidant, and it helps the body maintain connective tissue. This is good for bones, blood vessels and the skin.
Fresh orange juice is one way to optimize your vitamin C intake. Who doesn’t love a fresh glass of freshly squeezed OJ. With it’s immunity boosting attributes and connective tissue properties, my body feels better and younger every time I take a sip.
So let’s bullet point the benefits of vitamin C:
- Boosts immunity
- Improves mood
- Prevents Scurvy (I know you were worried about this one)
- Treats Cancer
- Helps repair wounds
- Helps control asthma
- Helps prevent heart disease
- Reduces stress
- Helps skin repair (my favorite benefit)
Vitamin C kicks butt. It’s packed full of benefits. So why not incorporate it into your daily diet? Chances are you already are. Vitamin C is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Oranges do not own the exclusive rights on vitamin C, but it is my favorite.
In addition to having an overwhelming benefit on the physical body, studies show that orange has an equal overwhelming effect on your mood. Orange, the vibrant color, evokes feelings of happiness, optimism and energy. Add that to the delicious invigorating smell of citrus and you have the happiest fruit! “Orange strengthens your emotional body. Encouraging a general feeling of joy, well-being, and cheerfulness”- Tae Yun Kim
I do have to make a little bit of a disclaimer here. Some studies suggest that while these benefits makes Vitamin C and by default oranges sound like the super enemy of the cold, it’s not. While maintaining a daily dose of vitamin C may reduce the severity of the common cold, it will not actually prevent the common cold. But hey, if you believe it makes you stronger, then that’s all that matters (when it comes to oranges, not super hero powers).