Vitamin C – An Important Nutrient To Combat Stress & Support Adrenals
Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient that we need to ingest daily from our diet as it cannot be produced by the body. The reason why your adrenal glands love vitamin C so much is that the highest concentration of Vitamin C in the body is stored in the adrenal glands. Vitamin C is utilized by the adrenal glands in the production of all of the adrenal hormones, specifically cortisol (the stress hormone, which in high levels shifts your nervous system into the ‘flight or flight’ mode).
When your body is under a lot of stress (in the ‘flight or flight’ response and your body thinks it has to run from a saber-tooth tiger), your vitamin C is rapidly used in the production of cortisol and related stress-response hormones.
When the body is under constant stress and it has used up high amounts of vitamin C to try and support the body’s stress response the adrenal glands can become exhausted, resulting in feelings of fatigue, which in turn can cause them to release more cortisol. This can have numerous effects on the body, it can increase feelings of anxiety, cause blood sugar irregularities, impair thyroid function, cause hormonal imbalances, promote food cravings and can contribute to weight gain.
So what should you do?
Make sure you eat plenty of vitamin C rich foods every single day. Vitamin C can be found in all sorts of delicious fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries, pineapple, citrus fruits, capsicum, broccoli, leafy greens. One factor to consider when consuming these foods is that vitamin C is destroyed by heat. This means that when increasing vitamin C in your diet from wholefood sources it’s best to consume fresh fruit and vegetables raw.
How you can incorporate these foods into your daily diet:
Add freshly squeezed lemon juice into a glass or two of water throughout the day, enjoy 1-2 servings of fresh fruit, a few large handfuls of organic leafy greens and slice up some raw capsicum in your salad!
Nat x x
Hi I’m Natalie, a Registered Clinical Nutritionist, health influencer, blog writer & recipe creator. My own health complications prompted me to make positive diet & lifestyle changes, revitalize my health leading to a career change from the corporate world to nutritional medicine. I believe in a wholefoods approach to good health, focusing on simple strategies for modern, busy people.