Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient that we need to ingest daily from our diet as it cannot be produced by the body. Vitamin C can be found in all sorts of delicious fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries, papaya, pineapple, citrus fruits, capsicum, broccoli, leafy greens. One factor to consider when consuming these food 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.
The reason why your adrenal glands love vitamin C so much is because 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, specially cortisol (the stress and fat storing hormone, which in high levels shifts your nervous system into the ‘flight or flight’ mode).
When you are under a lot of stress (and in the ‘flight or flight’ response and your body think 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 daily by enjoying a warm glass of water upon rising with the juice from ½ a lemon, enjoy 1-2 servings of fresh fruit, a couple large handfuls of leafy greens and slice up some raw capsicum in your salad!