We’re all familiar with Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. Your mom’s been harping on you about getting enough of it since elementary school. And most of us are familiar with its popularity as an immune booster. But what’s Vitamin C really all about? Today we look at Vitamin C – the nutrient behind the mask.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, which means it can only be obtained from a dietary source (humans are one of relatively few organisms that don’t produce Vitamin C internally). As far as physiology goes, it is vital to the synthesis of collagen, so your body needs it for the development of scar tissue, blood vessels, cartilage, and the maintenance of your lovely, youthful complexion. Vitamin C is also known for its antioxidant qualities. It acts to get rid of excessive free radicals, preventing oxidative stress and related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and inflammatory and circulatory diseases.
And as usual, your mother was right–Vitamin C is an excellent booster for the immune system. Vitamin C increases the presence of immunoglobulin in the bloodstream. Picture immunoglobulin as tiny soldiers that patrol the bloodstream and hang out near the surface of your skin to defend you from any would-be invaders. The immunoglobulin that vitamin C promote are specific to the surfaces of the openings of the body – mouth, nose, etc. So as pathogens are drifting through the air and you inhale, you need these suckers to seek and destroy any that might infect you (See our post on the illustrious kimchi air purifier).
Most people think of citrus fruit or Airborne tablets when they want a hearty dose of Vitamin C, but did you know that you can get 10% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C from 2 ounces of Granny Choe’s original / cabbage kimchi, or just 1 ounce of the ggakdugi / daikon radish kimchi? You should eat more kimchi. Your mom would totally agree.