Attention Drivers… Get your Vitamin C!
Out on the road, healthy foods can be hard to find, and that means that you may not be getting all the vital nutrients you need to stay healthy as a truck driver. Remember that old saying, “An orange a day keeps the doctor away”? OK, maybe it was an apple, but oranges are often a fruit that is readily available at most truck stops, which means you can get your Vitamin C on anytime, anywhere. And your body will indeed thank you!
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and is something our body does not store. Vitamin C is also known as Ascorbic acid and is found in fruits, vegetables, and animal products.
I can’t stress enough over how important it is for our health! It would be best if you had it daily to manage the physiological functions of your body. Yet so many people, truck drivers included just aren’t getting enough Vitamin C. Education plays a big role in making healthy choices. If you don’t know what foods contain certain vitamins, then how can you work to consume them. And furthermore, how can you prepare for your trip ahead if you don’t know what you should be buying, preparing, and packing? Don’t worry, Mother Trucker Yoga’s got your back!
Why do we need Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and immunity booster that promotes cardiovascular health, growth of bones, wound healing, development and repair of body tissues, and skin rejuvenation. When we are stressed we lower our immune response, so make sure you are also practicing healthy stress relief habits. Check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s 10 Ways to Reduce Stress. And don’t forget to breathe, your body depends on it.
But Vitamin C is also critical in the production of collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters. It helps metabolize proteins, and its antioxidant activity may reduce the risk of some cancers. There are so many benefits to Vitamin C, and boy oh boy, does it taste good! If you are worried about the looks of fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, or losing that youthful vibe, then fear not; Vitamin C should be on your list of must have’s to keep your whole body healthy and in check. But this vital vitamin isn’t just for our youthful appearance; it also helps with muscle function, tone, and vitality. Our tissues feed on protein, water, and Vitamin C, and you need all three to keep your physical tone, strength, and elasticity healthy.
Did you know that Vitamin C helps produce collagen? That super important component to anti-aging and skin elasticity and is the main component of connective tissue and the most abundant protein in mammals. Roughly 1 to 2% of muscle tissue is collagen. And it is an important component in fibrous tissues such as:
- the gut
- blood vessels
Getting your daily dose of Vitamin C will leave your tissues happy and healthy but don’t forget about the importance of stretching! When your tissues get the vital nutrition they need those aches and pains will start to fade away with a few good Mother Trucker Yoga stretches.
Types of Vitamin C
Other than natural Vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables, ascorbic acid is frequently used in supplements. Other Vitamin C types include:
- Mineral ascorbates (Calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, etc.)
- Ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids
- Other blended different forms (Ester-C containing ascorbate, dehydroascorbate, calcium threonate, xylonite, and lyxonate)
Don’t stress if you can’t get it fresh, as a truck driver you may need to supplement often and that is OK.
Required Daily Amount of Vitamin C
|Infants (1-3 years)||15 mg|
|Children (4-9 years)||25 mg|
|Adolescents (9-13 years)||45 mg|
|Teens (14-18 years)||65-75 mg|
|Women (>19 years)||75 mg|
|Men (>19 years)||90 mg|
|Pregnant women||85 mg|
|Breastfeeding women||120 mg|
“5 Vitamin C.” Institute of Medicine. 2000. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9810.
If you are going to eat, you might as well eat something that packs a powerful punch with it. And foods that contain Vitamin C are nothing short of a POWERFUL PUNCH for your entire body’s health. Knowledge is power and when you know what your food can do for you, then you can make those healthier choices!
Boosts Immune System
Vitamin C is the core member of the fighting team against microbes. WBCs (Leucocytes) includes a group of cells (Neutrophils, innate lymphoid cells, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils, and natural killer cells) whose function is to attack or engulf (phagocytosis) and then kill the pathogen.
But the actions of these warriors require the help of Vitamin C as its key function there is Phagocytosis (engulfment of a pathogen) and cellular mobility.
Vitamin C loves our heart and supports its health unconditionally. Research shows that adequate intake of Vitamin C lowers the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and its antioxidant properties fight off the free radical damage.
Research shows that it can control blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. As it carries the enzymatic reaction that synthesizes norepinephrine (from dopamine) which controls all these functions.
Boosts Energy Levels
Vitamin C levels in the body are directly linked to that of L-carnitine (amino-acid), which plays a huge role in energy production in the body.
Research shows that Vitamin C promotes the health of retinal blood vessels. Vitamin C helps in maintaining connective tissue and collagen in the cornea of the eye.
Its daily adequate consumption (300mg) prevents cataracts and shows promising results in reducing the progression of macular degeneration into later stages.
Vitamin C has a crucial role in collagen production present in our skin. It hydrates the skin, fights wrinkles and aging factors, and makes your skin healthy and blossomy.
Sources of Vitamin C
You can find this critical vitamin in lots of different foods and my advice, try to eat a variety of them. As a truck driver access to certain foods may be challenging at times so don’t stress if you cannot get guava or kiwi fruit into your daily diet. My approach is to reach for the lowest hanging fruit (hehehehe) so you don’t end up stressing yourself out over not getting a large enough variety. What is available to you right now? What foods can travel well? What can I bring from home?
|Fruits||Serving||Milligrams per serving|
|Orange||1 large fruit||97.5|
|Kiwi fruit||1 fruit||64|
|Papaya||1 small fruit||97.6|
|Guava||1 cup, raw||377|
|Grapefruit juice||1 cup||93.9|
|Pineapple||1 cup chunks, raw||78.9|
|Strawberries||1 cup, sliced||97.6|
|Tomato juice||1 cup, canned||170|
|Vegetables & spices||Serving||Milligrams per serving|
|Red Bell Pepper||Per 100 gm||80mg|
|Broccoli||1 cup, raw||81.2|
|Brussels sprouts||1 cup, raw||74.8|
|Cauliflower||1 cup, raw||51.6|
|Cabbage||1 cup, raw||44 mg|
|Thyme||Per 100 gm||160 mg|
|Green chilli||1 green chilli||109 mg|
|Animal sources||Amount (mg/100 gm)|
|Lamb liver (fried)||12|
|Lamb heart (roasted)||11|
|Lamb tongue (stewed)||6|
|Calf adrenals (raw)||11|
Your health is your responsibility and that doesn’t need to be a scary thing. That can be a sweet opportunity for you to improve your health and turn lemons into lemonade!