by Cora Joyce (NPD Technologist, McCormack Family Farms)
This is an in-depth article on the Vitamin C content in our Orange & Beet Leaf juice and the benefits of consuming naturally occurring Vitamin C. You can pick up our Orange & Beet Leaf juice in your local store – www.mccormackfarms.ie/stockists
Fruit and vegetables are exceptionally important in our diets as they’re the best source of micronutrients and bioactive compounds.
Micronutrients are vitamins & minerals, and bioactive compounds is a collective term for extra-nutritional components found in food. These compounds are essential for maintaining excellent health but unfortunately, they’re only found in foods in quite low levels. Furthermore, the majority of these micronutrients and bioactive compounds are quite sensitive to temperature, processing, storage etc. Hence, unfortunately it is often the case that by the time you’re eating the food, it may have a drastically reduced quantity of these nutritional compounds. Thus, here at McCormack’s, we ensure that all our processes, from picking spinach to blending it in our juices, are as bespoke as possible to ensure that there is a maximum nutritional retention from our farm to your table!
There are numerous bioactive compounds but there are only 6 vitamins; Vitamins A, B (this is actually a group of several B Vitamins), C, D, E & K. These can be sub-divided into fat-soluble (Vitamins A, D, E &K) and water-soluble (Vitamins B & C).
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. This is why it is an exceptionally thermally labile micronutrient, meaning any exposure to heat significantly deteriorates the quantity of Vitamin C – please see our blog post on High Pressure Processing if you’re interested! Being a water-soluble vitamin, this also means that your body doesn’t store it so you need a regular dietary intake. Likewise, this also means that it’s quite difficult to consume too much Vitamin C as your body gets rid of what it doesn’t need.
We have made it super simple for everyone by specifically testing our Orange & Beet Leaf juice for Vitamin C. Everyone knows that oranges are a great source but how many do you need to consume to reach your daily reference intake? One of our 250ml bottles of Orange & Beet Leaf juice contains a staggering 74% of your daily Vitamin C needs! Hence why we call it Immune Boost as Vitamin C is well known for supporting your body’s immune system.
However, Vitamin C also has a variety of other essential and beneficial roles in the body:
- Vitamin C increases iron absorption
According to a 2008 report from WHO (World Health Organisation), Iron deficiency is one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies with about 30% of world population being anaemic. Vitamin C is an enhancer of the nutrient bioavailability for iron. Bioavailability is the proportion of a nutrient that is absorbed from the ingested food and used for normal body functions. Vitamin C significantly increases the body’s absorption of iron from non-haem sources (plants). A 250ml bottle of our Orange & Beet Leaf contains 13% of your reference intake for iron. Thus, the combination of the iron and Vitamin C make our juice an exceptionally nutritious one!
- Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of blood vessels, bones, cartilage, gums and skin
Normal collagen formation is required for the normal structure of many tissues in the body, including bones, cartilage, gums, skin, tendons and blood vessels. Vitamin C is required to produce collagen, the main structural protein in the body that is endogenously produced (meaning the body synthesizes collagen). Bodies naturally reduce how much collagen they produce as they get older, hence the formation of wrinkles, sagging skin etc. Therefore, a diet rich in Vitamin C can help your skin maintain its youthfulness for longer.
- Vitamin C contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress
Vitamin C functions physiologically as a water-soluble antioxidant and plays a major role as a free radical scavenger. It is part of the body’s antioxidant defence system, which is a complex network that includes both endogenous and dietary antioxidants, and antioxidant enzymes.
Vitamin C contributes to the protection of body cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. One of the most common types of free radicals is the reactive oxygen species (ROS), these include several kinds of radicals which are generated in biochemical processes (e.g. respiratory chain i.e. breathing). As a consequence of exposure to exogenous factors (e.g. radiation, pollutants). These radicals damage biologically relevant molecules such as DNA, proteins and lipids if they are not intercepted by the antioxidant network – in which Vitamin C plays a pivotal role!
At McCormack Family Farms our aim is to produce healthy, honest products. The above information on the Vitamin C content of our Orange & Beet Leaf juice is designed to help educate our consumers on why it is important to ensure you get your Vitamin C. It is also important to note that because we don’t pasteurize our juices, this means we don’t need to fortify our juices with Vitamins. So you can know that when you drink a McCormack Family Farms’ juice you are only getting naturally occurring vitamins and minerals!
Enjoy and make sure to try our Orange & Beet Leaf in your local store – www.mccormackfarms.ie/stockists