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The Role of Vitamins and Scurvy

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 16 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Vitamins Scurvy Minerals Nutrition

The Role Of Vitamins And Scurvy

Scurvy is often associated as being a disease of the ‘olden’ days and indeed it is a lot less common in modern society as people are generally healthier and eat a full diet but it does still occur in the UK in poorer families and those that eat a particularly bad diet.Nutrition is extremely important in maintaining good health and the role of vitamins and minerals in the diet is now well understood.

What Is Scurvy?

Scurvy is a disorder associated with a lack of vitamin C in the diet. Vitamin C is essential in the maintenance of healthy tissue, strong bones and good dental health. A diet that is deficient of vitamin C is at risk of scurvy and this may cause long term problems such as growth problems, poor wound healing, weak and brittle bones and pain in the musculoskeletal system.As it is not very common in modern Britain it is not often the first condition the doctor may look for as the initial symptoms may indicate other more likely problems.

Symptoms Of Scurvy

The initial symptoms of scurvy can include but are not limited to tiredness, dry skin, hair and nails, nausea and discomfort. As the condition deteriorates the amount of pain felt in the muscles and joints increases and bruising occurs more easily and take a long time to heal along with any wounds which may not heal properly leaving the body at risk of infections.

Preventing Scurvy

Scurvy can be easily prevented by ensuring you take a good balanced diet that contains plenty of different fruit and vegetables. If you are on a tight budget, look out for times when the supermarkets are offering discounted produce or special offers that include these items.Sometimes it is beneficial to do the food shopping at the end of the day when items that are due to expire soon are put out on offer. These can be frozen of blended to make sauces or soups as their appearance does not matter.If you think you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables but are used to boiling them for a long time, try taking off the boil just before they soften. This helps the product retain it’s goodness meaning that you reap more benefit of the vitamins and minerals held inside.

Vitamin C Rich Foods

There are several sources of nutrition that include vitamin C in their content.Produce such as citrus fruits, broccoli and cauliflower are loaded with vitamin C and by eating a few of these items daily will help keep the recommended levels at a safe limit. For those who aren’t keen on these items they can be included within sauces and soups where their actual flavour can be disguised or drunk as juices or in smoothies and shakes.

Many products that can be bought in the supermarket may be enriched with vitamin C and other essentials vitamins and minerals so if you are unsure that you are getting enough vitamin C in your diet look out for these products to help keep you healthy. It is also possible to take a vitamin C supplement on a daily basis, though it may be more beneficial to take a multi-vitamin if you know that you eat a diet that lacks essential ingredients. Vitamin supplements can now be purchased fairly cheaply at many health food shops, supermarkets and online.

Try experimenting in the kitchen to find new ways of including fresh fruit and vegetables into your meals. Fruit doesn’t always have to be included in desserts as they are great in soups, salads and stir-fry to. Blended vegetables can make a great base sauce for dishes such as bolognaise, shepherds pie or even a meaty curry.

Although scurvy is not as common as it was years ago, it can still occur and cause long term problems. It is vital that vitamin C is included in the diet and can be found in many fruits and vegetables.

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