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Are you a Vitamin C expert?

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How much do you really know about vitamin C? Here are three myths about this celebrated vitamin that you may be unaware of … as well as some facts about why it’s so good for your health!


Myth #1: Oranges are one of the best sources of vitamin C in the diet

Not necessarily! Although oranges are often popularly associated with vitamin C, studies show that other commonly consumed foods rank more highly.

Better everyday sources of vitamin C are in fact berries, such as blackcurrant (200mg vitamin C per 100g), followed by vegetables in the cabbage family (such as kale, 140mg per 100g) and herbs (parsley, for example, has 170mg per 100g – although it might be difficult to consume that much in one go!). In fact, citrus fruits rank only fifth, with lemons leading the way at 65mg per 100g!

Myth #2: The fruit richest in vitamin C is the acerola cherry

Not quite … Contrary to common belief, the Kakadu plum is the fruit richest in Vitamin C. Native to Australia, the plum boasts a concentration of around 4000mg per 100g, which is twice as much as the acerola!
 
Myth #3: Vitamin C hinders your sleep

False! In fact, it could even have the opposite effect. Regularly consumed, vitamin C ensures a relaxing and restorative night’s sleep.


Vitamin C is good for your health!

In addition to being the most important vitamin for the human body, vitamin C is also the one which is beneficial in the most ways: it boosts fertility, it fights infections, it has anti-cancer properties, it has anti-histamine properties, and also helps contribute towards the lowering of blood cholesterol. It’s a real tonic!
 Bear in mind that cooking foods reduces their vitamin C content. Frying and baking are vitamin C’s worst enemies, as up to half of it will be lost. Gentler cooking – by steaming, by microwaving, or using a pressure cooker – helps preserve around 75% of the vitamin C within foods.

Nutritionists recommend an average consumption of around 110mg daily, but an intake of up to 200mg is perfectly safe. Smokers and women taking oral contraceptives may well benefit from extra vitamin C, and could require up to 400mg. Make sure you consume plenty of vitamin C-rich foods, and make sure you choose foods which are fresh and of good quality!


Did you know?

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid – meaning ‘acid without scurvy’. Fishermen spending long months at sea in the mid-19th century used limes to keep the strange disease of scurvy at bay, although at the time nobody really understood why it worked.

The secret was only finally explained in 1931, when Hungarian researcher Albert Szent-Györgyi discovered and isolated the lime’s key protective ingredient, which of course turned out to be … vitamin C!

HOLY COFFEE!

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In the morning, after breakfast, we enjoy a coffee in the sun on one of the terraces surrounding our research centre. There’s an extra bonus working at the Novexpert offices – breathtaking views of the surrounding nature.

To celebrate this popular beverage, here we unlock some of its secrets …

1- Coffee’s benefits depend on its origin: a study* from the University of Turin looked into the composition of coffee from the four corners of the world, to discover its secrets. If you are looking for an antioxidant-rich drink, turn to those from Uganda or Vietnam. For a strongly caffeinated coffee, choose the grains of Brazil. And finally, for a harmonious drink, Colombian coffee is guaranteed to please!

2- Coffee beans can boost creativity: legend** has it that the composer Beethoven counted out sixty grains of coffee beans to brew his perfect cup. The impact this had on his musical creations is unknown, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt!

3- Coffee can reveal your body’s beauty: if you habitually throw away your coffee grounds, save them for use as a body scrub instead. Grounds are rich in caffeine, which is a powerful cellulite busting ingredient. Applied on your face, grounds help in the fight against wrinkles, especially when rich in antioxidants. You can even look into the grounds to try to ‘read’ your future … but we make no guarantees about the outcome!

4- Coffee is your slimming ally: A German study*** involving 500 weight-loss maintainers found that they consumed significantly more coffee than members of the general population. There’s a good reason for this effect: caffeine is a stimulant that encourages activity and energy expenditure. In addition, it helps to break down body fat.

5 – Coffee beans are better: Get out your grandmothers’ coffeemakers, because coffee beans are better than already ground coffee. First, the latter oxidizes much faster, so grinding your grains just before you brew guarantees the finest flavour. Furthermore, you will be helping the environment by buying it in bulk and recycling your bags. Coffee beans cost far less than ground coffee, so they’re gentle on your wallet too!

Hopefully now, coffee is less of a mystery to you!

The final word

Many scientific studies have been published on the health effects of coffee and sometimes these are contradictory. Nevertheless, there seems to be a consensus recommending a moderate amount of coffee – 2 to 3 cups a day maximum, and not drunk too hot!

Needless to say, the best coffee is taken without milk or sugar …

Sources:* Phytochemical characteristics of coffee beans treated by a coating of ginseng extract. Choi SY1, Hong HD, Bae HM, Choi C, Kim KT. ** Beethoven as I know him by Anton Schindler, Donald W. MacArdle *** Caffeine intake is related to a successful weight loss maintenance, D Icken, S Feller, S Engeli, A Mayr, A Müller, A Hilbert and M de Zwaan

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