With National Vitamin C Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to talk about citrus terpenes and how they can boost your immune system.
Maybe National Vitamin C Day isn’t on your top 5 favorite holiday list, but it should be! Every year on April 4th, vitamin C is celebrated for the many ways it nurtures our bodies inside and out. It has a ton of benefits and is one of the reasons why many people make it a priority to eat citrus fruits. However, vitamin C isn’t the only healthy compound you’ll get from citrus fruits.
The terpenes found in citrus fruits are some of the most powerful mood-elevating, immune-boosting terpenes available. Plus, they smell absolutely mouthwatering. So, grab an orange, eat a slice (or two), and get ready to learn about the powerful effects of vitamin C and citrus terpenes.
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Boost Your Immune System with Vitamin C and Citrus Terpenes
Here’s the short and sweet of what we’ll be covering today:
- Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps to build, repair, and maintain skin, bones, ligaments, blood vessels, and teeth. It also aids in the absorption of iron, helps the body heal wounds and develop scar tissue, and supports the immune system.
- The most common citrus terpenes include limonene, myrcene, and valencene.
- Some benefits of citrus terpenes include being anti-inflammatory, mood-elevating, and immune support.
- Take advantage of Vitamin C and Citrus terpenes with cough drops, beverages, and other wellness products.
What is Vitamin C?
Also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate, vitamin C is an essential nutrient often found in citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits. You might be surprised to find out that you can also get vitamin C from broccoli, brussels sprouts, and leafy greens. The human body can’t produce this vitamin on its own, so eating foods with this vitamin is kind of important.
In the past, when these foods weren’t as readily available, people might develop vitamin C deficiencies. That could involve anemia, inability to fight infections, slower wound-healing, swollen and painful joints, dry skin, dry hair, gingivitis, and nosebleeds. A severe deficiency could even result in scurvy (and no, it wasn’t just pirates who developed scurvy).
Honestly, the list of deficiencies that can develop from not having enough vitamin C is pretty long. That’s because it’s an essential nutrient. It’s a powerful antioxidant that has several important tasks:
- Helps make skin, tendons, blood vessels and ligaments.
- Repairs and helps maintain bones, teeth, and cartilage.
- Helps to heal wounds and form scar tissue.
- Helps the body absorb iron.
- Helps to strengthen the immune system.
These properties make it a popular addition to skincare products and several different types of supplements. In fact, people who take vitamin C supplements usually have shorter colds. Several studies show that “Vitamin C deficiency results in impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections.”
While it may feel more convenient to take a supplement to boost your vitamin C levels, you should consider simply eating more citrus fruits. That’s because the terpenes in citrus fruits not only contain their own list of healthy properties, they can enhance the properties of vitamin C as well.
Terpenes with Citrus Flavors Can Help Boost the Immune System
You might assume that limonene is the main terpene in citrus fruits, but you’d be wrong. While limonene has the most notable citrus scent, several citrus fruits also contain myrcene and valencene.
Each one has its own helpful properties, but when combined with vitamin C they become even more powerful.
We can’t talk about citrus terpenes without paying homage to the most mouth-watering, citrus smelling terpene of them all. Limonene is incredibly common and can be found in lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, and mandarins. It’s a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, can reduce heartburn and acid reflux, may ease metabolic disorders, promotes wound healing, elevates mood, and may boost the immune system (duh).
In several studies, animals showed increased antibodies after being given limonene, and under certain conditions, limonene may even be able to increase the number of white blood cells in the body.
Not only is it incredibly common (mangoes, hops, lemongrass, guava, etc.) myrcene has the ability to increase the effectiveness of other compounds. The blood-brain barrier maintains a constant environment for the brain and keeps out any foreign substances. While this is a good thing, sometimes you WANT certain compounds to more easily reach your brain (like other terpenes and/or cannabinoids).
Luckily, myrcene is able to increase the permeability of that barrier so more compounds can reach the brain. Plus, it also has sedative, pain-relieving, and anti-inflammatory properties. So, combining myrcene with other terpenes and/or vitamin C is kind of like putting those other compounds on steroids.
This terpene gets its name from Valencia Oranges, but can also be found in grapefruits, tangerines, and nectarines. It’s not as well known as some of the other citrus terpenes, but it still packs a punch. Its ability to promote alertness and cognitive function is pretty cool, but it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, and bronchodilator. Basically, this terpene is particularly helpful when it comes to congestion associated with colds or allergies.
How To Use Citrus Terpenes
If you’re ready to take advantage of the wellness boosting powers of citrus terpenes, there are several ways you can do so.
Oil diffusers and candles are an easy way to fill a room with those bright citrus scents. Plus, since many citrus terpenes have mood and cognitive boosting effects, they’re a great addition to any office space.
This is a good option if you want to combine both vitamin C and citrus terpenes. Plus, adding other ingredients like honey or menthol will only boost the wellness properties of your cough drops.
Whether you’re trying to make an invigorating citrus tea or refreshing flavored seltzer water, both vitamin C and citrus terpenes are a good option for beverages. Plus, not only will your customers benefit from the wellness properties of those compounds, terpenes are a natural, calorie-free way to add flavor.
We hope you all decide to celebrate National Vitamin C Day with a juicy orange or maybe a slice or two of lemon in your water. If you’re ready to take the next step and start designing your own products though, contact us today and we can help you at every step of the process.
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