Bubonic plague, yellow fever, scurvy...Not diseases you hear much about these days. Wasn't scurvy the sickness that killed off so many sailors and explorers centuries ago? Yup, and...now it's back.
Australia is already noting an upsurge in scurvy, and Britain and Spain have cited cases of the illness, according to a recent report. The disease, caused by vitamin C deficiency, has symptoms including bruises and ulcers or bleeding gums that refuse to heal.
“It was rampant during the 18th century because there was a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially prevalent in sailors on long voyages. Symptoms may include fatigue, muscle and joint pain and bleeding and gum swelling,” Dr. Dara Huang MD, Manhattan-based internist and nephrologist and founder of New York Culinary Medicine, tells The Feast. Scurvy has made a comeback in modern days thanks to various dietary trends with unintended consequences, like a drop in vitamin C intake.
“Diabetics or anyone trying to watch their blood sugar levels obviously need to worry about their sugar intake, fresh fruit included,” nutritionist Brooke Alpert tells The Feast. “It seems that the people studied were not only eating barely any fresh fruit, they were eating little to no vegetables and the vegetables they were consuming were overcooked basically, removing all the vitamin c from the foods,” says Alpert.
The solution is pretty straightforward for most people: “Eating one large orange, a couple of strawberries or a single kiwi fruit is enough to fulfill the daily requirements of vitamin C for your body. Vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, green peppers, sprouts and sweet potatoes are also rich in Vitamin C,” says Dr. Huang.
The doctors are obviously forgetting to mention our favorite source of vitamin C: the mimosa. Hey, it's worked for us so far....
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