Do People Still Suffer from Scurvy?
We rarely hear the word “scurvy,” because it has other names. The most common name for scurvy is Vitamin-C deficiency. There is also another name for scurvy which is called Scorbutus. Scurvy is a preventable disease caused by a lack of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in the diet. Prevention of this disease is accomplished by adding adequate amounts of Vitamin C to the diet.
Scurvy was very common among sailors in the middle ages, because spent long periods of time on the sea and did not have access to foods rich in Vitamin C. This illness is still prevalent in third world countries where nutritious fruits and vegetables are not readily available for consumption.
Scurvy is characterized by bleeding of the mucous membranes, spots on the skin, problems with wound healing, generalized weakness, anemia, loss of teeth, and gum disease. As scurvy progresses, it can also cause clinical depression.
Prevention of Vitamin C deficiency
Preventing scurvy is extremely simple, and it is very rarely seen in people in the United States and other developed countries anymore. However, it is sometimes still seen in the older population. Even with food stamps, the older generation may not have access to healthy foods on a regular basis. Children are often protected from Vitamin C deficiency because of the school lunch programs. Many children from poor families can get their school lunches for free or nearly free. Many school systems now offer breakfasts to their children as well.
The following tips will advise how to prevent scurvy:
- Add fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C to the diet every day.
- Add more citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, pineapple, papaya, and grapefruits because they are high in Vitamin C.
- Add broccoli, parsley, Brussels sprouts, green leafy vegetables, cabbage and strawberries to the diet, because these foods are also rich in Vitamin C.
- Instead of snacking on junk food, eat fruits and vegetables. It is better to eat extra portions of fruits and vegetables than to fill up on unhealthy foods that don’t contain high levels of Vitamin C.
- Breastfeeding mothers should eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day so that their babies can get the nutrition they need.
Taking Vitamin-C supplements is a good idea, because we don’t manufacture it on our own. Some people still don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables; therefore, it is essential that a supplement should be taken. Many of us eat more than 300 calories a day in junk food. That junk food can lead to weight gain and malnutrition. We can prevent the problems associated with Vitamin C deficiency by substituting those junk food calories with healthy calories from fruits and vegetables.