Talk (Don't Eat) Like a Pirate

Today is “National Talk Like a Pirate Day”. YouTube is ablaze with video tutorials and businesses like Krispy Kreme are taking advantage of our interest in pirates with an offer for a free glazed doughnut to anyone who walks in and talks like a pirate. We did the math and discovered you would need to talk like a pirate at least 4.3 hours to burn off the 200 calorie doughnut.

Speaking of diet, while it may be fun to talk like a pirate today, it is not a good idea to eat like one. Pirates often suffered from scurvy, a medical condition resulting from a lack of vitamin C in their diets. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production and iron absorption. Our bodies are not able to produce or synthesize this nutrient by itself, therefore it is a requirement we obtain it from external sources, by eating food or taking supplements. While pirates did not have access to corner drug stores to pick up vitamins, they also did not readily have access to fresh produce, spending long periods of time at sea.

Although it is a rare disease, scurvy is still diagnosed and treated today, affecting usually elderly people or children whose diets do not include the proper amount of fruits and vegetables.  Foods that can help protect you against scurvy include:

•    Citrus Fruits: Oranges, Lemons, Grapefruit
•    Exotic Fruits: Guava, Kiwifruit, Papaya
•    Tomatoes
•    Strawberries
•    Carrots
•    Bell peppers
•    Broccoli
•    Potatoes
•    Cabbage
•    Spinach
•    Spices and Herbs: Paprika, Fresh Thyme, Dried Coriander

How do you know if you are getting enough vitamin C in your diet?  Men over the age of 19 should be getting 90mg of Vitamin C daily and 75mg a day for women of the same age. If you eat a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, you will meet that requirement. Most men and women need about 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits a day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day according to the USDA’s Choose My Plate guidelines. If you think you may not be getting the recommended amount of Vitamin C in your diet, consult with your physician.

Once you’ve balanced your diet with the right amount of fruits and vegetables, don’t forget it is also National Butterscotch Pudding Day!  Here is a great recipe on our Pinterest board.