Can you get scurvy from not eating your greens?

Scurvy is caused by a deficiency in Vitamin C. Vitamin C can be found in fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, berries, kale, spinach, green peas, capsicum, and broccoli.

The body does not produce Vitamin C naturally but needs it for healing wounds, preventing infection, absorbing iron from food and keeping bones and skin healthy.

The recommended amount of Vitamin C for adult men and women is 90mg and 75mg respectively.

Signs of scurvy can develop after four weeks of continual Vitamin C deficiency, but it takes three or more months for symptoms to appear. The early signs of Vitamin C deficiency include weakness, inexplicable exhaustion, lowered appetite, irritability, aching legs and fever.

According to the experts at House Call Doctor, after three months symptoms of scurvy can include anaemia (lack of red blood cells), skin haemorrhages, large bruises often on the legs and feet, bleeding gums, chest pain, headaches, tooth decay, and swollen joints.

Having a restrictive diet, eating very little, smoking and daily alcohol consumption can lead to an increased risk of developing scurvy.

It is possible to develop scurvy if you do not eat your greens, but it would be the result of a consistently poor diet lacking in fruits and vegetables. Even a person who doesn’t eat a healthy diet all the time is not usually considered at risk of scurvy.

Most people treated for scurvy feel better after 48 hours and recover fully in two weeks.

Scurvy can be treated by adding fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet or adding some Vitamin C to your diet. Vitamin C dissolves in water. Extended storage of vegetables can lower the vitamin content in food, so it is best to eat fruit and vegetables raw, as soon as possible.