Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient that provides many health benefits and keeps the body functioning. In chemical and biological terms, it is also known as ascorbic acid. This water-soluble vitamin is available in various foods and dietary supplements. Vitamin C has been widely regarded as an important nutrition for everyone. Historically, it was used to treat or prevent scurvy and a host of other diseases linked to vitamin C deficiency.
At present, vitamin C is known to aid many biological functions, such as the synthesis of collagen, wounds healing, and the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, meaning that it can neutralize free radicals that can damage cells at the genetic level. This vitamin is also considered to be an immune booster.
Most plants and animals synthesize their own ascorbic acid according to the requirement. However, human beings cannot synthesize ascorbic acid due to the lack of an enzyme named gluconolactone oxidase. That is why people need to ensure that their diets are rich in vitamin C and, luckily, nature has blessed us with many fruits and vegetables containing adequate amounts of vitamin C, so getting it is not a difficult task.
Best sources of vitamin C
Fruits with a good amount of vitamin C include:
Vegetables with a good amount of vitamin C include:
These are the main benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant
Antioxidants are the compounds that act to protect the cells and limit the damage by stabilizing and mopping up free radicals. So Vitamin C, along with vitamin E and beta carotene, could help keep the body younger and protect it against life-threatening conditions. Studies and researches show that consuming more vitamin C can increase blood’s antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This helps the body's natural defences fight against inflammation.
Vitamin C lowers blood pressure
Vitamin C is a water-soluble compound. It also acts as a diuretic, causing the kidneys to flush excess sodium and water from the body, which helps to relax the walls of blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.
Healthy blood pressure also means that an individual has less chance of having a stroke and increased cardiovascular health, which is important nowadays, as many people are suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Vitamin C boosts your immune system
We have already heard of how vitamin C prevents curable diseases and how it combats a series of illnesses. As a result, vitamin C boosts the immune system and has been found to fight off illnesses like colds and flu.
Studies show that vitamin C is key to stimulating the immune system by increasing the organism's strength and protection. Due to its role in decreasing inflammation, it is essential for immunity and general health. All in all, vitamin C protects the immune system, reduces the severity of allergic reactions, and helps fight infections.
Therefore, adding more vitamin C rich sources to your diet is important.
Vitamin C increases your iron absorption
Vitamin C-rich fruits like gooseberry have been reported to increase the bioavailability of iron from staple cereals and pulses. We all know that iron’s primary role is to enhance the body’s ability to carry oxygen through the blood. Iron deficiency can result in anaemia. Therefore, vitamin C is highly beneficial for iron absorption and reduceanaemia.
Vitamin C helps maintain healthy skin
Everyone demands clearer skin. Vitamin C plays a key role in making sure this becomes a reality. The formation of elastin depends on the vitamin c levels in the body. Elastin is the compound which thickens, protects, and heals the skin. It keeps the skin healthy and glowing.
Vitamin C assists with weight loss
Most people either want to lose weight, build muscle, or maintain a healthy weight, and sometimes it’s really difficult. They may need that little bit extra to assist. Alongside the balanced diet and workout regime, people should aim to increase the intake of citrus fruits.
Many studies have shown that vitamin C status is inversely related to body mass. Individuals with adequate vitamin C status oxidize more fat during a moderate exercise time than individuals with low vitamin C status. Thus, vitamin C depleted people may be more resistant to fat mass loss.
Vitamin C is beneficial for physical and mental health
Altogether, vitamin C is an essential micronutrient. Alongside how it improves the ability to heal wounds and reduce inflammation inside and outside the body and gives someone a great look, it has also been marginally viewed as a vitamin that provides more energy and boosts mental health.
Although hard to really nail down, individuals with greater levels of vitamin C have been discovered to be less likely to suffer from depression & stress. Whether this is due to all the earlier mentioned benefits is hard to say, but more importantly, people should consume vitamin C rich foods in the recommended amount.
Vitamin C aids in collagen production
Collagen is a compound that is naturally produced by the body. However, the production of collagen diminishes as people grow older. Vitamin C plays an integral part in collagen production, decreasing wrinkles and slowing down the symptoms and signs of aging.
Symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency
If someone is deficient in vitamin C, then they could suffer from the following symptoms: