We are back to talk about food and nutrition and this time we’ll be talking about Vitamin C for our health. Vitamins are the organic substances, or important micronutrients, that an organism needs for a variety of bodily functions in order to be healthy and function effectively. They are needed in really small amounts.
Despite being necessary, our body cannot generate vitamins on its own; therefore, they must be included in our diet. A well-balanced diet satisfies all the vitamins and nutrients the body needs. Very well known for its contribution to making our skin better, Vitamin C plays a very essential role.
What Is Vitamin C?
Ascorbic acid, another name for vitamin C, is a water-soluble vitamin that is vital for good health. It is naturally present in a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables. It can also be consumed in form of a supplement. Vitamin C is essential for the body’s tissue growth and repair as well as for the production of collagen, a protein that supports the health of the skin, bones, and connective tissue. Additionally, it functions as a potent antioxidant, guarding the body against injury from dangerous chemicals known as free radicals. Since our body cannot naturally generate it, Vitamin C must be gained through diet or supplements.
7 Benefits of Vitamin C
1. Boosts Immunity
It is well known that vitamin C strengthens the immune system. White blood cell production is aided, which aids in the body’s defence against illnesses and infections.
An essential ingredient for maintaining a robust immune system is vitamin C. According to a study, consuming adequate vitamin C strengthens the body’s immune system and disease defences.
A different research found that vitamin C supplements can improve the performance of white blood cells, which are essential for the body’s immune response.
2. Improves Heart Health
It has been demonstrated that vitamin C can help lower blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. It aids in bettering our blood vessels’ performance, thus, enhancing circulation.
Being an antioxidant, it protects the heart and blood arteries from oxidative stress brought on by free radicals.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that vitamin C lowers the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and enhancing blood vessel function. According to a 2015 study that was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people who ingested more vitamin C had a lower risk of coronary heart disease.
3. Helps With Iron Absorption
Increased iron absorption from plant-based foods, such as spinach and lentils, is facilitated by vitamin C. For vegetarians and vegans who may be at risk of iron deficiency, this is particularly crucial.
Haemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body, is made possible by the important mineral iron. When iron levels are too low, the body is unable to produce enough haemoglobin, which leads to anaemia.
Studies show that vitamin C can enhance the absorption of non-heme iron, which is the type of iron found in plant-based foods.
4. Protects The Skin
Collagen, which keeps our skin looking young and healthy by shielding it from dangerous free radicals that can damage cells and cause premature ageing. This is produced in large part by vitamin C. Additionally, it aids in shielding our skin from UV radiation harm.
According to research, vitamin C can aid in shielding the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun. According to a University of California study, participants who drank more vitamin C had less age-related dryness and wrinkles than those who ingested less of the vitamin.
5. Reduces The Risk of Chronic Diseases
According to studies, eating a diet rich in vitamin C can lower the risk of developing chronic illnesses including cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
Studies have shown that taking adequate vitamin C significantly lowers the chance of developing chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Vitamin C and other potent antioxidants inhibit free radicals from damaging cells. Oxidative stress, which happens when free radicals accumulate in the body and cause damage to cells and tissues, is what leads to chronic diseases.
According to a study with over 100,000 participants, people who take more vitamin C have a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke.
6. Alleviates Mood
It has been demonstrated that vitamin C can aid in easing anxiety and depressive symptoms. Cortisol, a stress hormone that can lead to depressive and anxious sensations, is controlled by this. According to studies, vitamin C contributes to the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin, which regulate mood and lessen depressive symptoms.
Studies have also found that people with low levels of vitamin C are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety
7. Promotes The Process Of Wound Healing
Vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of our tissues. It helps to promote wound healing by stimulating the production of collagen and other proteins. It also plays a role in reducing inflammation, which is an important aspect of the healing process. Research has demonstrated that vitamin C supplementation can reduce inflammation and improve wound healing in patients with diabetic foot ulcers
Is it Important to Take Vitamin C Every Day?
For people aged 19 and older, the recommended daily allowance is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women. The dosage rises to 85 mg and 120 mg daily for pregnancy and nursing, respectively. An additional 35 mg of vitamin C over the RDA is advised for smokers since smoking might reduce the body’s vitamin C levels.
The Upper limit for vitamin C is 2000 mg daily; taking beyond this amount may promote gastrointestinal distress and diarrhoea.
Can I Get Enough Vitamin C from Food?
You can get enough vitamin C from your diet by consuming foods such as citrus fruits, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli, and strawberries. However, if you have a restrictive diet or have trouble getting enough vitamin C from food, you may need to consider taking a supplement.
Deficiency Of Vitamin C
1. Scurvy: Scurvy is a condition that can develop from a protracted vitamin C deficit. It was historically a frequent illness among sailors on lengthy voyages. Lack of collagen, a protein required for the development of blood vessels, skin, bones, and cartilage, results in scurvy. Fatigue, weakness, discomfort in the muscles and joints, bruises, bleeding gums, and skin rashes are all signs of scurvy.
2. Increased Risk Of Chronic Diseases: Vitamin C deficiency has also been linked to an increased risk of various chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, in addition to scurvy. Vitamin C has been linked to immune system function and antioxidant characteristics, which may help prevent certain diseases, according to research.
Potential Side Effects of Vitamin C
Consuming high doses of vitamin C can lead to problems such as stomach upset, diarrhoea, and other digestive issues. People with certain health conditions such as kidney disease or a history of kidney stones should be cautious when taking vitamin C supplements.
Our Final Thoughts
Just like any other vitamin in our body, Vitamin C is extremely important for our health. Therefore, it should be noted that an adequate amount of it is consumed daily in our diets. If not through diet, then either through supplements under a doctor’s supervision, the daily requirements should be met.