Top 5 Health Benefits Of Vitamin C You Must Know
Posted on March 28 2020
Just like how protein takes the major place when it comes to macronutrients and muscle building, vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid enjoys the stardom when it comes to micronutrients and immune health. All of us are introduced to this vitamin since our childhood but we barely wondered its importance and never really cared to know what it mattered.
Vitamin C, the most popularly known as ‘immune vitamin’ is one of the most researched vitamins today and is steadily growing in popularity. Its myriad benefits aren’t just reserved to immune health, it’s one of the most powerful antioxidants attributed to skincare and wellness benefits.
Did you know? Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for a lot of biochemical processes in the body.
Let’s go ahead and learn how this key vitamin can benefit our body…
Vitamin C Is Considered An Essential Vitamin
The micronutrient is classified as an essential nutrient as our body does not produce vitamin C on its own and should be consumed either through food or from a trusted vitamin C supplement. Good levels of vitamin C are found in fruits like lemons, limes, grapefruits, papaya, guava, tomato, watermelon, strawberries, and vegetables like broccoli, parsley, kale, spinach, capsicum, cabbage. Unless you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, it is difficult to get the recommended value of vitamin C and you may have to rely on dietary supplements of vitamin c to gain its benefits.
We Need A Continuous Daily Dose Of Vitamin C
Intake of vitamin C via food may be limited with individuals not exposed to a varied diet and those prone to smoking and other bad habits. The water-soluble vitamin does not get stored in the body tissues or muscles but instead gets expelled through urine.
Vitamin C is among the least stable vitamin. Cooking vegetables or fruits containing vitamin C easily destroy this valuable vitamin. Freshly made salad will have a higher amount of vitamin C compared to a salad made quite a few hours ago. Frying or baking of vegetables also destroy vitamin C. This can affect the overall vitamin C levels in the body.
Vitamin C Supplements Are A Great Way To Top Up On Vitamin C
An interesting fact about vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is that vitamin C in food is identical to vitamin C in supplements.
Since it gets difficult to get the required amounts of vitamin C through food, the supplements can be relied upon. As I always say, check the ingredient list thoroughly while buying the supplement. Choose the brand which insists on a single ingredient and purity.
1. BOOSTS IMMUNITY
Vitamin C is most popularly known for its immune-boosting properties. It boosts the immunity system and is needed for various immune functions. Vitamin C promotes the ability of cells to initiate protective cellular defences. It plays a vital role in boosting immune function by stimulating white blood cell production. WBC’s are important immune cells that help fight infections, and protect the body from invading microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses. The potent antioxidant helps fight oxidative stress that causes cellular and tissue damage. It boosts the antibody levels in the body which are proteins that help detect the invading microorganisms, bind to it and neutralize them. As an antiviral nutrient, it stimulates the production of interferon, which is an important antiviral that inhibits viral replication. Vitamin C deficiency can have a considerable impact on the immune system. You can stay fit and healthy by adding vitamin C to your diet.
2. AIDS IN COLLAGEN FORMATION
One of the greatest aspects of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is producing collagen. Vitamin C is an essential precursor to collagen, the protein that keeps our bodies strong and skin healthy. In humans, collagen is the most prevalent component which comprises of 1/3rd of total protein. Our body continuously synthesizes collagen based on the need for growth, repair, and joint care. As we age, we produce less collagen which can lead to the appearance of fine lines, sagging of skin, lead to joint degradation, poor hair growth and muscle aches. Deficiency of vitamin C impacts the body’s ability to make collagen, while its proper intake promotes faster wound healing, work towards reducing puffiness, skin tightening, reduce signs of aging and promote better joint health. Including a supplemental form of vitamin C increases vitamin C levels in the body, and encourages natural collagen production, which is the first-line defence in preventing collagen loss.
3. SUPERSTAR INGREDIENT FOR SKIN & HAIR CARE REGIMEN
Who doesn’t want brighter skin and gorgeous hair? Best known for its anti-aging benefits, vitamin C improves skin texture and quality. The powerful antioxidant fights the free radical damage caused on the skin by sun and pollution, brightens the skin and helps fade away dark spots, and dullness.
Vitamin C inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, which is responsible for converting tyrosine into melanin, thus preventing hyperpigmentation. It can improve skin firmness, prevent fine lines, and make skin looking healthy and youthful. Vitamin C is very effective in reducing inflammation, and prevent acne. It plays a role in the formation of keratinocytes- the cells needed to close up a wound on the skin’s surface.
The free radicals which get accumulated on your scalp due to the environmental pollutants create a negative impact on your hair causing dry, frizzy, and brittle hair. The powerful antioxidant properties of vitamin C helps to fight the free radicals that cause damage to the hair and makes your hair look healthy and shiny. Besides, vitamin C helps your body to absorb non-heme iron, a necessary mineral for hair growth. Its collagen promoting ability further contributes to better circulation and strong hair growth.
4. BOOSTS ABSORPTION OF IRON
There are basically 2 forms of dietary iron: heme iron and non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods whereas heme iron is the one that comes from the animal protein in our diet. Heme iron is absorbed at a faster rate than non-heme iron. This means the body easily absorbs iron from animal products than iron derived from plant foods. Non-heme iron are not directly available for absorption. Vitamin C significantly increases the absorption of this type of iron by converting iron into a more easily absorbed form. Vitamin C supplementation is especially beneficial for vegetarians and vegans who might naturally have a lower amount of iron consumption in their diet.
Iron plays a role in making red blood cells and increases the body’s ability to carry oxygen through the blood and its deficiency can lead to anaemia. Iron contributes to keeping the immune defences healthy and strong.
5. SUPPORTS CARDIOVASCULAR & BRAIN HEALTH
The multi-tasking vitamin supports heart health by relaxing the blood vessels and facilitating better circulation. Studies have revealed that vitamin C helps to reduce bad cholesterol which may be a risk factor for heart health. The very potent antioxidant fights the free radicals and prevents the oxidative damage to the heart.
Vitamin C is involved in the neurotransmitter production, studies reveal that low levels of vitamin C may lead to memory loss that results in the elderly. Ensuring optimal levels of vitamin C keeps you more attentive and improves your ability to focus by producing norepinephrine. It’s needless to say that being more focused will keep on you on track of your daily routine and keeps you going.
How Much Vitamin C Should We Consume Daily?
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is 75mg-90mg per day for adults. Since your body does not absorb 100% of the vitamin you consume, higher doses of vitamin C (up to 1000mg) is often recommended for best results. The upper intake for vitamin C is 2000mg per day. Taking a vitamin C supplement can ensure an optimal amount of this nutrient.
How To Consume Vitamin C Supplement?
Vitamin C supplement is best suggested to be taken with water because it is a water-soluble vitamin. Although taking a vitamin C supplement is generally safe, it is always a good idea to consult your physician if you are on medications or if you have specific health ailments.
So, what we learn is, Vitamin C is a great vitamin that can help you feel good and look good…
Amazing vitamin, isn’t it? What are your thoughts on vitamin C? Share them in the comment section below…
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Also read: Top 5 nutritional benefits of peanut butter