Health Related

The Many Benefits of Vitamin C (and Where To Get the Most of It)


There are newer scientific studies saying Vitamin C supplements do not really deliver what they are supposed to give — strengthened immunity.

Well, the supplements, probably, but Vitamin C, per se, it is something the body desperately needs as well.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients, experts say. It may not be the cure for the common cold (though it’s thought to help prevent more serious complications). But the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.

A recent study published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine that looked at over 100 studies over 10 years revealed a growing list of benefits of vitamin C.

Although required in small quantities like other vitamins, vitamin C is indispensable for proper functioning of the body.

You all must have studied during your school days that deficiency of vitamin C is related to skin problems, which is true. But recent and ongoing studies on the role of vitamin C in maintaining good health gives us more reasons why we should include sources of Vitamin C in our diet. Here’s why you need to eat vitamin C rich foods this winter.

How much vitamin C should you consume?

The daily recommendation of vitamin C is different for all age groups (Adult men: 90 mg, Adult women: 75 mg, children between 9-13 years: 45 mg). You can obtain vitamin C from several sources like oranges, chilly peppers, papaya, strawberries, cauliflower, pineapple etc. One medium sized orange contains about 75 mg of vitamin C. Bigger ones contain as high as 100 mg of vitamin C.

Health Benefits Of Vitamin C

Prevents Scurvy

Scurvy is caused by an insufficient intake of vitamin C. The symptoms of scurvy appear due to the weakening of connective tissues, bones, and blood vessels that include collagen. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is required for the production of collagen.

Treats Common Cold

Vitamin C enhances the immune system of our body, which protects us from colds and coughs. It facilitates the absorption of iron and therefore strengthens the body’s resistance to infection. It also fights against viruses.

Lowers Hypertension

People with hypertension are at a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The supplement of vitamin C intake helps in lowering the body’s blood pressure.

Combats Stroke

Vitamin C also helps in reducing the risk of stroke, a type of cardiovascular disease. A diet full of vegetables and fruits supplies a good quantity of vitamin C, which maintains the appropriate blood pressure level. It also protects the body from free radicals which could be the reason for the stroke.

Treats Vasodilation

Treatment with vitamin C has effectively resulted in the proper dilation of blood vessels in the cases of atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, angina pectoris and high blood pressure. Results have been found that supplements of vitamin C improve blood vessel dilation and protect cardiovascular health.

Cures Lead Toxicity

Lead Toxicity is a severe health problem found mostly in children, especially in urban areas. Abnormal development and growth have been found in some children who are exposed to lead. They develop behavioral problems, learning disabilities and also tend to have a low IQ. It may damage the kidneys and increase blood pressure in adults. Vitamin C supplements can reduce the blood lead level.

Cures Cataracts (Eye Disorder)

Cataracts are the most common conditions of visual problems. A decrease in the level of vitamin C in the lens of the human eye has been found more common when cataracts are present. An increase of vitamin C intake increases the blood supply to the ocular areas of the body.

Treats Cancer

Researchers have found that a high consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits have a link to a minimized risk for various types of cancer. Studies have also shown that increased consumption of vitamin C is connected with a decreased possibility of cancers of the lungs, mouth, vocal cords, throat, colon, rectum, stomach, and esophagus.

Improves your Mood

Vitamin C plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine. They affect the mood of a person, and they are critical to the proper functioning of the brain.

Boosts Immunity

Immunity is another important benefit of this vitamin. Vitamin C is widely known for its contribution to the immune system of the body and its stimulation of white blood vessels.

Repairs Wounds

Vitamin C also helps to repair wounds. It facilitates the growth of the connective tissues, which speeds up the process of healing wounds.

Controls Asthma

Ascorbic acid also helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma. It helps to protect against the harmful effects of pollution in the human body, which often results in asthma-like symptoms.

Cures Diabetes

One of the chief reasons for diabetes, as found by various studies, is low levels of vitamin C. Supplements of vitamin C are beneficial as a cure for diabetes, as they help in the processing of insulin and glucose.

Prevents Heart Diseases

Adequate amounts of vitamin C is essential for the protection of blood vessels from the damage that free radicals can cause them. This could be a major cause of a heart disease called atherosclerosis. Vitamin C acts as a preventative agent of this heart disease, as well as various other cardiac problems.

10 Natural Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important to keep us in good health. Not only it keeps the skin looking young, it also helps lower cholesterol levels, regulates blood sugar levels and has a host of other health benefits.

Orange

Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C. Not only are they available all around the year, they are easy on the pocket too. Even a single orange can fulfil 116% of your daily requirement of this vitamin. This means, you don’t have to rely on supplements, just eat this juicy fruit every day.

Guava

If you thought orange was high in vitamin C, you will be surprised to learn that guavas contain much more of it. One guava can give you 209% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. And it contains only 38 calories. The only hitch is it is scarce in the summer months. Read Go guavas – 10 reasons to eat this fruit!

Lemon

Suck on lemons if you have vitamin C deficiency. Though a single lemon will only fulfil half of your daily requirement, you can eat more of it throughout the day. squeeze a lemon into a glass of warm water and start your day with it to gain its full benefits. Read Lemon and its health benefits.

Bell pepper

Love adding colourful bell peppers in your meals and salads? You will be glad to know that they contain 99% of your daily requirement worth vitamin C. The highest can be found in the yellow ones followed by red and green peppers.

Kale or karam sag

Kale, the new superfood in town popularised by Hollywood celebs surely comes loaded with a whole lot of vitamin C, 134% to be precise (1 cup). This makes it a preferred choice for many. You can have it in the form of chips or even juice.

Broccoli

Are you one of those who takes out broccoli from your dish? Well, you may want to reconsider the next time. This is because it is full of vitamin C content. Even a cup of chopped broccoli can give you 135% of your daily dietary requirement of vitamin C and has only 31 calories.

Papaya

Load up on vitamin C by eating a cup full of papaya. This will give you 147% of vitamin C which means you are sorted for your quota of that day. Only pregnant mothers need to be cautious about consuming raw papaya. Read 11 health benefits of papayas.

Strawberry

They may not be in season the entire year but you should definitely stock up on them as they can fulfil your vitamin C requirement with ease. A cup of it contains 144% of daily dietary requirement. You can even freeze them for later consumption when they are not in season.

Kiwi

Kiwi, a not so common fruit in India which is slyly finding its place in most supermarkets these days, has a whole lot of vitamin C content in it. If you find eating kiwis too boring, you can add them to a mixed fruit platter which will blend in its taste with other fruits.

Pineapple

We know no one will eat a whole pineapple in a single sitting but the good news is even a big enough slice will fulfil your vitamin C requirement as it has 132% of daily dietary requirement. Pineapples are easily available and have a sweet taste which means you can eat them as desserts while getting healthy.

Dietary requirements are based on a 2000-calorie diet, courtesy google.com

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