Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), is an essential water-soluble vitamin and nowadays, has received a great deal of attention, and with all good reason. It becomes famous as an immune-boosting super nutrient. But along with an immunity booster, it also plays several other vital roles in our body. Let’s have a look of benefits of taking vitamin C:
VITAMIN C ROLE IN THE BODY
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the growth and repair of tissue. It helps heal wounds and repair and maintain healthy skin, bones, teeth, and cartilage.
It is a very potent antioxidant that also means it neutralizes free radicals (unstable cells) and helps prevent oxidative cellular damage which is the prime reason for many inflammatory diseases as well as may help prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease, and promote healthy aging.
vitamin C involves in no. of a biochemical process. It helps to activate numerous key enzymes in the body, which synthesizes hormones that help control the response of the cardiovascular system to severe infections and it also builds collagen, a tough protein found in skin and connective tissues which strengthens the skin against injury thus promote healthy skin. It also seems to reduce the risk of cartilage loss in those with osteoarthritis.
Vitamin C also helps the body to better absorb non-heme iron (iron sourced from plant foods such as beans, lentils, watermelon, spinach, etc.).
Powerful Antioxidant: Vitamin C is one of those micronutrients who also serves antioxidants that protect us against the damage caused by free radicals produced by toxic chemicals, UV rays, and pollutants like cigarette smoke, etc.
If left untreated, these free-radicals can build up and contribute to the development of many health conditions such as heart disease, osteoarthritis, cancer, etc.
Natural Immunity- Booster: Vitamin C is your natural immunity-booster, as it is involved in many parts of the immune system. It helps encourage the production of white blood cells (fighter cells) which help protect the body against infection. It is even beneficial to individuals whose immune system was weakened due to stress.
Being a potent antioxidant, it also helps these fighter cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by free radicals. Vitamin C may also boost the fatty membranes in the skin and connective tissue, thus strengthen the skin’s barriers. Research studies have also shown that taking vitamin C supplements may shorten wound healing time and fasten the recovery from injury.
- Promote Healthy Skin: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a better skin-aging appearance and a lower likelihood of skin aging such as wrinkles, skin dryness, etc
Relieve in Cold: A 2013 research review of several dozen studies show that vitamin C supplements reduce the duration and severity of colds in the general population. The review also found that vitamin C supplements taken during a cold can reduce the duration of the illness by 8% in adults and 14% in children. Participants in each study were supplemented a daily dose of at least 200 mg of vitamin C for varying periods.
A 2017 report in cell culture and preclinical studies noted that when bugs do infiltrate the body, vitamin C helps direct immune cells (neutrophils) to the site of infection and protects these cells against free radicals.
- Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A research study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were linked with 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations of vitamin C.
- Lowers the high blood pressure: Vitamin C may help lower blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure. Taking a vitamin C supplement helped relax the blood vessels, which helped reduce blood pressure levels.
- Prevent Iron Deficiency: Vitamin C helps improve the absorption of iron from the diet by converting poorly absorbed plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb. To get this benefit, combine both vitamin C-rich foods together with iron-rich plant foods in the same meal. Such as add lemon juice in pulses and lentils gravy or make a salad dressing adding lemon juice in it, etc.
- Protect the brain against degenerative disease: Oxidative stress and inflammation in brain and central nervous system (CNS); lead to an increase in the risk of dementia. While being an antioxidant, Vitamin C protects the CNS from inflammation and oxidative damage by free- radicals. Thus, it has been shown to have a protective effect on thinking and memory as we age.
TOP FOOD SOURCE
Unlike other animals, we humans cannot make vitamin C on their own. Therefore, we must get it from foods or supplements to maintain good health.
Vitamin C is mainly found in fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables such as all citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, lime, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, green chili, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, turnip greens, beet greens, and spinach, etc. Therefore, eating a variety of Vitamin-C-rich fruits and vegetables can go a long way in supporting optimal health and wellness.
Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble vitamin with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunity-boosting properties that has many health benefits. It supports wound healing, collagen formation, boost immunity, delay signs of aging, and promote healthy skin. So include plenty of raw fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C to gain those benefits unless you may need to consider taking a Vitamin C supplement.