Vitamin C function
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an immensely beneficial nutrient for the human body.
You must have been advised by many to include Vitamin C in your diet to stay healthy. It is popularly called the protector of the body.
But why is the nutrient so essential? The answer is that the Vitamin has beneficial effects on almost all parts of your body. There are advantages, many known and some still being studied, when it comes to the positive effects of Vitamin C consumption It is a water-soluble vitamin essential for healthy growth and development. That means whatever excess vitamin C from food lies unconsumed in your body, is excreted by it.
But, then it also means you need to take it every day to enjoy its benefits. Here is a detailed article about the various important facts related to the fantastic Vitamin C, including the numerous benefits, sources, dosage, and deficiency of Vitamin C. Read on to know more.
What is Vitamin C good for?
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the human body, making it a must in your diet.
- But what are these advantages? Firstly, it is a widespread belief that Vitamin C can cure a common cold. But contrary to the opinion, the Vitamin does not do so.
- But it does help reduce the duration and helps decrease cold symptoms. There are numerous benefits of Vitamin C intake, including enhanced immunity, iron absorption, prenatal health problems, cardiovascular disease, and eye disease. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and fights free radicals in the body.
This mechanism lowers the chance of or delays the incidence of heart diseases and cancers.
The nutrient also reduces the chances of Cartilage loss in osteoarthritis, causing relief. Interestingly, there is quite a lot of research going on to establish the role of Vitamin C in preventing and treating cancer.
It is advised to take Vitamin C for the skin as well as skin wrinkling. Vitamin C is good for immunity, but the mechanism behind that has not yet been established through research.
Vitamin C is a natural antibiotic, antitoxin, antiviral, and antihistamine. That is why health experts strongly recommend it.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for tissue growth and repair throughout your body. It helps heal wounds, repairs and helps maintain healthy skin, bones, teeth, and cartilage.
- The vital role of the nutrient lies in its ability to aid the body in making collagen. Collagen is an essential protein useful in making skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. The Vitamin is vital to form Neurotransmitters in the Nervous System.
- It is essential in the formation of Carnitine, the chemical responsible for transporting and breaking down fatty acids for energy.
- Further, Vitamin C benefits also include the absorption of iron, especially from non-heme iron.
- Vitamin C is also seen to benefit advanced Age-related macular degeneration of the eyes, pre-eclampsia in women.
Studies are conducted to verify the claim that Vitamin C intake has a positive effect on Asthma.
In short, there are a lot of advantages associated with the consumption of Vitamin C regularly. So, it is best to consume natural Vitamin C rich foods every day to stay healthy and as natural protection against diseases. Now it is crucial to find out how you can safely consume Vitamin C daily.
Vitamin C high foods, drinks
The human body neither produces Vitamin C nor can form it by themselves. So, it is essential to intake it from outside sources.
There are various natural foods with Vitamin C, including fruits and vegetables. There is a high content of Vitamin C in orange, lemon, and banana.
Also, fruits like kiwi, grapefruit, guava, papaya, lychee, strawberries, and cantaloupe. Though citrus fruits are the most crucial source of the Vitamin, various other foods contain a considerable amount of the nutrient.
Vegetables with Vitamin C include tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, capsicums, and Brussel sprouts. Also, some lesser-known Vitamin C sources are Kakadu plum, rose hips, acerola cherries, blackcurrants, parsley, thyme, and mustard spinach, kale, and American Persimmons.
If not fruits, you could choose to have Vitamin C drinks. Some juices rich in Vitamin C are orange juice, mango juice, pineapple juice, mint kiwi lemonade, etc. apart from natural sources of Vitamin C, there are various supplements available in the market.
If you wish, you could opt for the different safe and beneficial Vitamin C supplements in the correct dosage. It is best to consult the doctor with full details of your physical condition and health issue if any.
Vit C deficiency
Generally, people do not suffer from Vitamin C deficiency in developed countries. Rarely do you hear of anyone being Vitamin C deficient, but it does occur.
Severe Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy. However, Vitamin C inadequacy is also harmful to the health as less Vitamin C means less protection against health issues for your body.
Apart from low immunity, a low level of Vitamin C could increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, gall bladder disease, atherosclerosis, and some cancers. Signs of Vitamin C deficiency are
- Bleeding gums and gingivitis
- Dry and splitting hair
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Slow wound healing
- Easy bruising
- Nose bleeds
- Low immunity
Vitamin C deficiency is different from the inadequacy of the nutrient. Vitamin C Inadequacy occurs when the regular intake is less than the RDA, but not as low to cause deficiency.
Some groups are at high risk of having Vitamin C inadequacy which includes
Smokers as well as passive smokers
Infants drinking boiled milk
People consuming a limited variety of meal ingredients
People suffering from malabsorption or certain chronic diseases
Staying away from such habits, eating Vitamin C rich food could help you have a healthy level of the nutrient in your body.
How much per day, excessive consumption and side effects
So, how much Vitamin C per day? The daily amount recommended for adults is 65 to 90 milligrams of Vitamin C per day.
- Thus, a bowl of strawberries or an orange is enough for adequate vitamin c in a day. However, the upper limit of intake is 2000 mg a day. Generally, excess dietary Vitamin C is not harmful, but overconsuming may have some effects on the body.
- People who are opting to take Vitamin C supplements should be careful about the dosage of the tablets. Vitamin C supplements are known to have a diuretic effect, so drink lots of water. Excess consumption of Vitamin C in massive amounts can result in Diarrhea, Vomiting, Nausea, Heartburn, Headache, Abdominal cramps, or Insomnia. In case if you experience any such health issues, you should immediately lower the dose. The next step, advisable, is going to the doctor for further guidance. You should consult the doctor before taking Vitamin C supplements if you are pregnant, sensitive to corn, sickle cell anemic, or diabetic.
Doctor’s advice is a must if you are suffering from a metabolic disorder (G6PD), kidney problems, or any other major health issue.
Now that you have all the essential details about Vitamin C, you must do things the right way.
First and foremost, aim to have a balanced meal with the Vitamin forming a vital part. Also, remember that to get benefits from natural sources of Vitamin C, you should eat them fresh as they lose their nutrient value if they are stored for long periods or overcooked.
So, eat fruits as raw as possible after shopping. For vegetables, cook a minimum. A great way to have foods rich in Vitamin C is to combine them with non-heme iron-rich foods.
If you plan to take Vitamin C supplements, it is best to consult the doctor. He could conduct a thorough health check-up to confirm about your health condition and advise accordingly.
Keep in mind the Vitamin C side effects in certain health conditions as well as dosages of the supplements. Lastly, one nutrient alone cannot keep you healthy until your lifestyle is healthy. So, you should follow a healthy and active lifestyle with a balanced diet.
Stay away from stress and practice meditation. A complete change of your daily schedule with critical dietary changes can make you healthier and happier.
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