- What is vitamin C?
- Vitamin C Sources
- 11 Amazing Benefits of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Bottom Line
Vitamin C has various health benefits, it is considered as one of the most powerful antioxidants there is. This article discusses 11 amazing benefits of vitamin C for the human body.
In the year 1930, Albert Szent- Gyorgyi discovered the chemical ascorbic acid/ Vitamin C which was essential to the human body to carry out basic functions.
The human body needs to replenish vitamins and minerals through food; deficiency of vitamins can lead to very serious illnesses and knowing which foods are the best to incorporate into a diet is necessary. A healthy lifestyle and antioxidant-rich diet can be very crucial to eliminating the chances of contracting diseases such as cancer, hypothyroidism, and diabetes.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is the most powerful vitamin available to mankind for consumption. Vitamin C is not stored by the body hence a regular intake is recommended, this can be replenished by eating vitamin C rich foods or taking supplements.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, which is extremely necessary for the body to strengthen its immune system and fight off free radical stress. Vitamin C is required by the body to synthesize collagen, run a smooth metabolic function and also keep the regeneration process going. In a nutshell, vitamin c is required by the body to maintain the overall health of the body.
Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid, and is a water-soluble vitamin. A deficiency in this vitamin can have serious consequences and if it is not catered to immediately it can be fatal. History has highlighted a few unfortunate events where Scurvy, a disease which is the result of vitamin C deficiency has taken lives.
The symptoms of vitamin deficiency include muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, joint pains, leg rashes and bleeding gums. Taking an adequate amount of vitamin C on a regular basis can help eliminate these symptoms.
An adult male requires 90mg of vitamin C per day and an adult female requires 75mg per day. During pregnancy, doctors recommend increasing the daily intake to 85mg and during lactation to 120mg. Doctors have also studied the benefits for smokers and recommend a regular intake of 135mg per day for them.
Vitamin C Sources
Our daily diet is responsible for most of the intake of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is found in fresh fruits and vegetables, supplements are also a great way of curbing vitamin c deficiency. Here is a list of the few day to day food staples, which can be a good source of vitamin C.
- Red pepper/ green pepper
- Green peas
These are a few of the top foods that are excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C supplements are usually a dose of ascorbic acid, which is the equivalent bioavailability to that of the naturally occurring version.
11 Amazing Benefits of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
1. Prevent and Treat the Common Cold
The common cold is a recurring illness and there are no vaccines for it. Vitamin C intake can be very useful in the fighting off common colds and can be very helpful in treating its symptoms. When experiencing symptoms of common cold you can always up to the intake of vitamin C by adding a supplement to your diet or a few drops of lemon to soups and teas. Vitamin C has a soothing affect on the symptoms of influenza and cold.
2. Scurvy Prevention
Scurvy is a degenerative disease that affects the tissue development in the body. It affects tissues, blood vessels and weakens bones. Before the advancement of modern science and the creation of supplements, most sailors and fishermen suffered from vitamin C deficiency as they did not have access to fresh food, which was mostly responsible for the diseases. Loss of teeth, hair and unhealthy nails are also symptoms of scurvy.
3. Negating Hypertension
Vitamin C acts as a stimulator for adequate flow of blood through the body, it is rich in antioxidants, which keeps your blood pressure in check and prevents hypertension. Hypertension can be fatal in some instances and can even be the cause of blood vessel blockage or rupture. It is necessary to immediately increase the intake of vitamin c when suffering from hypertension.
4. Heals Cataracts
Cataracts are often the result of free radicals damaging blood vessels in the eye and also a deficiency of nutrients in the body. Vitamin is a powerful antioxidant, which protects the eye from degenerative macular diseases.
5. Cancer Prevention
Antioxidants are the answer to prevention of diseases such as cancer; vitamin C not only boosts the immune system, but actually targets cancer-causing free radicals that are responsible for cell-DNA damage.
6. Good Mood
Vitamin C promotes the production of the norepinephrine, which is a hormone and neurotransmitter associated with a good mood.
Vitamin C is a very important part of the collagen production in the human body. Collagen is what keeps the skin and muscles supple and elastic even in old age. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps keep the body younger internally and externally and delays the appearance of aging signs.
8. Healthy Cardiovascular System
Studies have observed that a higher amount of vitamin C in the plasma is actually responsible for enhanced heart health and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin C also helps relax arteries under stress that facilitates the flow of blood and immediately reduces a risk of heart attacks.
9. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Bad cholesterol or LDL is closely related to heart disease and other diseases such as diabetes. Vitamin C helps regulate levels of cholesterol in the blood and also stimulates the excretion of cholesterol from the body. Vitamin C is a good booster for the body’s metabolism and this prevents the storage of cholesterol and fat in the body.
10. Immunity Booster
Immunity is the body’s defense against harmful pathogens, infections, and viruses. The body builds a defense mechanism using vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the food we consume. Vitamin C is the holy grail vitamin for a strong immune system. A regular intake of vitamin C can actually help the body fight fatal and terminal illnesses.
Vitamin C is a natural anti-allergic as it reduces the production of histamine, which is responsible for most allergic reactions. This can be very useful in keeping the body safe from seasonal and food allergies. Autoimmune disease is a dangerous form of an allergic reaction and vitamin C can actually be used to treat this problem and prevent it.
Diet can be the cure to many diseases, eating whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals can fight many life threatening diseases. Vitamin C is one of the most useful antioxidants, which the body uses on many fronts.