Ultimate guide to Vitamin C – Introduction, benefits, deficiency, sources

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Vitamin C, which is commonly also known as L-ascorbic acid, today has many effects on people who know about the benefits of it. A water-soluble vitamin, this nutrient is naturally present in some of the foods we consume on a daily basis. Vitamin C is also available as a dietary supplement and is a very important component. Vitamin C is essential for one’s health and is vital to increase the metabolism levels in the body as well. So, maintaining a healthy amount of Vitamin C plays a vital role and also acts as the best antioxidant against most of the health problems. Not just this, Vitamin C is also considered to be one of the safest and effective nutrients.

Now, this may not be the cure for most of the common allergies or cold, but it definitely can protect you from more serious complications. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are the best source of Vitamin C and it is most crucial for you to understand how you can consume and the benefits behind them. Consuming foods uncooked or raw are the best. Some examples of products that are rich in vitamin C include:

  • Watermelon
  • Papaya
  • Citrus fruits – Orange, tangerine, and grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries

In order to follow the right consumption of Vitamin C, you will need to understand its benefits. The benefits may include protection against health problems such as – prenatal, immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.

Why do you need Vitamin C?

Important for the production of collagen, Vitamin C helps in metabolizing proteins and its antioxidant properties help in reducing risks of serious health issues such as cancers.

1. Stress

If you have a weak immune system, it could be due to stress – a condition that is very commonly faced in our society. Vitamin C is one of the nutrients very sensitive to stress and to be depleted in smokers or obese individuals. To increase the overall health and well-being of your body and the way it functions, Vitamin C is the most important element required.

2. Chronic Colds

When it comes to common cold and flu, Vitamin C may not be a direct cure. But there is enough evidence that says by consuming vitamin C for colds and flu can actually reduce the risk of developing something chronic. It is also best to avoid further complications such as lung infections or pneumonia.

3. Stroke

Studies shows that consuming Vitamin C in moderation can also cut down the risk of getting a stroke. If you include plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C, you can maintain healthy blood levels.

4. Skin-Aging

Vitamin C helps in improving cells on the inside and outside of the body. People aged 40-74 are more prone of skin-aging if Vitamin C is not consumed. The higher the intake of this nutrient, the lower the likelihood of people getting a wrinkled appearance, dry skin.

Vitamin C may also help in:

  • Improving macular degeneration
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease

Understanding The Deficiencies of Vitamin C

Consuming an insufficient amount of fruits and vegetables may result in a Vitamin C deficiency. If this gets serious it can also lead to something called Scurvy – which can cause weakness, depression, inflammation of the gums and impaired healing of wounds. Not consuming the right amounts of Vitamin C every day can lead to these health problems: 

  1. bleeding gums
  2. bruising easily
  3. slow wound healing
  4. dry hair and skin
  5. nose bleeds
  6. fatigue
  7. weakened immune system
  8. joint pains

Sources of Vitamin C

It is said that adult males must consume around 90mgs of Vitamin C per day and females must consume 75mgs per day.

Fruits and Vegetables

These are the best sources of vitamin C. Fruits that contain citrus such as, tomatoes and potatoes are major contributors. Other balanced food sources include red and green peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, and sprouts. If you consume these raw, it is the best way to get the right portion of this Vitamin.

Dietary supplements

Another alternative to consume Vitamin C is through some oral supplements. For most people, taking these supplements in suggested in amounts that are safe. Most multivitamins have vitamin C, but it is best advised to consult your doctor to take the right one in the recommended dose.

Here are six easy ways to add more fruits and veggies into your diet every day:

  1. Add grated fruits and veggies to recipes for muffins, soups
  2. Keep cut-up fruits and veggies on hand so you can easily eat them when you feel hungry
  3. Include lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded broccoli on all your sandwiches and wraps.
  4. Consume raw veggies with hummus or low-fat dips
  5. Add fresh or frozen berries to muffins, pancakes, cereal, and salads.
  6. Eat a handful of dried fruit with nuts for a quick snack.
  7. Try having a glass of vegetable juice
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