October 28, 2020 4 min read
Vitamin C benefits are well-documented and known around the world and this nutrient is best known for its effect on the common cold. Anyone who's had a common cold knows that they should take lots of lemons because it has a lot of vitamin C.
That, in fact, is probably all they know about vitamin C. It does more than that though. Vitamin C is one of those nutrients you can't afford to do without. Of course, all nutrients are important, but this one will make its absence felt pretty quickly.
Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble vitamin commonly found in citrus fruits such as oranges, berries and lemons. It's also found in fresh vegetables like spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Unlike some animals, human beings don't produce vitamin C in their bodies, so they have to get it from food sources.
You can also get vitamin C from supplement tablets or powders like Eden Healthfoods Wild C Natural Vitamin C Powder 150g.
Vitamin C helps the body absorb other nutrients. It also helps in metabolizing food and drink to produce energy. It's good for weight loss, as it helps to burn up fat during exercise.
Vitamin C is vital for a healthy immune system. It helps in the formation of white blood cells, which are the disease-fighting agents of the body. Without it, no white blood cells would be formed, and consequently, your health would decline.
Taking more vitamin C during illness in form of fruit, vegetable or supplement has been found to actually shorten the duration of the illness.
You probably see the term free radicals' everywhere and wonder what they are. They are formed during some types of reactions in the body and can accumulate to dangerous levels. Too many free radicals wreak havoc in the body leading to oxidative stress and inflammation.
Oxidative stress damages cells and can lead to premature aging and even increase the risk of cancer. Antioxidants are molecules which fight free radicals.
Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant which protects the body from damage by harmful free radicals. It reduces the risk of developing chronic illnesses and disorders linked to oxidative stress. It also protects white blood cells from damage by free radicals and reduces inflammation, lowering the risk of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
The body needs vitamin C to produce a protein called collagen. Collagen is important for strong muscles and cartilage and is even a component in bones. Intake of vitamin C has been found to promote bone density and help protect against fractures. This is important for ageing people, as muscle and bone strength reduces as people grow older.
Taking vitamin C therefore helps in slowing down the effects of aging. Vitamin C also has a vital role in tissue repair, wound healing and formation of scar tissue due to its involvement in collagen formation.
Vitamin C helps in the production of elastin, a compound which contributes to the thickness of skin, protects skin cells and heals them. If you want glowing skin, you need lots of vitamin C. This is why skin experts insist so much on eating of fresh fruits and vegetables for good skin health.
You've probably also noticed that lots of skincare products have vitamin C as one of the main ingredients. Since vitamin C helps in the production of collagen, the collagen also keeps skin elastic and prevents wrinkling. The vitamin also repairs damage to skin cells caused by free radicals which form due to prolonged exposure to strong sunlight or pollution.
Iron is one of the most important nutrients in the body, as it is a key ingredient in the formation of red blood cells, which transport oxygen in the body. Some forms of iron, especially plant-based ones, are not easy to absorb, which makes them useless. Imagine taking lots of plant-based iron only for it to get out without being absorbed.
Vitamin C helps convert iron that is difficult to absorb to a better, more available form. This is useful for vegans because their only source of iron is plant-based.
Uric acid is a waste product produced by the body. Sometimes, it accumulates in the blood and crystallizes in the joints, leading to a very painful form of arthritis called gout. Vitamin C helps to reduce the levels of uric acid in the blood, which reduces your chances of developing gout.
These were some of the vitamin C benefits but what happens when you don't get enough vitamin C in your diet? Your body will show it soon enough! Vitamin C deficiency is also known as scurvy. Sailors often experienced it when they had been at sea for long periods of time and had run out of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Here are some of the main symptoms, most of which resolve when the vitamin is introduced in the diet.
Constant fatigue and low mood- these are among the first symptoms of deficiency.
Lack of collagen due to low vitamin C levels leads to slow healing of wounds and the formation of scar tissue.
Weak bones- vitamin C plays an important part in the formation of bones, so lack of it will lead to weak bones and constant fractures. This nutrient is crucial in the growth and development of children.
Weak teeth and bleeding gums- vitamin C deficiency typically leads to weakening of gum tissue, which can lead to bleeding and eventual loss of teeth.
Dry skin and hair- Collagen is an important part of the skin, so vitamin C deficiency would lead to less production of collagen, leading to dry, wrinkled skin.
Painful joints- Since vitamin C is crucial in the formation of collagen, lack of it in the diet can lead to joint pain.
Good nutrition is the answer to many of the health problems. An adequate and constant amount of vitamin C in the diet is part of good nutrition, and fortunately, it is easily affordable and accessible. If you want to obtain vitamin C benefits for good health and well-being, make it a part if your every day diet.