How Important Is Vitamin C in Your Body: Health Benefits and Sources

How Important Is Vitamin C in Your Body: Health Benefits and Sources

Are you more susceptible to infections? Does your wound heal slowly? Is your immune system weak? If you do, perhaps you need to check if you are getting enough Vitamin C in your diet. Read through the article, How Important Is Vitamin C in Your Body: Health Benefits and Sources. And, find out which foods will help you maintain an excellent level of Vitamin C.

What is the role of Vitamin C in your body?

Vitamin C also known as Ascorbic Acid is required for the growth and repair of tissues. It’s a water-soluble vitamin which means you cannot store it in your body. Thus, you need to constantly supply it to maintain optimum health.

Ascorbic Acid also acts as a powerful antioxidant that can protect your body from the harmful molecules like free radicals which experts believe they are the causes of cancer development and other fatal diseases.

How Much Vitamin C Is Recommended For You?

US Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine :

Men:                     18 years old and above is 90 mg of Vitamin C daily

Women:              18 years old and above is 75 mg of Vitamin C daily

Let’s take a deeper look at How Important Is Vitamin C in Your Body.

Health Benefits of Vitamin C

1. Boosts Immune System

Ascorbic Acid’s function is more crucial than you may know. As mentioned, it is needed in the formation and maintenance of tissues, blood vessels, skin, and bones too.

White blood cells are the cells of your immune system. They are the one that protects your body from infectious diseases and strange intruders. The Ascorbic Acid concentrated in the immune cells is immediately consumed when there are infections. [1]

Therefore, a constant supply of Ascorbic Acid every day is needed to boosts your immune system and increase your resistance to infectious diseases.

2. Aids in Collagen Formation / Skin Health

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It’s found in skin and other connective tissues. And vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen.

And vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen.

A study published in National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S National Library of Medicine shows that Vitamin C has a critical role in the maintenance of a normal mature collagen network in humans. [2]

3. Protection from Infections

A continuous supply of Vitamin C significantly boosts your immune system. Hence, it helps your body from getting infections.

Studies (a total of 148 animal studies) published in National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S National Library of Medicine indicates that vitamin C may alleviate or prevent infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. [3]

4. Wound Healing

Because Vitamin C is essential in the formation of collagen and maintenance of tissues, it greatly helps in healing wounds faster.

Whenever a wound is present the plasma and tissue levels of Ascorbic Acid decreases. Therefore, if you have wounds, you should add more foods that are rich in Vitamin C for faster healing.

5. Acts as a Powerful Antioxidant

An antioxidant is a molecule that prevents oxidation. Meanwhile, oxidation is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals which may damage healthy cells. [4]

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to neutralize the free radicals in your body. And it is even used to treat or act as a therapeutic agent in many diseases and disorders. [5]

6. Reduces Stress

Stress in the medical definition is a physical, mental or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. [6] Particularly, stress can cause poor healing, high blood pressure, and even blood sugar spike.

When you are under stress, your body releases cortisol (a hormone that is released by the adrenal glands in response to stress). Stressful events can raise cortisol levels in the blood for a longer time. And once this cortisol gets into the bloodstream it exhausts your body’s physical resources, impairs learning and making you prone to depression. [7]

Meanwhile, ascorbic acid mediates to psychological stress and reduces the cortisol circulating in the blood. [8]

7. Reduce Asthma

A study indicates that a consumption of vitamin c-rich fresh fruits reduces wheezing symptoms, shortness of breath with wheezing, chronic cough and severe wheezing in children and other susceptible individuals. Moreover, the study also shows that the effect was stronger in subjects with a history of asthma. Those who eat fresh fruit at least once a week have lower occurrence of wheezing (29.3%) compared to those who eat fruit less than once per week. [9]

8. Cures Cataracts

Fruits and Vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C reduce the risk of cataracts. This vitamin is concentrated in eye tissues where it helps prevent oxidative stress that can damage those eye tissues.

Besides, a study indicates that people with a high intake of vitamin C had a 20 percent lower risk of cataracts.

9. Cancer Prevention

A study indicates that Vitamin C has a strong protective effect for non-hormone-dependent cancers. Alongside, 71% of 46 studies show that subjects whose intake of Vitamin C is higher have significant protection from cancer. Furthermore, on the additional studies conducted out of 29 studies, 72% indicates a protective effect to those subjects with higher intake of Vitamin C, too. The result was undeniably consistent which includes cancer of the esophagus, larynx, oral cavity, and pancreas. It has also strong evidence in stomach, rectum, breast, and cervix cancers. [10]

10. Lowers High Blood Pressure

A study published in John Hopkins Medicine admits that “Big Doses of Vitamin C May Lower Blood Pressure”. Particularly, Vitamin C may act as a diuretic which helps your body get rid of excess water and sodium which in turn aids in lowering blood pressure. [11]

Besides, research has shown that antioxidants can help to lower high blood pressure by protecting your body’s supply of nitric oxide a powerful vasodilator that relaxes narrowed blood vessels, increasing oxygen and blood flow. [12]

Powerful Sources of Vitamin C

How Important Is Vitamin C in Your Body: Health Benefits and Sources
Photo from Flickr

The following are fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C per 100 grams.

  1. Guava – 228 mg (396%)

  2. Chili Peppers – 143.7 mg (240%)

  3. Bell Pepper – 127.7 mg (213%)

  4. Malabar Spinach – 102 mg (170%)

  5. Kiwifruit – 92.7 mg (154%)

  6. Broccoli – 89.2 mg (149%)

  7. Brussel Sprout – 85 mg (142%)

  8. Lychee – 71.5 mg (119%)

  9. Papaya – 60.9 mg (102%)

  10. Kohlrabi – 62 mg (102%)

  11. Strawberry – 58.8 mg (98%)

  12. Lemon – 53 mg (88%)

  13. Orange – 48.5 mg (81%)

  14. Cauliflower – 48.2 mg (80%)

  15. Pineapple – 47.8 mg (80%)

  16. Bok Choy – 45 mg (75%)

  17. Watercress – 43 mg (72%)

  18. Cantaloupe – 36.7 mg (61%)

  19. Cabbage – 36.6 mg (61%)

  20. Mulberry – 36.4 mg (61%)

  21. Raspberries – 26.2 mg (47%)

  22. Star fruit – 34.4 mg (57%)

  23. Grapefruit – 31.2 mg (52%)

  24. Passion fruit – 30 mg (50%)

  25. Spinach – 28.1 mg (47%)

  26. Mango – 27.7 mg (46%)

  27. Gooseberries – 27.7 mg (46%)

  28. Tangerine – 26.7 mg (44%)

  29. Blackberries – 21 mg (35%)

  30. Durian Fruit – 19.7 mg (33%)

 

Conclusion

Overall, Vitamin C is essential to your body. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin you need to constantly replenish it every day.

If you want optimum health, boosts your immune system and keep your body from the damaging effects of free radicals, then you should add those Vitamin C-rich fruits in your diet. Because various studies show that fruit and vegetable sources of Vitamin C are much more effective than the supplements, it is best to consider the natural sources of this essential and powerful vitamin.

According to Dr. Linus Pauling, a famous chemist and nutrition expert, “vitamin C is one of the least toxic vitamins, it is very safe to use in high doses.” Your body will take exactly what it needs and excrete any excess naturally.”

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