Vitamin C foods help boost our immunity and provide numerous other health benefits. Thus, its important to include Vitamin C foods in our diet for good health and wellness.
Vitamins are among the six essential components of your diet. Most people pay close attention to their protein and carbohydrate intake, often neglecting the vitamins.
Vitamins aid in the smooth functioning of the body and their deficiency can lead to several issues. Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins as it boosts immunity, keeping us free from most ailments including the common cold, cough, and other severe health conditions.
It is simple to include vitamin C in your diet with a well-planned meal. There are also several supplements for those who are on the go and cannot find enough time to prepare elaborate meals with vitamin C foods.
What Vitamin C does for your body?
Vitamin C is known for its several health benefits, the most important one being increasing immunity. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants. That is why you must include as many vitamin C fruits and vegetables in your diet as possible.
Being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is very important for maintaining the connective tissues in the body including skin, blood vessels, and bones. Any damage in the connective tissue is also repaired and the formation of this tissue can be aided with regular intake of vitamin C foods or use of Vitamin C serum.
Image Source: trendymods.com
Top 5 Vitamin C Benefits
The health benefits of taking the recommended amount of vitamin C include:
- Better ability to cope with stress: According to a meta-analysis conducted on benefits of Vitamin C, those who have a weakened immune system due to stress can benefit largely. If you are under stress or have any lifestyle issues like smoking or drinking alcohol, Vitamin C is the first nutrient to be depleted making it even more important in your diet.
- Helps prevent complications due to the common cold: As opposed to popular belief, Vitamin C is not the cure for common cold. But consuming vitamin C foods or vitamin C tablets can reduce the chances of complications such as pneumonia.
- Lowers risk of stroke: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that those who had a higher concentration of vitamin C in the blood were at a lower risk of strokes by almost 42%.
- Reduced skin aging: The effects of vitamin C are seen both inside and outside the body. A recent study conducted on women between the ages of 40 and 74 showed that those who had a better intake of vitamin C fruits, Vitamin C tablets or used vitamin C serum had slowed skin aging, lower chances of wrinkled skin and also less dryness in the skin.
Image Source: todayhealthtips.com
- Helps you stay alert and active: Vitamin C is responsible for the formation of carnitine, which is an amino acid that transports fatty acids into the mitochondria. These fatty acids are necessary for the mitochondria to produce ATP which gives us energy. We are able to stay more alert as Vitamin C is directly responsible for the production of neurotransmitters that take signals from different parts of the body to the brain, allowing it to respond faster.
Some other Vitamin C benefits include:
- Reduced macular degeneration with age
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced chances of high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and associated conditions
- Better response to cancer treatment
10 Vitamin C Foods You Must Include In Your Diet
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that the body does not store it and excretes any excess amount. The only vitamin C source is a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. There are some vitamin C fruits and vegetables that give you a high amount of vitamin C in each serving. The top 10 vitamin C foods are:
|Vitamin C Foods||Nutrition Information|
|Oranges||1 large orange contains 42 mg of Vitamin C|
|Red peppers||½ cup of raw chopped red peppers contain 95 mg of Vitamin C|
|Kale||1 cup of kale contains 80 mg of Vitamin C|
|Brussels sprouts||1 cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contain 48 mg of vitamin C|
|Broccoli||1 cup of cooked broccoli contains 51 mg of Vitamin C|
|Strawberries||½ cup of strawberries contain 42 mg of Vitamin C|
|Grapefruit||½ cup of grapefruit contains 42 mg of Vitamin C|
|Guava||1 fruit contains 125 mg of Vitamin C|
|Kiwi||1 piece contains 33% of Vitamin C|
|Green peppers||½ cup of raw, chopped green peppers contain 60 mg of Vitamin C|
These vitamin C foods can be added to your diet very easily and can help you reap all the benefits of Vitamin C. You can additionally get a vitamin C food list from your doctor or nutritionist to add more variety to your diet.
How Does Vitamin C Work?
23- 25% of the body’s protein comprises collagen. The fibrils of collagen are strong and elongated and are seen in the blood vessels, skin, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, bones, the spinal disks, and the muscle tissue. The synthesis of collagen depends on vitamin C content in the body.
With the intake of vitamin C foods, the amount of Type 1 collagen, which is 90% of the total collagen content in the body, increases. That is how the aging of the skin is prevented along with the repair of tissues to heal wounds or tears. With a higher concentration of vitamin C benefits, the production of Type IV collagen is boosted. This collagen helps in the filtration process of the blood-brain barrier, the kidney, and the arterial lining.
Since Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, the free radicals in the body are neutralized. This prevention of free radical build-up prevents heart diseases, cancer, and even arthritis. The prevention of arthritis and other conditions related to the bone is another benefit of Vitamin C as it helps stimulate the cells that are responsible for the absorption of Calcium in the bones.
Immunity is improved primarily by the role of vitamin C in the absorption of iron. This helps produce more hemoglobin that transports oxygen through the blood. Improper absorption of iron can also lead to toxicity. Besides that, the anti- oxidizing property of vitamin C foods and vitamin C fruits make it necessary to include them in the diet as they prevent any chances of oxidative stress that reduces the ability of the immune system to perform efficiently.
Vitamin C Supplements
Image Source: livestrong
For those who are unable to include all the Vitamin C fruits and vegetables, the simplest source is vitamin C supplements. These supplements are available in the form of vitamin C tablets that can be consumed 2-3 times each day after every meal.
Vitamin C supplements are also recommended for those who have a chronic Vitamin C deficiency. With these supplements, it is possible to manage the dosage and ensure that you get the daily recommended value of vitamin C.
How Much Vitamin C Do You Need Per Day?
For maximum vitamin C benefits, taking the daily recommended dosage is important. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the daily recommended value is:
· 0-6 months- 40 mg
· 6 months to 1 year- 50 mg
· 1-3 years- 15 mg
· 4-8 years- 25mg
· 9-13 years- 45 mg
· Adolescent females ( 14-18 years)- 65mg
· Adolescent males (14- 18 years)- 75 mg
· Adult Male- 90 mg
· Adult female- 75 mg
Some people do consume more vitamin C than recommended. While it may not cause immediate effects, it can lead to side effects over time. In any case, a healthy human body excretes the additional Vitamin C, making it useless for the body. It is best to consult your doctor before you include vitamin C capsules, vitamin C tablets, or other Vitamin C supplements in your diet.