Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for health that must be taken either via diet or supplements. Read these 7 signs to see if you have Vitamin C deficiency.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin. It is found in a lot of foods, mostly citrus fruits, and vegetables. The human body is unable to synthesize Vitamin C endogenously, thus, it becomes an essential dietary component. You can either get the daily dose of Vitamin C by including foods rich in Vitamin C in your diet or taking Vitamin C supplements.
The daily requirement of Vitamin C for an average adult is 75 – 90mg. Experts believe that only 10 – 20% of adults get this requirement. It is suggested that one should strive to eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. This would not only fulfill the requirement of Vitamin C but other essential nutrients and minerals.
Vitamin C Sources
18 sources of Vitamin C – Fruits & Vegetables
|Gooseberries or Amla||Kale|
Vitamin C is a highly beneficial vitamin which mainly helps in building immunity, protection against cardiovascular diseases, eye diseases, and prenatal health problems.
It is important to know that Vitamin C is a very sensitive component and reacts to water, air, and temperature. It is best to consume foods and fruits rich in Vitamin C in their natural raw form. Boiling, steaming, or freezing these foods can reduce the Vitamin C content by up to 25%
Vitamin C is required for numerous body functions and its deficiency can lead to various problems, both of these are discussed below.
Groups at Risk of Vitamin C Inadequacy
The following groups are at the risk of developing Vitamin C deficiency –
- Smokers and passive smokers
- People with malabsorption or chronic diseases
- People who go on restrictive diets
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Infants fed on boiled milk
- Individuals with limited intake of fruits and vegetables
Deficiency of Vitamin C
There are a variety of symptoms that may indicate Vitamin C deficiency. It is important to know these symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency can be a warning sign for other diseases also.
Top 7 signs of Vitamin C deficiency you must be aware of.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of any health condition. It is true that one cannot identify the exact condition based on fatigue alone. But when fatigue is coupled with other symptoms, you get to know the possibility of the deficiency.
- UNEXPECTED WEIGHT GAIN
Low levels of Vitamin C in the blood may lead to increase in body fat. Research shows that the amount of Vitamin C absorbed is directly associated with our body’s ability to use fat as a fuel during rest and exercising. If you have suddenly gained weight, it may be related to deficiency of Vitamin C.
- JOINT AND MUSCLE PAIN
Chronic pain in joints and muscles is a sign of Vitamin C deficiency. A study showed that people who had low levels of Vitamin C were three times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those who have a diet rich in Vitamin C foods.
- DENTAL CONDITIONS
A healthy dose of Vitamin C contributes largely to oral and dental health. Deficiency of Vitamin C may cause degradation of gums. Periodontal problems are also a sign of low level of Vitamin C in your body. When the deficiency reaches an alarming level, it may cause scurvy.
Early symptoms of scurvy are –
- Sore arms and legs
- Decreased red blood cells
- Bleeding from skin
If you are getting cold and flu frequently, it can be a sign of weak immunity. People with low levels of Vitamin C have a rather weak immune system and are more susceptible to infections. You must include foods rich in Vitamin C in your diet, or take Vitamin C supplements to strengthen your immune system. It is recommended that you consult your doctor before taking Vitamin C supplements. You can also talk to him/her about vitamin C deficiency treatment.
- DRY HAIR AND BRITTLE NAILS
A change in hair condition from healthy to dry can be a warning sign. It may indicate that your body isn’t getting the required amount of Vitamin C, and other essential nutrients. Since hair is a non-essential tissue, the body sends most of the Vitamin C to essential tissues and hair tends to get devoid. Vitamin C is also essential for absorption of iron, a deficiency of which can cause hair loss, slow hair growth, brittle and concave nails.
- Frequent nosebleeds
If you are someone who gets nosebleeds rather frequently, it can be a sign of Vitamin C deficiency. Most nosebleeds come from capillaries in the front of the nose. An adequate amount of Vitamin C in your system will strengthen capillaries and decrease their fragility.
3 Other Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency Include:
Individuals with Vitamin C deficient tend to get bruised easily. Also, their wound healing is rather slow. Excessive and frequent bruising is a sign that your body’s chemistry needs attention, and you might want to feed it some Vitamin C.
- Mood Swings
Frequent mood changes also a common symptom of Vitamin C deficiency. If your body is deficient of Vitamin C, you tend to become more irritable and short tempered.
- Rough Dry Skin
Rough and dry skin can be due to lack of collagen. Collagen is a connective tissue that binds our body. It is this collagen that gives our skin strength and elasticity. Low levels of Vitamin C may reduce the natural elasticity of your skin.
7 Health Benefits Of Vitamin C
There are numerous health benefits of Vitamin C. Some of the most common ones are listed below.
- If you fall sick at the drop of a hat, your immunity needs a boost. Vitamin C is beneficial for people to build their immunity and stimulates while blood vessels.
- Studies reveal that Vitamin C is helpful in the prevention of common cold. Since Vitamin C gives your immune system a boost of power, it prevents from catching a common cold and flu.
- Vitamin C is known to reduce blood lead level, thus helping in lead toxicity. Lead toxicity is a common problem in urban areas, especially in children. It may lead to abnormal growth and development, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. It may also damage the kidneys and increase blood pressure in adults.
- It helps combat stroke, one of the most common cardiovascular health problem. Eating a diet with the adequate amount of Vitamin C will maintain proper blood pressure. It would also protect your body from free radicals, which can become a reason for stroke.
- Ascorbic acid is known to reduce symptoms of asthma. It also protects the body against harmful effects of pollution.
- Vitamin C helps to repair wounds. It facilitates the growth of connective tissues which in turn speeds up the healing process.
- Vitamin C supplements can help control diabetes. One of the main causes of diabetes is low levels of Vitamin C. Appropriate level of Vitamin C in the body will help in the processing of insulin and glucose.
Include fruits and vegetables in your diet to get the daily dose of Vitamin C and avail all its health benefits. You can also take Vitamin C supplements for skin, and immunity.