Vitamin C – Your Armor for a Healthy Body
Vitamin C rich Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C – Your Armor for a Healthy Body

In our ongoing fight against the dreaded pandemic, Vitamin C is one of the most recommended preventive as well as recuperative prescriptions by the medical community. Deficiency of this vitamin results in a range of diseases from mere malaise and fatigue to the more serious anemia and the crippling bone disease scurvy. Luckily for us Vitamin C is something that is available in many natural sources. There is no dearth of supplements as well.

Natural Sources of Vitamin C

All citrus fruits like oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit contain vitamin C. Gooseberry or the amla is one of the richest source with 252 mg of vitamin C present in it. Guava, black currant, strawberries are other fruits that are rich in vitamin C. Vegetables like tomatoes, white potatoes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels                sprouts, along with green and yellow capsicum and agathi leaves contain significant amount of vitamin C.

Artificial Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and is present in artificial supplements in this form. Other forms of vitamin C supplements include sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, and other mineral ascorbates. Ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids and combination products, such as Ester-C®, which contains calcium ascorbate, dehydroascorbate, calcium threonate, xylonate and lyxonate.

Consumption Requirements

Recommended dietary consumption of vitamin C for adults more than 19 years is 90 mg daily for men and 75 mg for women. Pregnant women should ensure to include 85 mg of vitamin C in their daily diet and women who are feeding their children should consume 120 mg every day. About 25-45 mg of vitamin C is required for children on a daily basis, based on their age. Unlike fat soluble vitamins like A and D, vitamin C is water soluble. So if you happen to consume more than the above specified amount occasionally, there may not be any contraindications.

Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C has multifarious benefits because of its powerful antioxidant nature. Antioxidants are powerful free radical removers. Vitamin C, therefore, packs in all the benefits of this property of an antioxidant. Following are the top benefits of vitamin C.

  • Boosts immunity: Vitamin C boosts immunity in three ways. One, it encourages the production of white blood corpuscles, which are human body’s defense mechanism against infections. Secondly, vitamin C being antioxidants, protect these white blood cells from being damaged and destroyed by the harmful free radicals. Skin, with its three layers, protects our body from microbes. Vitamin C is important for skin health, as its antioxidant nature helps strengthen the natural barriers of skin by protecting it against free radicals. For the same reason, it heals wounds faster as well.
  • Reduces risk of chronic diseases: Free radicals subject the human body to a state called oxidative stress, which is the cause for chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiac ailments, etc,. Vitamin C because of its antioxidant nature destroys the free radicals and can prevent us from chronic diseases and inflammation as well. By consuming vitamin C, the antioxidant levels in our blood increases by 30%.
  • Reduces blood pressure: High blood pressure is the underlying cause of stroke and heart diseases. Regular consumption of vitamin C can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.
  • Prevents gout: Vitamin C has also been observed to reduce the blood uric acid levels. At high levels blood uric acid crystallizes and causes gout in the joints. Vitamin C acts to flush out the waste uric acid from the blood and prevents gout.
  • Helps combat anemia: Iron from plant sources like spinach is not easily absorbed by the human body and so vegetarians typically are at risk of iron deficiency and anemia. Vitamin C helps in easy absorption of iron from plants and therefore prevents anemia. A small amount of 100 mg of vitamin C is found to improve iron absorption by 67%.
  • Protects your brain: As you age, your brain cells become old and your memory fades away. This is again because of the damage caused by free radicals and vitamin C can slow down this process significantly by destroying the free radicals and protecting you from brain diseases like dementia.

Vitamin C is also widely believed to act against common cold and remove toxins from the body. Even just one of these benefits is a good reason to include vitamin C in our regular diet and improve our immunity against diseases. So don’t forget to grab an orange when you go shopping next.

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