Amaazing! This is How Vitamin C Helps Your Body
There are several vitamins that have many health benefits, such as vitamin C. This is How Vitamin C Helps Your Body.
The body gets important nutrients and powerful antioxidants through foods that contain vitamin C and help overall health.
In fact, vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) works to improve everything from skin health to immune function.
This is How Vitamin C Helps Your Body
By incorporating just a few servings of vitamin C foods (such as bell peppers and strawberries) into your diet, it's easy to take advantage of all the health benefits that this water-soluble vitamin has to offer.
How much vitamin C do you need per day, and how can you maximize your intake to reap the rewards? Let's take a closer look.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and plays a role in maintaining the body's connective tissues.
Vitamin C can also help protect the heart, repair and restore tissues, and increase the absorption of other nutrients in the body.
Foods containing vitamin C have long been recognized for their health-promoting properties.
In fact, these highly nutritious fruits and vegetables are often considered staples in many forms of holistic medicine, including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Vitamin C deficiency can cause a variety of problems that cause symptoms such as easy bruising, bleeding gums, fatigue, weakened immunity and, in severe cases, scurvy.
In fact, around the 18th century, scurvy became a serious problem for the British navy.
Since your body doesn't store vitamin C or make it yourself, it's important to include plenty of vitamin C fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
Benefits of vitamin C may include better immune function, plus a reduced risk of conditions such as gout and cardiovascular disease.
The Top 20 Vitamin C Foods
The best way to meet your vitamin C needs is to include some vitamin C foods in your diet.
What foods contain vitamin C? Here are the top vitamin C superfoods, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, many of which are low in calories but full of nutrients beyond vitamin C:
- Black Currant - 1 cup: 203 milligrams (338 percent akg)
- Red Pepper - 1 cup: 190 milligrams ( 317 percent akg)
- Kiwifruit — 1 cup: 164 milligrams (273 percent akg)
- Guava — 1 fruit: 126 milligrams (209 percent akg)
- Green Peppers — 1 cup: 120 milligrams (200 percent akg)
- Orange — 1 large: 98 milligrams (163 percent akg)
- Strawberries - 1 cup: 89 milligrams (149 percent akg)
- Papaya — 1 cup: 87 milligrams (144 percent akg)
- Broccoli — 1 cup, raw: 81 milligrams (135 percent akg)
- Kale — 1 cup, raw: 80 milligrams (134 percent akg)
- Parsley — 1 cup: 80 milligrams (133 percent akg)
- Pineapple — 1 cup: 79 milligrams (131 percent akg)
- Brussels sprouts — 1/2 cup, cooked: 48 milligrams (81 percent akg)
- Cauliflower - 1 cup, raw: 46 milligrams (77 percent kg)
- Mangoes - 1 cup: 46 milligrams (76 percent kg)
- Lemon — 1 b: 45 milligrams (74 percent kg)
- Grapefruit - 1/2 fruit: 38 milligrams (64 percent kg)
- Honeydew - 1 cup: 32 milligrams (53 percent kg)
- Peas - 1 cup, cooked: 23 milligrams (38 percent kg)
- Tomatoes - 1 cup, raw: 23 milligrams (38 percent kg)
Benefits of Foods High in Vitamin C
1. Promotes Healthy Skin and Collagen Formation
Consuming plenty of vitamin C can help keep skin glowing and healthy.
In fact, a large study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the diets of more than 4,000 women and found that consuming more vitamin C foods was associated with a lower risk of wrinkles and dryness.
There is also some evidence to suggest that using a topical vitamin C serum can reduce the amount of redness after UVB exposure and can decrease sunburn cell formation by up to 60 percent.
Research shows that part of the reason dietary vitamin C can be so beneficial is that the nutrient is used to form collagen, an important protein used to build skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Collagen is very important in helping wound healing and scar tissue formation.
One study from the University of Kiel in Germany even found that collagen can help improve skin elasticity and moisture, so it's important to include plenty of vitamin C foods in your diet.
2. Increases Iron Absorption Iron
is a mineral that is essential for many aspects of health. Most importantly, it is the main component of hemoglobin found in red blood cells and can help supply cells throughout the body with oxygen.
Deficiency of this key mineral can lead to iron deficiency anemia, a condition characterized by anemia symptoms such as weakness, shortness of breath and dizziness.
Consuming vitamin C foods along with iron can increase the absorption of essential minerals to help prevent deficiency.
In fact, one study actually concluded that taking 100 milligrams of vitamin C with a meal increased iron absorption by 67 percent.
3. Reduces the Risk
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that can cause severe redness and tenderness in the joints, especially in the big toe.
Although anti-inflammatory drugs are often used to relieve symptoms during relapses, it is usually advisable to make long-term dietary and lifestyle changes to prevent recurrence of this unpleasant condition.
Adding more foods that contain vitamin C to your diet is an easy and effective way to reduce the risk of gout.
According to one large study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a high intake of vitamin C was associated with a significantly lower risk of gout.
Not only that, the researchers found that taking at least 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C supplements daily reduced the risk of gout by almost half.
4. Fights Free Radical Damage
Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants that can protect against damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, as well as toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke.
Research shows that free radicals can build up in the body and contribute to the development of conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
These disease-causing molecules are generated over time due to factors such as a poor diet, an unhealthy lifestyle, and long-term exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins.
5. Improves Immune Function
For many people, consuming foods and supplements high in vitamin C is almost second nature when they start to feel unwell.
Rich in antioxidants, the immune-boosting benefits of this powerful vitamin have been well documented in recent years.
In fact, one of the hallmark signs of deficiency is a weakened immune system.
A Swiss study actually found that getting enough vitamin C can help reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory infections, such as colds, bronchitis, or sinusitis. Plus, it can also improve outcomes and reduce the incidence of other conditions, such as infectious pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea.
6. Improves Cancer Treatment
Vitamin C is full of cancer-fighting antioxidants and has been shown to have strong anticancer properties in both in vitro studies and animal models.
Vitamin C foods such as lemons and oranges have also been found to help block the growth and spread of cancer cells and may also be associated with a lower risk of cancer development.
Not only that, vitamin C also has several benefits when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatments.
A large review of 76 studies revealed that intravenous administration of vitamin C can increase time to relapse, reduce tumor size, improve quality of life and reduce chemotherapy-related symptoms, such as nausea, depression, and fatigue.
7. Supports Heart Health Heart
disease is known as the leading cause of death, it is estimated that cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly 32 percent of deaths worldwide.
Changing diet and lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to ward off heart-related problems, and some studies even show that including just a few servings of dietary vitamin C per day can help reduce several risk factors to support heart health.
One large Finnish study concluded that people who consumed at least 700 milligrams of vitamin C daily had a 25 percent lower risk of developing heart disease than people who did not take supplemental vitamin C.
Similarly, another study showed that consuming just 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily significantly reduced triglycerides and levels of bad LDL cholesterol, two major contributors to heart disease.
Consumption of vitamin C can also protect the lining of blood vessels and help prevent permeability which can lead to serious heart problems and other inflammatory diseases.
Foods With Vitamin C vs. Supplements
Should you go to the grocery store or pharmacy to start increasing your vitamin C intake?
There are some differences to note between supplements and food sources of this essential vitamin.
In terms of bioavailability, the two may be equivalent, according to one review published in the journal Nutrient.
While some animal studies show differences in the bioavailability of dietary vitamin C vs supplements, human studies have generally found that both are equally absorbed.
However, other studies have found some side effects associated with non-food sources of vitamin C supplements.
In addition, vitamin C foods are also usually rich in a variety of other important nutrients, including fiber and antioxidants, as well as other vitamins and minerals. Therefore, it is best to choose natural sources of vitamin C over additional sources whenever possible to help meet your needs.
Not only does this allow you to take advantage of the unique benefits that vitamin C has to offer, it can also supplement your diet with a number of other micronutrients that are essential for health.
Because of this, high-quality vitamin C supplements can certainly be beneficial, and side effects are generally rare as long as you choose a high-quality supplement from a reputable company.
Getting more vitamin C in your diet can be as easy as trying to eat extra servings of nutrient-dense foods each day.
The health agency explains that people should get enough vitamin C just by eating a variety of foods.
By changing the diet to include more fruits and vegetables, vitamin C is enough to meet your daily needs.
Try adding vitamin C salad and vegetables to one meal per day, or swapping out sweet treats for a fresh fruit salad.
However, keep in mind that it is best to eat foods high in vitamin C raw rather than cooked.
Research shows that cooking methods such as boiling, sautéing, and steaming can cause significant loss of nutrients in foods that contain vitamin C. For example, one study showed that sautéing broccoli reduced vitamin C content by 38 percent.
Risks and Side Effects
Vitamin C is not stored in the body, and if the amount is excessive it will be excreted through urine and sweat. Thus, excess in this water-soluble vitamin is generally not a cause for concern.
However, it is still important not to exceed the safe upper limit of 2,000 milligrams a day to avoid the adverse symptoms and side effects of vitamin C, such as stomach upset and diarrhea.
A recent study also found an association between taking vitamin C supplements and kidney stones in men, reporting that supplements resulted in a significantly higher risk of kidney stones.
If you have a history of kidney stones, you should consider consulting your doctor before starting supplementation, or simply trying to increase your intake of vitamin C foods and drinks to meet your daily requirements.
Vitamin C supplements may also interact with certain types of medications. In particular, they can interact with estrogen, protease inhibitors, certain anticoagulants, niacin and aluminum-containing drugs, such as phosphate binders.
If you are currently taking any of these medicines, talk to your doctor before starting supplementation.
- What is vitamin C? Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and plays a role in immune function, free radical reduction and more.
- Research shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C can help increase collagen formation, improve cancer treatment, boost immunity and reduce the risk of conditions such as gout.
- What foods are high in vitamin C? Although it can be found in a number of healthy foods, the foods with the highest vitamin C content are generally fruits and vegetables, such as bell peppers, kiwis, guavas, and black currants.
- While supplements are available, including a good variety of foods with vitamin C can help you easily meet your daily requirements.
- Choose raw over cooked whenever possible to maximize the vitamin C content of your favorite foods.
That's the article Benefits of Vitamin C for the Body, hopefully useful!