Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid is an essential vitamin, which implies that it is not produced by the human body. Hence the required daily intake has to be taken in the form of food or through Vitamin C supplements, most of which we are unable to fulfill. For most of the people around the globe, Vitamin C refers to the nutrient that keeps the teeth and gums healthy. Due to lack of information and knowledge they fail to consume the proper amount of this nutrient.
Vitamin C is water-soluble. It is a common conception that cooking destroys the vitamin C present in food. This is not completely true since the vitamin, being water soluble, leaches into the water, leaving the fruit or vegetable with its deficiency. Supposedly, if we boil spinach, the vitamin C leaches out into the water. Hence, the water contains dissolved vitamin C, while the spinach runs out of it. Usually most people drain out the water leading to complete loss of vitamins. Apart from the stereotypical benefit of Vitamin C, others include:
- Detoxification: Detoxification is something which is being constantly discussed and paid attention to nowadays. It is basically the flushing out of toxins and unwanted impurities from the body, which may later on pose sever health threats. Substances which detoxify our body are known as antioxidants. Antioxidants basically attack harmful free radicals which may damage the cells causing inflammation. Vitamin C, as an electron donor, acts as a strong antioxidant. It stabilizes the free radicals preventing any harm to the cells. Besides, vitamin C has also been known to help regenerate other antioxidants in our body.
- Immunity: Consumption of sumptuous amounts of Vitamin C has been found useful in people who caught common cold easily. The immune system plays a vital role in warding off the body against pathogens and disease causing microorganisms, besides increasing the metabolism. It has been studied that immune cells like the helper T-cells could assemble Vitamin C. Also, deficiencies of Vitamin C resulted in low resistance against diseases and pathogens, increased infections and susceptibility to viral diseases.
- Reduced Inflammation: Due to the high antioxidant content, decent consumption of Vitamin C can cut the causative markers of inflammation by 45 percent. Although inflammation is the body’s defense mechanism towards the perception of threats, it can sometimes become fatal too. Due to imbalances, the body is unable to counteract inflammation. Chronic inflammation over a period of time leads to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, obesity, atherosclerosis and diabetes. Vitamin C helps in cutting down the levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, thus protecting the body from the advent of deadly diseases.
- Anti-Aging: Collagen is a structural protein, forming 25-35% of the entire body protein content in the form of connective tissue in our muscles, skin, bones, ligaments and blood. Collagen based cosmetics and supplements are on the rise nowadays due to their anti-aging promises. With age, the production of collagen in our body reduces which leads to dry and loose skin with the formation of wrinkles. Researchers have proved that high intake of Vitamin C increased collagen production in the body. This lead to a healthy glowy skin, with reduced rate of aging and wrinkling.
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Vitamin C does wonders to our body. It not only averts the occurrence of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases, but constantly supports the proper functioning of all the cells of our body. The daily requirement of Vitamin C is 75mg for women and 90mg for men. The requirement may increase for people with different lifestyles or ailments and infections. Smokers and alcohol addicts require even more Vitamin C since smoking and alcohol destroy the helper T-cells and hamper their production.
Vitamin C can be consumed through food or in the form of supplements. Vegetables with high amounts of vitamin C include:
- Leafy vegetables like spinach and cabbages
- Green and red bell peppers
Fruits rich in Vitamin C are:
- Citrus fruits like oranges and grapes
- Berries – Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and blueberries.
It is advisable to include a sumptuous amount of veggies and fruits in our daily diet in order to fulfill the daily requirement of Vitamin C. After all this C helps our body to score an A!
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