benefits of vitamin c

7 Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid offers multiple health benefits ranging from treatment of common cold to more serious complications such as cardiovascular,eye and skin diseases. It improves immunity, prevents cancers, strokes and helps in living long.

Vitamin C helps collagen to regenerate connective tissues to assist fast wound healing. It maintains skin health and delays aging.Recent research suggests that vitamin C protects against high blood pressure and the blood vessel changes that precedes heart disease.

With so many benefits you cannot ignore the importance of Vitamin C. Add it to your daily diet and take supplements if required.

What is Vitamin C

Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is a water soluble vitamin that is naturally available in many fruits, vegetables and other foods. It is also available as a supplement. Some of the packed food like milk available in the market also contain Vitamin C supplements.

Vitamin C is required for biosynthesis of collagen which is an essential component of connective tissues including skin and bones. It plays a vital role in wound healing

Vitamin C is also helpful in protein metabolism. It is also a powerful antioxidant which generates other antioxidants within the body.

Researchers are working on finding out whether Vitamin C can prevent or delay onset of certain kinds of cancers by reducing oxidative stress caused by free radicals.

Vitamin C also helps in absorption of plant based iron.


Vitamin C Rich Foods

Vitamin C rich foods

If you are eating fruits and vegetables regularly then knowingly or unknowingly you are already consuming Vitamin C foods.

If you are not and are having some of the following symptoms then you are perhaps deficient in vitamin C.

  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gingivitis
  • Rough dry and scaly skin
  • Dry and splitting hair
  • Easy bruising
  • Slow wound healing
  • Fatigue

Go for vitamin C rich foods and soon all these symptoms will disappear.

Severe deficiency of Vitamin C can cause scurvy. Although scurvy is rare now but it is a life threatening condition if not treated on time.

Fruits like oranges, pineapple, guava, strawberry and vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, bell pepper, parsley kale and spinach are some of the well known vitamin C foods.

However some of the lesser known foods high in vitamin C are available in different parts of the world. These include kakadu plums, camu camu, acerola, sea buckthorn, Indian gooseberry and a range of other fruits and vegetables.

Find out and include them in your diet in their seasons.

Benefits of Vitamin C

vitamin c benefits infographic

Improves Mineral Absorption

Vitamin C rich foods will help you to absorb some vital nutrients like Iron and Calcium which are essential for healthy blood and bones.

When you take foods high in Vitamin C with iron or vitamin C supplements and iron the absorption of iron improves.

Similarly Vitamin C and Calcium together improves absorption of each other in the body.

Do not take Iron and Calcium together as they may interfere in each other's absorption.

Reduces Chronic Fatigue

If you have been feeling exhausted regularly without any underlying health condition then it is chronic fatigue. It is time to load yourself with Vitamin C rich foods. A glass of fresh orange juice really reinvigorates you.

There are many other fruits rich in vitamin c such as guava, papaya, strawberries etc. Make a smoothie and enjoy getting rid of fatigue immediately.

Vitamin C also improves your overall physical health. Taking a Vitamin C supplement can improve oxygen intake during rigorous exercises.


Increases Collagen Formation

If you have been regularly eating foods rich in vitamin C then your skin will be looking more vibrant and will not get wrinkles even during your old age as compared to those who do not take such foods.

Vitamin C rich diet can also prevent skin cancers.

Vitamin C increases collagen formation which keeps your skin supple and young looking.

Even use of Vitamin C creams on your skin to reinvigorate your skin.

Treat Cold and Flu

Does Vitamin C really treat cold and flu is a big question whose answer has been always debatable and still is.

What is clear now with lots of scientific research is that vitamin C can reduce the recovery time from cold and flu.

So take Vitamin C supplements and eat food rich in vitamin C during your suffering periods of cold and flu.

Fights Free Radical Damage

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that prevents you against the harmful damage caused to you body cells by free radicals.

These free radicals come mainly from cigarette smoke, toxic and harmful chemicals and other pollutants.

So you need to avoid these toxins as far as possible and at the same time consume foods rich in Vitamin C to effectively deal with the ill effects of free radicals.

Reduces Stroke Risks

Various studies have found a direct correlation between high vitamin c content in the blood and lower stroke risks.

So make it a habit of consuming a vitamin c rich diet. If you are an old person then take vitamin c supplements.

Reduces Gout Risks

Vitamin C reduces the risk of gout which is a kind of Arthritis generally on your big toe.

When excess uric acid forms its crystals accumulate in joints forming a gout. It is very painful.

Regular intake of foods with vitamin c neutralises formation of uric acid and reduces the risks of gout.

Precautions and Tips

Consume large varieties of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Add citrus fruits, nuts and other Vitamin C enriched packaged food in your regular diet.

Take Vitamin C supplements if required but do not let Vitamin C deficiency set in.

Following tips should help

  • Smoking reduces absorption of Vitamin C.
  • Very large doses of Vitamin C supplements can reduce absorption of vitamin B12.
  • Vitamin C interfere with certain types of medicines like anticoagulant drugs, oral contraceptives/estrogen, tetracyclines and aspirin.

Since Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, any excess consumption usually gets excreted via urine.