We might be unaware of the Amazing benefits of Vitamin C foods and drinks. There are lots of benefits of vitamin c we are not aware of it. Here we will be discussing vitamin C and vitamin c foods and drinks in this post. Whenever we eat food or drink juice, we may not know the highest vitamin c foods.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C which is also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate is a water-soluble vitamin. We can get it through different foods whenever we consume them. It is easily oxidized and hence is a great antioxidant. The antioxidant mainly protects our body from free radical damage. Simply the Vitamin C helps to protect the damaged cells (to heal the wound); to make blood vessels, bone, and cartilage intact; and also to maintain the healthy gums and skin.
Why We Need Vitamin C?
We need it because of the different functions that vitamin C does in our bodies. They are listed below:
- We need it for the synthesis of collagen. In simple terms, we need it for wound healing and to maintain the integrity of blood vessels, bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
- We need it for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids with the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin which is a sleep hormone.
- We need it for maintaining skin and gums.
- We also need it for the absorption of iron in our body from plants.
- We need it as it protects other vitamins and fatty acids from oxidative damage.
- Free radicals are made over time, which are responsible for the aging process. Free radicals can also cause cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc. Vitamin C as an antioxidant prevents our body from damage caused by such free radicals. It scavenges free radicals and hence provides protection against cancer.
Benefits of Vitamin C foods and Drinks
When we consume vitamin-enriched foods, we get to benefit from them. Let’s know about benefits of vitamin c foods and drinks Vitamin C is so beneficial that it can cure certain disease conditions. These health beneficial factors of vitamin C are listed below:
- Curing Scurvy: Scurvy is an illness that is a result of vitamin C deficiency. So, regular intake of this vitamin can surely cure scurvy.
- Stronger immunity and Sooner Recovery from Common Cold: Vitamin C is essential for stronger immunity by increasing the strength and protection of organisms. It is still questionable that vitamin C can prevent the common cold or not, but it can definitely reduce the severity of cold symptoms resulting in recovery.
- Healthy Skin and Hair: Vitamin C produces collagen and collagen plays a vital role to maintain healthy skin and hair. It is an antioxidant, which helps protect our skin from damage caused by free radicals.
- Lowering Blood Pressure and maintaining cardiovascular disease: As this vitamin is water-soluble, it acts as a diuretic causing the kidneys to remove more sodium and water from the body, which helps to relax the blood vessel walls and clears arteries, lowering blood pressure. Lower blood pressure also means that you have less chance of having a stroke and more chances of good cardiovascular health.
- Prevent Iron Deficiency: This vitamin helps to absorb more iron from plants, resulting to prevent iron deficiency.
- Cancer Prevention: Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals, which are carcinogenic. It also builds up collagen, which is important to fight cancer.
- May reduce your risk of chronic disease like diabetes, Hypertension and so on
- May reduce blood uric acid levels in your blood and help prevent gout attacks which occurs frequently
- Protects your memory and thinking as the age grows
Effects of Deficiency of Vitamin C
We already talked about the necessities of vitamin C for our bodies. If there is an insufficient amount of vitamin C in the diet, then there will be vitamin C deficiency. Such deficiency can lead to no formation of collagen affecting bone, cartilage, tendons, ligament, and blood vessels. A longer time of deficiency of vitamin C will mainly lead to a disease called Scurvy. If one has Scurvy, he or she will have the following signs and symptoms:
- Fatigue (lethargy/tiredness/weakness).
- Muscle pain and painful joints.
- Feeling mood swings.
- Inflammation of the gums and bleeding from gums.
- Loss of appetite leading to weight loss.
- Slow wound healing.
- Dry and splitting hair.
- Rough and dry skin.
- Weak immune system.
Recommendation of Vitamin C
So, it is recommended that we need a daily intake of vitamin C and often in the form of supplements. Different age groups need different amounts of the vitamin.
Recommended minimum daily intake of vitamin C is 75 mg for women, 90 mg for men, 85 mg for pregnant women, and 120 mg for breastfeeding women. Smokers are advised to take vitamin C of 35 mg/day more than that of nonsmokers.
The upper limit of vitamin C for the daily amount is 2000 mg/day. Excessive daily intake of vitamin C may not be severely harmful but it can affect digestion leading to nausea and diarrhea. Supplementing the higher dose can lead to iron overload and kidney stones. So, it is highly suggested vitamins from the diet as opposed to supplements.
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Sources of Vitamin C fruits and drinks
Our body can neither create vitamin C on its own nor store it within our body. Let’s be aware of vitamin c foods and drinks. As said earlier vitamin c foods for skin are one of the important parts of it. So, if we are taking vitamin c foods and drinks we have to know how much vitamin c in lemon, vitamin c in guava, vitamin c in apple, vitamins in banana.
So, regular intake of vitamin C is required to maintain our health. We can get high rich vitamin c fruits and vegetables. They are:
- Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, grapefruit, limes, etc.
- Pineapple, guava, kiwifruit.
- Berries like gooseberry, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries.
- Vegetable sources include tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, hot chili, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables like spinach, etc.
Vitamin C is extremely heated sensitive and 50% of it gets destroyed during cooking. The process like fermentation and germination results in an increase in vitamin C content, so germinated items like sprouts and fermented items like pickles, kimchi are very good sources of vitamin C.
If we regularly consume fresh fruits and vegetables, we do not need to consume supplements; however, if you have compromised the immune system or if you catch a cold and cough frequently, then daily supplements of Vitamin C may be of certain help.
author: Sanjiv Shrestha