In this post, we will cover everything that you need to know about Vitamin C:
What are Vitamin C-rich Foods?
Why do I need to take Vitamin C or Vitamin C-rich Foods?
How much Vitamin C do I need?
What happens if I take too much Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is the ideal nutrient to build up overall health. It is considered to be the safest essential nutrient. Also, known as ascorbic acid, it is found in many fruits and vegetables. It helps in the growth and maintenance of tissues, organs, bones, and skin. It has endless health benefits and because it is water-soluble, it doesn’t store in our bodies. Some amount of Vitamin C gets absorbed, while the rest leaves our body through urination. The daily intake of Vitamin C is really important.
Vitamin C plays an important role in many bodily functions – it protects our immune system, leads the production of collagen, absorption of iron, maintains our bones, cartilage, teeth, even reduces the severe diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart diseases, etc. This nutrient is a rich source of antioxidants that fights free radicals and toxins in our body and also slows down aging. It is also considered as the best home remedy for the common cold.
Vitamin C-rich Foods – Fruits & Vegetables high in Vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with Vitamin C. The common sources of vitamin C are:
Green and red pepper
Fortified food items
The best way to increase the intake of Vitamin C is to consume these fruits and vegetables raw. Many may not be aware but cooking, microwaving, exposing to the sun, or storing it for a long time can reduce the content of vitamin C.
Health benefits of Vitamin C
You can’t miss including Vitamin C or Vitamin C-rich foods in your diet. And, here are the reasons why you shouldn’t?
1. Vitamin C reduces the risk of diabetes
Studies have shown that intake of 500mg of Vitamin C twice daily reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes. Vitamin C reduces the sudden spikes in blood sugar levels after meals. The antioxidants present in Vitamin C fight the radicals that tend to increase the risk of diabetes. It is the cheapest and the most convenient way that can help you to reduce the risk of diabetes. It also helps in reducing the severity of diabetic patients, and improves the quality of their life.
Vitamin C has some powerful antioxidants that can reduce the risk of severe heart diseases. High blood pressure and bad cholesterol or low level of good cholesterol are some of the factors that can give rise to heart diseases. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the oxidation of bad cholesterol levels and also regulates blood pressure, which can lower the risk of developing heart disease by 25%.
3. Makes memory sharper
It has been noticed that people who suffer from vitamin C deficiency gradually develop impaired ability to think and remember. The high intake of vitamin C has helped in protecting and making the memory strong. People who have low blood levels of Vitamin C also develop dementia, a disease that is linked to poor thinking and memory.
4. Builds a strong immune system
Vitamin C helps in the production of white blood cells which protects our body from infections and viruses. It builds our immune system stronger and removes the toxins and free radicals from our bodies. It also helps in speedy recovery from an injury and heals our wounds faster.
Iron is an essential nutrient for us. It helps in improving the quality of blood and transporting oxygen across our bodies. Vitamin C converts the iron into the form in which it is easy to absorb. Poor absorption of iron can cause anemia. The proper absorption of iron is really important for those who depend on a plant-based diet. Studies have shown taking supplements of Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron by almost 67%.
6. Regulates blood pressure
According to certain research studies, it has been proven that people who consume high doses of Vitamin C have less risk of high blood pressure. Vitamin C tends to relax the blood vessels that carry blood to our heart and lowers blood pressure. It reduces blood pressure in people with or without high blood pressure. But it doesn’t have a long-term impact.
7. Reduces Uric Acid Levels in the blood
Uric acid is a waste produced by our body if the level increases it starts depositing in our joints. A high level of uric acid in the blood is a symptom of gout. It leads to incredible pain, and inflammation in joints, that can cause swelling. Intake of high doses of Vitamin C can reduce the uric acid in the blood and reduce the risk of gout.
8. Helps in treating cancer
Vitamin C is considered the most effective way to cure and reduce the risk of cancer. The oxidation starts producing free radicals, which damage cells and increase the risk of developing cancer. The number of antioxidants present in Vitamin C helps in preventing the oxidation of cells and also helps in regenerating other antioxidants in our body. Scientists have proved that Vitamin C benefits cancer patients. Additionally, it also slows down the aging process, maintains healthy skin, prevents respiratory diseases, reduces the risk of cataract, and tuberculosis, and also reduce the level of seasickness.
How much Vitamin C do I need? The daily requirement of Vitamin C
The appropriate quantity of intake of Vitamin C is really important. To avoid any development of deficiency, the advised amount of intake of Vitamin C for:
Children up to 1 year: 40-50 mg per day
Children between 1 to 3 years: 15 mg per day
Children up to 13 years: 45 mg per day
For teenagers: 65-80 mg per day
The adults are advised to take about 75-90 mg per day. Pregnant women should increase their intake up to 85 mg per day and for breastfeeding women the daily intake should be up to 120 mg per day. The women who are breastfeeding and the smokers need a higher amount of Vitamin C in comparison to others. The tolerance of Vitamin C has been proven up to 2000 mg per day in adults and there are no adverse effects, that have been seen if you increase your intake up to 500 mg per day.
What happens if I take too much Vitamin C? Side effects of Vitamin C
There are no such side effects of too much Vitamin C as our body doesn’t store it. But it is recommended not to increase intake by more than 200 mg per day. It can upset your stomach and cause diarrhea. Pregnant women are not recommended to have high doses of Vitamin C as it can have adverse effects on a child.
On the other hand, there can be some serious side effects of consuming too little quantity of Vitamin C, such as:
Weak immune system
Dry and frizzy hair
Rough and dry skin
Bad oral health
The deficiency of vitamin C can also cause severe diseases like scurvy. Vitamin C is a really important part of our diet and to maintain an adequate quantity of vitamin C in our body, it is really important to focus on diet and increase the intake of sources that are rich in this vitamin.