Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most essential vitamins that our body requires but cannot produce naturally. Hence, the role of vitamin C supplements and foods come into play.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in fruits and vegetables including, oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, kale, spinach and broccoli.
Experts always recommend getting Vitamin C intake from foods but many times people turn to supplements to meet their needs because supplements are an easy and convenient way to achieve the required dosage.
Vitamin C has been linked to impressive health benefits, some of them are here:
- Vitamin C may lower your risk of chronic diseases
Vitamin C is an excellent and powerful antioxidant that can improve your body’s natural defence system. Antioxidants are molecules that can boost your body’s immunity by protecting the cells against free radicals. When these free radicals gather, they can promote oxidative stress. This has been linked to many chronic diseases including heart disease.
- Vitamin C can help control high blood pressure
Some studies suggest that Vitamin C may help control high blood pressure because they relax the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart. This helps in reducing blood pressure levels.
While many other studies show promising results, it is still not clear whether the effects of Vitamin C on blood pressure are long term. Moreover, people with high blood pressure should not rely on Vitamin C treatment alone.
- Vitamin C may bring down the risk of heart disease
Heart disease is one of the most common and leading causes of death worldwide and so, it is of utmost importance to reduce your risk of heart disease. Many factors including high blood pressure, high LDL, low HDL, etc can increase the risk of heart disease.
Vitamin C is one of the natural ingredients that can help reduce these risk factors, which may reduce heart disease eventually. A study suggested that people who took at least 700mg of Vitamin C daily showed a lower risk of heart disease than those who did not take Vitamin C supplements.
Some other research also suggested that consuming foods rich in Vitamin C was linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
However, many scientists are still unsure whether people who consumed Vitamin-C-rich foods also followed other treatment methods or lifestyle changes than people who took a supplement. Thus, the aforesaid claims still remain a conjecture.
It seems that if a person is already getting enough Vitamin C from his or her diet then there is no need to take supplements as it may not provide any additional heart health benefits.
- Vitamin C may lower blood uric acid levels
Many studies suggest that Vitamin C can help reduce the level of uric acid in the blood, thereby preventing gout attacks.
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that is incredibly painful, especially for people with big toes.
Another study suggested that people who took Vitamin C supplements had a 44% lower gout risk. While there appears to be a strong link between Vitamin C intake and uric acid levels, More studies on the effects of Vitamin C on gout are required.
Vitamin C: The Immunity Booster
One of the major reasons why people take Vitamin C supplements is to boost their immunity because Vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells. These cells help protect the body against infection and work effectively to fight against damage caused by potentially harmful molecules like free radicals.
Vitamin C is actively transported to the skin, where it acts as an antioxidant and helps strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier. Many studies suggest that taking Vitamin C can help speed up the healing process.
Here are some foods that are rich in Vitamin C and help in boosting immunity:
Amla is loaded with nutrients that offer several health benefits including boosting immunity. Vitamin C in amla acts as a powerful antioxidant that is beneficial for the nervous system, immune system and skin. Eating one amla daily can help you achieve 46% of the daily Vitamin C requirement. Amla is also rich in manganese that supports metabolic functions, reproduction, immune response and bone formation.
Oranges are another Vitamin-C-rich fruit that supports a strong immune system by providing 53.2 mg of Vitamin C from 100 grams of oranges. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C in oranges boost immune health by protecting the cells from free radicals. Oranges are also a great source of Vitamin D, a nutrient that plays a major role in regulating the immune response system.
Papaya is a sweet and perennial fruit that has been used for centuries to make medicines. A medium-sized papaya contains double the amount of daily recommended Vitamin C dosage. Papaya also contains papain, which is a digestive enzyme that has anti-inflammatory properties. Papaya is loaded with potassium, folate and magnesium, all of which are essential for the skin, immunity and overall health.
Vitamin C can boost immunity by helping white blood cells function more effectively, strengthening the body’s defence system. This can ultimately help in preventing various immune-attacking diseases.