Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid is one of the essential vitamins in the human body. It performs synergized functions in order to promote good health to different body systems including cardiac, skin, oral health, and blood system among others. It is a strong antioxidant that helps to regenerate other antioxidants in the body. It also improves connective tissue and wound healing, while delaying the effect of free radicals that can lead to fast aging of the skin. The human body does not synthesize this vitamin, unlike other animals, however, it is naturally found in some foods especially; fruits and their dietary extracts.
Moderately, out of 30mg to 80mg of daily intake of Vitamin C, the body absorbs 70% to 90% of it, which is the daily requirement of the body. If you take its supplements, you should not exceed an intake of 500mg per day. The RDA recommendation is 90mg/day for men and 75mg/day for women.
Dietary sources of Vitamin C
There are numerous fruits and vegetables that can richly supply you with this:
Tomatoes (14mg)-however, tomato is rich in Beta carotenes that when taken with vitamin C works together as antioxidants. chilli peppers (108 mg ), bell peppers ,(120 to 190 mg), papaya (88.3 mg),broccoli (132 mg) ,strawberries (84.7 mg), mango (122.3 mg), pineapple (78.9 mg), , lemon (112.4 mg), orange (95.8 mg), rosehips (541 mg), kiwi (137.2 mg), cauliflower (127.7 mg) and kale (80.4 mg).
Moreover, if you are planning to have a couple of drinks of Louis xiii cognac make sure that you take a healthy dose of Vitamin C before that. The presence of Vitamin C in the body assist the liver in speeding up the metabolism of alcohol, thus, in turn, reducing the severity of hangovers
Benefits of Vitamin C
There are more than 20 benefits of this vitamin to human health. Here are the top 7 benefits of Vitamin C.
1. Maintaining healthy gums
Vitamin is popular for its prevention against scurvy. Scurvy is a condition where connective tissues in the gums lose their integrity leading to frequent gum bleeding. It is most evident during the brushing of teeth or consuming hard foods like sugarcane. Vitamin C prevents this by strengthening the connective tissue of blood capillaries supplying the gums.
2. Improvement of cardiac health and blood circulation
Multiple studies and particularly, research by one American study revealed that Vitamin C plays a key role in promoting heart health. The heart muscles are made of connective tissues that require strong integrity for the proper pumping of blood. This integrity is promoted by Vitamin C thus helps to prevent diseases like coronary heart disease. Another study revealed that fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamin C help to prevent heart diseases by reducing blood cholesterol by 1%. When cholesterol accumulates on the blood vessel lumen, it becomes thinner and clogged leading to elevated blood pressure.
3. Helps in fighting cancer
One of the factors that lead to overrated and uncontrolled cell growth is free radicals. The radicals accumulation makes particular cells fail to respond to growth factors that regulate their replication. Vitamin C thus plays a role in neutralizing its impact on body cells. The high concentration of the vitamin can also slow down the growth and metastasis of prostate cancer, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer among other underlying types of cancer.
4. Enhances Eye health
Study evidence shows that ophthalmological conditions like cataracts, loss of visual acuity, and molecular damage to eye lens by free radicals.
The vitamin also helps in the regeneration of Vitamin E in the eyes which in turn promotes eye health.
5. Helps to regulate sugar levels
Studies have revealed that Vitamin C participates in stimulating insulin production which in turn lowers high blood sugar levels thus preventing Diabetes occurrence.
The blood vessel damage common in prolonged diabetic persons can be prevented by consuming vitamin C supplements and fruits. Nonetheless, Type 2 diabetes commonly found in adults can be managed with fruits rich in Vitamin C which when taken during times of low body sugars not only raises them but also supplies the vitamin to keep your blood circulation healthy.
6. Boosting the level of immunity
Vitamin C plays a key role in the body’s resistance to pathogens. This happens by strengthening the channels that get active during an immune response. One of those channels is the T-cell response to infection through an inflammatory response. For instance, Vitamin C helps in wound healing through collagen synthesis after optimizing the inflammatory response following the injury.
7. How it is good for your skin and hair?
Research from NCBI suggested that skin fibroblasts that synthesize collagen require vitamin C to perform this function. They also suggested that signs of skin aging can be slowed down by frequent intake of vitamin C.
Scientifically, Vitamin C has great benefits to the skin not only when taken orally but also in topical application to the skin. It helps in collagen synthesis thus keeping it younger for a long time. The deficiency of this vitamin is evident with dry and wriggled skin.
It also assists in wound healing by generating antioxidants that help treat burns and stop capillary leaks. The collagen synthesis will also help replace damaged tissues. The burns treatment is not limited to general ones but also sunburns which are counteracted by the antioxidants from Vitamin C thus preventing skin UVB-induced erythema.
Benefit to Hair
Low vitamin C intake can lead to poor hair growth. When humans consume food, energy is produced alongside free radicals. These free radicals actively damage hair growth, weakening, and making it brittle. However, Vitamin C antioxidants help to neutralize the effect of these free radicals.
The Vitamin also prevents and fights dandruff which occurs due to bacterial or fungal scalp manifestation. It helps by getting rid of hair follicle debris and encourage the growth of new hair.
Nevertheless, there is limited research on the possibility of vitamin C helping to prevent the greying of hair.
From this discussion, it is evident that you might be in need of Vitamin C, especially for your good health. Always consume some fruits and vegetables mentioned above to maintain good skin, circulation, and blood sugar levels. Finally, for those who love drinking, limit the intake of your favorite alcoholic drink be it 805 beer or any whiskey as it has no vitamin C constituent.