Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is an essential vitamin that the body cannot produce itself. Ideally, a diet would contain enough Vitamin C to meet the recommended daily intake, which is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. For those who aren’t confident that the food they eat on a regular basis contains enough of the vitamin, supplements are available. However, supplements might not offer the same benefits as naturally occurring antioxidants in food.
Health benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C takes on many roles for our bodies and has been linked to impressive health benefits such as protecting cells and keeping them healthy, maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage, and helping with wound healing. Vitamin C may boost immunity by helping white blood cells function more effectively while strengthening the skin’s defense system and boosting blood antioxidant levels. There is also evidence that suggests Vitamin C may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease. Additionally, some studies have even pointed to Vitamin C aiding in lowering blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure.
Vitamin C deficiencies
Most of us receive adequate amounts of Vitamin C through the food that we eat. It is still possible to become deficient, however, and this is more common in people who smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoking, people who have certain gastrointestinal conditions or certain types of cancer, and those who eat a limited diet that doesn’t regularly include fruits and vegetables. A severe vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy; this is a disease that causes anemia, bleeding gums, bruising and poor wound healing.
Foods rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Good sources include citrus fruit such as oranges and orange juice, peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and potatoes, just to name a few. Luckily, consuming too much Vitamin C is not an easy task, but taking large amounts (more than 1,000mg per day) can cause discomfort through stomach pain, flatulence, and diarrhea.
Sources: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-c/ https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits#The-bottom-line https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-c/art-20363932