Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid is a vital and essential nutrient. It is a potent water-soluble antioxidant that protects the body from damage caused by free radicals. It promotes collagen synthesis, maintains connective tissues, improves wound healing and keeps your teeth and bone health. Discussed below are the benefits of ascorbic acid in detail.
Benefits of Vitamin C
- Prevents common cold– Vitamin C makes your immune system strong. This essential nutrient may not be the cure for a common cold, but it promotes recovery and prevents serious complications such as lung infections and pneumonia. The effectiveness of ascorbic acid in fighting common cold depends on its dose and day of intake. Regular intake of vitamin C also reduces the bouts of common cold.
- Boosts the absorption of iron- Iron is an essential mineral needed by our body to form hemoglobin and regulate the function of muscles and brain. Vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron.
- Helps in weight loss- Ascorbic acid decreases the level of insulin and prevents the storage of glucose. This, in turn, prevents fat conversion and make a path for healthy weight loss.
- Prevents urinary tract infection– Ascorbic acid acidifies urine and inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause UTI.
- Prevents heart diseases– Studies show that vitamin C reduces the levels of LDL and increases the level of HDL. It also lowers blood pressure.
- Kills cancer cells– In the body vitamin C breaks into the molecule of hydrogen peroxide. Cancer cells are damaged by hydrogen peroxide and die. Healthy body cells, however, have ways to kick out and manage hydrogen peroxide, so they are not destroyed.
- Slows aging- By fighting free radical damage, vitamin C prevents fine lines and wrinkles. It also combats the effects of age and sun on the skin. It improves the elastin formation and thus improves the skin texture and thickness. It protects and heals the skin cells.
Other benefits- Research shows that vitamin C supplementation reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s, slows age-related macular degeneration, reduces the risk of cataract and increases bone density. When taken along with calcium, vitamin C aids digestion and maintains pH balance.
Foods rich in Vitamin C
Sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum, red pepper, parsley, kiwi, cantaloupe, green pepper, tomato, and berries.
How much Vitamin C an adult needs
According to National Institute of health, the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D for an adult is as follows:
Men- 90 mg per day
Women- 75 mg per day
Pregnant women- 85 mg per day
Breastfeeding women- 120 mg per day.
Smokers need more vitamin C (About 250 mg/day of ascorbic acid) because smoking depletes this essential nutrient out of the body.
*Being water soluble excess of vitamin C is excreted out of the body through urine. Still, high dose of vitamin C (more than 2,000 mg/day) may cause pain in stomach, gastritis, nausea, diarrhea or even kidney stone.
So if you want to stay fit and keep health issues at bay, include foods rich in vitamin C in your daily diet regime.