Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin that delivers a multitude of health benefits. It cannot be stored within our bodies, therefore we have to consume it through our diet every day.
It helps to protect your body’s cells and ensure they remain healthy. It’s also involved in the production of collagen, which helps maintain connective tissues, which is important for the health and wellbeing of tissues and organs such as the skin, bones and blood vessels.
Vitamin C deficiency
There are several signs of vitamin C deficiency, which occur as a result of not meeting the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
Prolonged lack of vitamin C means that collagen cannot be formed, which can cause various tissues in your body to break down.
The first symptoms of vitamin C deficiency tend to be:
✘ Tiredness and weakness
✘ Muscle and joint pains
✘ Easy bruising
✘ Red-blue spots/bruises on your skin
If it isn’t properly diagnosed and treated, vitamin C deficiency can also lead to shortness of breath, nerve problems, fever and fits. Internal bleeding around the heart and brain can occur in some situations, though this is extremely rare!
Vitamin C has many other benefits to offer, other than preventing the above… It even helps to maintain your overall health and wellbeing!
✔ Treats symptoms of the common cold
Although there is no solid evidence which proves that vitamin C can prevent a cold, studies have shown it can reduce the harshness and severity of the symptoms once as cold has begun. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine, which means it helps to control allergies, so you can feel better the next time you have the sniffles.
✔ Improves skin
Vitamin C has been used for years to treat lots of skin related issues. It is commonly found in lots of moisturizers, face packs and masks to leave your skin with a radiant glow. It is also used in anti-wrinkle products, as it can improve the appearance of them dramatically.
✔ Helps to heal wounds
Since vitamin C plays a vital role in the production of collagen, it can be extremely helpful in healing wounds of different types; from minor cuts to broken bones.
✔ Helps lower cholesterol
Vitamin C helps to boost the conversion of cholesterol to bile salts, which can easily be excreted from the body. This is a simple way to naturally reduce your cholesterol levels.
✔ Lowers risk of CVD
Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant, which means it can free radicals which cause damage to the walls of arteries. This reduces the risk of an atheroma forming, which can help prevent cardiovascular related diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Additionally, the fact it lowers cholesterol plays a part in reducing the risk of CVD.
This list is not exhaustive, which means there are many other benefits that vitamin C offers which were not listed.
Vitamin C | Food Sources
There are many natural sources of vitamin C, namely from fruits and vegetables, which can help you to boost your intake.
The average recommended DV for an adult is 60mg. Here are some of the best foods which contain high levels of vitamin C:
✔ Guavas – 228.3mg (381% DV) per 100g
✔ Peppers – 183.5mg (306% DV) per 100g
✔ Kale – 120mg (200% DV) per 100g
✔ Kiwi – 92.7mg (155% DV) per 100g
✔ Broccoli – 89.2mg (149% DV) per 100g
✔ Strawberries – 58.8mg (98% DV) per 100g
✔ Peas – 60mg (100% DV) per 100g
✔ Oranges – 53.2mg (89% DV) per 100g
Vitamin C Supplements
Vitamin C can also be consumed in supplement form. For many, this is much more convenient as it can be difficult, as well as expensive, to ensure you eat large enough quantities of the foods included in the list above, daily. There are several different types of vitamin C supplements, which suit different people.
Vitamin C tablets, such as the Myprotein Vitamin C with bioflavonoids and rosehip are excellent one-a-day tablets which can be taken by anyone to help boost their vitamin C intake. These tablets are designed to help boost your immune system, as well as maintaining connective tissue. They contain 1g of vitamin C per tablet (1250% DV) so are excellent for people who really want to boost their vitamin C levels dramatically.
There are also multivitamins, such as the Myprotein Daily Vitamins which help to boost your vitamin C intake, as well as vitamins A, B, D and E. These are best for people who want to boost their overall vitamin intake, and are budget friendly, since you get all the vitamins in one easy to swallow tablet.
Some people prefer not to take tablets, as they find them difficult to swallow. There are many powdered options, such as the Myprotein Multi Vitamin powder, Vitamin C powder and Vitamin C Effervescent tablets, which can be mixed with water to create an easy to consume drink, which packs all your vitamin needs.
Take Home Message
Vitamin C is a very powerful vitamin, which we require daily through our diet, since our bodies are unable to store it themselves.
There are many benefits to vitamin C, as well as preventing the symptoms that come as a result of vitamin C deficiency!