Vitamin C is a simple yet effective vitamin for its role in supporting the immune system, from a simple common cold to a deathly COVID-19 infection. It is also an essential nutrient required for healthy skin, hairs, strong bones and cartilages, and wound healing.
What Does Vitamin C Do?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid is an essential micronutrient. It is required by your body to perform various metabolic activities. Vitamin C supports your immunity system, helps in collagen formation for wound healing, and acts as an antioxidant.
Severe deficiency of Vitamin C can lead to scurvy which is characterized by swollen and bleeding gums, poor wound healing, and skin thickening. Deficiency of Vitamin C can also present with fatigue, anemia, joint pains, depression, etc.
Food Sources of Vitamin C
As Vitamin C is water-soluble, it is stored in minimum quantity in the body. Hence, to maintain the normal level of Vitamin C, you need to add various fruits and vegetables loaded with it in your diet. When the diet supplementation is insufficient, Vitamin C supplementation may be considered.
Fruits & juices rich in Vitamin C
- It is a powerhouse of Vitamin C, fibers, and antioxidants. Lemon may aid anemia, risk of heart disease, and cancer.
- This pink-fleshed fruit contains 126mg of Vitamin C, which helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Vitamin C loaded Kiwi may help to reduce stress and improve immunity. It provides 137 gm of Vitamin C with almost double the amount than orange.
- Orange makes a significant portion of dietary Vitamin C. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties specifically against skin cancer.
- Papaya is good for your heart and might even help protect against colon cancer. It also improves memory and has potent anti-inflammatory effects in your brain.
6: Tomato juice
- It helps to improve heart health, skin health, and prevent cancer.
7: Grapes and Grape juice
- It is an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant necessary for connective tissue health.
8: Strawberry and strawberry juice
- It contains a potent mix of Vitamin C, manganese, folate, and other antioxidants. Strawberries may help to prevent diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.
Vegetables rich in Vitamin C
9: Bell peppers
- They have a huge amount of Vitamin C, especially in red bell peppers. Recommended to eat them raw or roasted.
- It can lower your stress, increased immunity, and lower the risk of cancer, and heart disease.
- One cup of chopped kale provides 80 mg of Vitamin C. Kale may help to reduce chronic inflammatory disease.
12: Brussels sprouts
- Brussels sprouts are rich with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, fibers, magnesium, and potassium. It improves bone strength and function.
- It contains a high amount of Vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and boosts immunity.
- Always preferred to consume raw or mildly steamed vegetables and fruits instead of grilled or roasted.
Vitamin C supplements
Scientific data proposed that Vitamin C may be required, when your body doesn’t get a normal amount of Vitamin C. It can be supplemented orally or intravenously (IV) when higher doses are required such as in scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency syndrome).
Expert suggests that an intravenous infusion of Vitamin C can be useful for the treatment of COVID-19 infection along with Hydrochloroquine and Favipiravir. Though there is no proof that Vitamin C can treat or prevent Coronavirus but it can activate your immune system and acts as an antioxidant. Researchers also pointing the use of intravenous injection of Vitamin C and not over-the-counter tablets. In-spite of different studies, there is still no strong evidence of Vitamin C benefits to fight COVID-19.
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C has shown its effectiveness in various health conditions. Some of the benefits are as follows:
- Increase immunity
- Improve heart function
- Prevent and treat eye disorders
- Protection against cancer
- Clear and healthy skin
- Prevent hair fall
- Improves blood sugar levels
Individual requirements of Vitamin C doses are based on factors including age, gender, health status, and environmental changes. The daily requirement of Vitamin C is 90 mg in adult males, 75 mg in adult female, and 120 mg in the pregnant female.
Toxicity of Vitamin C
Being a water-soluble vitamin, Vitamin C easily excreted through urine. Hence there are fewer chances of any adverse effects. Higher doses of Vitamin C may cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and headache.
It essential to include Vitamin C in your diet as it is a very important nutrient to keep your body fit. There are several benefits of Vitamin C from a simple cold to serious cancer. Hence, considering Vitamin C can be a great investment in your well-being. Also, make sure to consult your physician before initiation of your diet or taking other supplements.