Our bodies can’t create or store vitamin C, so it is essential for good health to regularly eat foods high in vitamin C or take a supplement.
The good news is that vitamin C is found in many foods, so it’s easy to get enough of it in your diet.
Some of the best sources of vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, and lemons
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
Countless studies have examined the health benefits of vitamin C. It will always be challenging to know exactly how much impact vitamin C has on our overall health and what conditions it can help prevent or treat.
For example, many studies on vitamin C’s impact on the common cold have conflicting results. However, it is generally agreed that deficiencies in this vitamin may modestly prolong the length of time you feel sick.
For now, we can confidently say that vitamin C is vital for your health. Here are some of the ways it may be helping you:
Vitamin C appears to boost our immune systems by enhancing the production and activity of white blood cells, which help fight infection.
It may also help you recover from illness and heal wounds more quickly.
Healthy Gums and Teeth
Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, a protein that helps keep our gums and teeth healthy and strong.
The antioxidant qualities of vitamin C also help fight the bacteria that cause gum disease and dental decay.
Proper Bone Growth and Function
The collagen that vitamin C helps produce keeps our bones healthy and strong. Vitamin C is also essential for absorbing minerals such as iron and calcium, crucial for bone health.
Collagen is also necessary for the health and integrity of our skin. Vitamin C helps protect our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, reduces inflammation, and helps keep our skin looking young and fresh.
Epidemiologic studies have shown a correlation between eating lots of fruits and vegetables and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancers, dementia, arthritis, and other chronic diseases. This may be due to the antioxidant effects of vitamin C in combination with other phytonutrients found in these foods.
During the normal metabolic process, harmful free radicals are created in the body. Free radicals can damage cells and contribute to aging, inflammation, and disease development.
Vitamin C and other antioxidants work by mopping up these free radicals before they can do any real damage. This keeps your organs healthy and functioning correctly.
Getting Your Daily Dose
If you eat a well-balanced diet, you probably get enough vitamin C. However, if you tend to eat few fruits and vegetables, you may want to consider taking a vitamin supplement or consider adding more into your diet.
Consult your doctor before taking vitamin C supplements, as they can interact with certain medications.