The Benefits of Vitamin C and How to Make Sure You Get Enough
I am sure you have all heard to take a vitamin C supplement when you feel a cold coming on. I do it as well; whenever I start feeling sick I start eating lots of fruits and drinking juice. The increased vitamin C in my body will help bolster my immune system to fight off the illness. While vitamin C does boost your immune systems functioning, it does much more than that as well.
Our bodies need vitamin C to help our tissues grow and repair themselves. We have to have vitamin C to make collagen which our bodies use to heal wounds, make skin and scar tissue, as well as maintain tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Vitamin C is more than just a vitamin though - it is an anti-oxidant as well. This means it helps our bodies fight free-radicals - many of which cause cancer.
Vitamin C also helps maintain our teeth and bones. Do recall in history class learning about sailors getting scurvy on long boat rides? They couldn't store enough fresh produce to provide their bodies with vitamin C for months on end and typically by the time they found land they were desperate for it. Even though they probably didn't know why they needed fresh produce, they knew they needed it. In rare instances today you will still find scurvy, but for the most part, because we have such good access to fresh produce this disease is almost gone.
Our bodies need a steady supply of vitamin C every single day. We cannot produce vitamin C at all and must constantly replenish what our bodies need. Vitamin C is water soluble and any excess will flow out in our urine. Our bodies cannot store it up like it can some vitamins. This works out OK though, because so many foods contain vitamin C that it is usually pretty easy to get enough.
Typically when we think vitamin C we think citrus. While citrus fruits do contain a lot of vitamin C, they do not contain the highest amounts of it, and there are many other fruits and vegetables that contain large amounts as well. Green peppers contain the highest levels of vitamin C of all the foods, with other peppers close behind. Tomatoes, leafy green vegetables, and melons all have a lot of vitamin C. Surprisingly both white and sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C. See potatoes are good for something. You can get vitamin C from all fruits and vegetables and juices provide a concentrated amount of it.
Do your body a favor and make sure you eat your fruits and vegetables each day so that you get enough vitamin C. You probably won't get sick as often and your body will be all around healthier.