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The Many Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Updated on May 16, 2020
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I like to write about health and how to stay healthy by making smart decisions.

Certain fruits and vegetables are packed with Vitamin C.
Certain fruits and vegetables are packed with Vitamin C. | Source

Adequate vitamin C consumption has a number of positive health benefits that go well beyond reducing the length and severity of the common cold. Maintaining sufficient vitamin C levels in the bloodstream boosts the immune system, keeps body tissues functioning properly, plays a part in wound healing, and keeps eyes, teeth, bones, and cartilage healthy. It also lessens memory loss, reduces inflammation, and helps protect against cancer and heart disease since it acts as a powerful anti-oxidant that removes harmful free radicals from the body.

A Summary of the Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most widely known vitamins thanks in large part to the famous American chemist and biochemist Dr. Linus Pauling who published a book in 1970 called “Vitamin C and the Common Cold” that was widely discussed and debated in both scientific and mainstream circles. The book claimed consuming high doses of the vitamin could prevent people from catching a cold. Dr. Pauling's claims were met with a great amount of skepticism from the medical community.

Subsequent research has found that while having sufficient levels of vitamin C in the bloodstream can lessen the length and severity of the common cold, it cannot outright prevent a person from catching a cold. However, consuming vitamin C along with other vitamins and minerals, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting adequate sleep every night does provide an overall boost the human immune system, which helps prevent many illnesses, including colds.

What has become clear in recent years through medical research is consuming adequate amounts of vitamin C has wide-ranging positive effects on human health. The following are some of the health benefits associated with vitamin C consumption. Keep in mind that some of these health benefits are not achieved unless vitamin C is consumed at an amount well above the government's Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults.

  • It prevents a disease called scurvy, which is caused by a lack of vitamin C.
  • It reduces the length and severity of the common cold.
  • It acts as an anti-oxidant as it travels through the body, latching onto free radical cells, preventing them from causing harm within the body. Free radicals have been linked to many negative health impacts from heart disease to cancer.
  • Its anti-oxidant properties reduce inflammation in the human body. Inflammation has been found to be the cause of or a contributor to a number of health conditions and diseases from arthritis to cancer.
  • It detoxifies the body and rids it of heavy metals by ensuring the liver is functioning properly.
  • It reduces stress by allowing the body to remove cortisol (stress hormone) quickly.
  • It helps boost the healthiness of eyes.
  • It helps the body heal from wounds.
  • It helps maintain healthy teeth, bones, and cartilage.
  • It helps repair skin cells that have been damaged by helping their regeneration process and stabilizing free radicals.
  • It lessens memory loss and some forms of cognitive impairment in aging people.
  • It helps the gut absorb iron.
  • It optimizes the ability of cells in the gastrointestinal tract to heal and function properly.


Ideas Regarding How To Consume Foods That Contain High Levels of Vitamin C

Nutritionists recommend consuming nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day to obtain adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C. This can be difficult to work into your diet. The following are some ideas regarding how to include fruits and vegetables with high levels of vitamin C in your meals and snacks.

  • Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with vitamin C. It can easily be included as part of a salad or mixed into a smoothie.

  • Oranges have an ample amount of vitamin C. A glass of orange juice will provides nearly all of the recommended daily minimum amount vitamin C. Orange slices can be added to salads to provide them more flavor.

  • Guava is a tropical fruit that is loaded with vitamin C. If you want to get a lot more of this essential vitamin than other foods can provide, then consider having guava with your yogurt in the morning or salad in the afternoon or evening.

  • Red and Green Peppers are rich in vitamin C; include them on sandwiches and salads or eat them as a snack.

  • Tomatoes are another good source of vitamin C that make for good sandwich and salad additions.

  • Strawberries are one of those fruits that are so sweet that they are practically like eating candy. Have them as a snack or mix them in with yogurt or a salad to increase your vitamin C intake.

  • Make a side of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, white potatoes, or sweet potatoes with a meal, as all these foods contain vitamin C.

  • If you’re looking for healthy fruit snacks that will provide you a vitamin C boost, have cantaloupe, papaya, mango, watermelon, raspberries, or blueberries next time you feel the need for a snack.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient needed to maintain a healthy immune system. It is quite easy to work it into your diet since so many common fruits and vegetables contain this essential vitamin. Eat well to keep yourself healthy.

Nutritionists Recommend Higher Intake of Vitamin C Than The Government Guidance

The United States National Academy of Science’s Food and Nutrition Board has a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C of 90 milligrams per day for adult males and 75 milligrams per day for adult females (with higher RDAs for pregnant or lactating females). While the RDA is the minimum level needed by the body to perform routine processes, many nutritionists recommend an intake of 400 to 500 milligrams per day for an adult to truly benefit from vitamin C's positive medicinal properties. These amounts are well below the safe upper limit of 2,000 milligrams per day.

Vitamin C can be obtained by eating foods that contain it, such as vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, or by taking supplements. Since vitamin C only stays in the body for a short period of time, it is a good idea to take half of a daily supplement in the morning with breakfast and the other half in the evening with dinner. Just be careful what brand of supplement you are using, since some have undesirable additives or are not as high quality as others. I use NatureMade's 500 milligrams supplement because the company has a reputation for using good ingredients and producing high-quality supplements.

Vitamin C Supplements

Vitamin C is fairly easy to work into my daily diet by drinking orange juice or eating strawberries. But sometimes a supplement is needed if I haven't been getting enough vitamin C from my diet. To ensure I get enough of this essential vitamin, I take Nature Made Vitamin C 500 mg capsules when necessary.

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The Many Benefits of Vitamin C

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 John Coviello


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