We all have heard about the importance of consuming vitamin C. It is essential for maintaining the healthy functioning of our body and has several skin benefits. But, ever wondered, what is Vitamin C and why is it essential for the body?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vital nutrient. It helps in the formation of tissues, bones, teeth, and blood vessels. Our body cannot synthesise or store vitamin C as it is water-soluble. But don’t worry, vitamin C is easily found in fruits and vegetables.
In this article, we will tell you about the importance of vitamin C, how much vitamin C you need everyday, and what vitamin C enriched foods are.
What Should be Your Vitamin C Daily Intake?
Wondering how much vitamin C your body needs daily? Your requirement for vitamin C varies depending on age, gender, and lifestyle habits.
In general, the recommended daily vitamin C requirement is as follows:
- For adult men 19 years and above: 90 mg
- For adult women 19 years and above: 75 mg
- For pregnant and breastfeeding women: 85–120 mg
- For smokers: An extra amount of 35 mg is needed besides the mentioned amount
Vitamin C deficiency affects tissue repair, healing, and immunity of the body. It can lead to:
- Bleeding gums
- Frequent infections
- Poor wound healing
- Muscle weakness
- Rashes on the skin
- Internal bleeding
As per the National Institute of Health (NIH), you should not take more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily. Consuming Vitamin C daily it in excess can lead to side effects such as-
- Stomach pain
That all sounds fine and dandy, but how can you get your daily dose of vitamin C?
Incorporate Vitamin C Laden Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet
But, how will your body get vitamin C? Animal sources such as meat, pork, and fish usually have a low level of vitamin C – around 30–40 mg per 100 gm. In comparison, plant sources have a high vitamin C content, ranging up to 5,000 mg per 100 gms. So it is best to have fruits and vegetables enriched in Vitamin C to get its health benefits.
Fruits Rich in Vitamin C
One medium-sized citrus fruit or one cup of some chopped fruits can give 60 mg to 80 mg of vitamin C. Here is a list of such fruits:
Vegetables Rich in Vitamin C
Green and Red bell pepper provide daily recommended vitamin C value in 1 or 2 servings. Other vegetables rich in Vitamin C are:
- Bell Peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
- Indian Gooseberry or Amla
- Leafy vegetables such as kale, parsley, thyme, etc.
Why is Vitamin C Essential For The Body?
As per studies, vitamin C benefits our body in the following ways:
- Collagen Formation: Vitamin C is vital for collagen formation that provides strength to the tissues. It is found in the skin, teeth, bones, cartilage, tendons, heart valves, blood vessels, eye lens, cornea, and an intervertebral disc of the backbone.
- Heals injured tissues: Vitamin C helps produce collagen. It repairs and heals damaged and injured tissues. It accelerates wound healing and is useful in post-operative patients for fast recovery. It also prevents cells from free radical damage.
- Iron Absorption: Vitamin C facilitates the absorption of iron and is useful in patients with iron-deficiency anaemia.
- Skin Benefits: Vitamin C reduces scars, prevents wrinkles, and delays the signs of ageing. It enhances overall skin health, making you look radiant and youthful.
- Augments Immunity: As per studies, vitamin C supports the functioning of immune cells and strengthens our body’s immune system.
- Cures Diseases: Vitamin C aids in the treatment of:
- Cancer such as breast cancer
- Heart disease
- Eye diseases like Macular Degeneration
- Memory loss or Dementia
- Fragile bone disease
- Male infertility
- Common Cold
- Anxiety and Depression
- Nerve disorders like Alzheimer’s disease
Vitamin C For a Healthier Lifestyle
Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, helps tissue repair, and cures infectious diseases. You should consume fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C to strengthen your immune system, speed up the tissue repair process, and cure infectious diseases. How much vitamin C you should consume depends on your age, gender, genetics, health condition, and lifestyle.
Since our body cannot store vitamins we must fulfil the body’s vitamin C requirements by consuming citrus fruits and vegetables such as lemon, oranges, papaya, guava, red pepper, broccoli, and tomatoes. Click here to get vitamin C enriched food to keep diseases at bay.