Vitamin C is the most abundant vitamin around. It is naturally present in most foods and numerous supplements are marketed for the various individual benefits that it gives. In fact, it is probably the most important dietary component in any meal.
Vitamin C is most commonly known as L-ascorbic acid. Aside from being a powerful antioxidant, it is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, neurotransmitters, and even in protein metabolism. It is considered a ‘super vitamin’, and that’s because it’s basically an-all around nutrient. It is responsible for keeping your hair, skin, cells, tissue, muscle, gums, and even your brain healthy.
If you want to be healthy, you will definitely need vitamin C in your arsenal. This particular vitamin has so many benefits to the human body that it is virtually impossible to list them all. So here are 20 outstanding benefits for you to start reaping.
1. Boosts Immunity and Collagen
Vitamin C is known as the ultimate nutrient to maintain your immune system. When vitamin C enters the body, it stimulates the immune system by enhancing the strength and protective qualities of cells and organisms. According to doctors, taking a daily dose of vitamin C can accelerate the healing process in injuries and wounds. In fact, vitamin C is known to improve the quality of collagen, which speeds up the process of healing.
However, vitamin C not only improves collagen, but it also helps in producing it. 70% of all protein found in your skin is collagen. Collagen is responsible for maintaining the elasticity of your skin, keeping it looking young and fresh.
Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, which allows your body to combat harmful radiation. If you take your optimal amount of vitamin C every day, this is probably the reason why your skin always feels and appears healthier.
2. Boosts Energy
When you have a demanding daily work schedule, you probably feel really fatigued all the time. If getting the right amount of sleep might not be helping you eliminate fatigue anymore, you might want to consider loading up on vitamin C. According to doctors, having an optimal dose of vitamin C can successfully reduce work-related fatigue.
Not only that, it can improve physical activity and mobility. Vitamin C is known to increase the body’s metabolism, which increases overall energy levels. It also synthesizes the molecule called carnitine, which is essential in transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria. The mitochondria are responsible for converting into energy. Hence, more vitamin c; more energy.
Doctors recommend at least a glass of orange juice in the morning and a pill supplement to help boost your energy for the day ahead. Some vitamin C supplements even package themselves as energy boosters specifically.
3. Repairs Wounds and Injuries
Your mom probably kept telling you to take your vitamins as a kid because they were good for you, and if you were an active playground warrior, it actually was. Vitamin C’s major function is contributing to the production of collagen. Collagen is essential for wound healing because it helps the body form new tissues. In fact, collagen is the most important protein in connective tissue.
Since vitamin C can also boost the immune system, it also helps to heal wounds and injuries much faster. Doctors usually recommend patients with open wounds and stitches to have a daily dose of vitamin C. This aids in the healing process over time. Since the body doesn’t store vitamin C, it’s important to intake daily.
Vitamin C’s assistance in collagen production and immune system modulator both play a powerful role in wound repair. In fact, this makes vitamin C the most important supplement for your injuries.
4. Boosts Iron Absorption
Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your body, which helps in producing energy and forming antioxidants. This makes it an important part of your diet. However, the problem with iron is that you can eat foods high in iron yet still be deficient in nonheme iron.
Nonheme iron is one type of iron that isn’t easily absorbed during digestion. Nonheme iron is strongly influenced by foods that can either enhance or inhibit its absorption. This is where vitamin C comes in. Vitamin C is known to enhance the absorption of nonheme iron, however, they must be consumed at the same time.
When they are digested together, vitamin C combines with nonheme iron to form a compound that is easier for the body to digest. However, be wary of how much iron and vitamin C your body should have. According to doctors, you should only include 25 milligrams to supplement nonheme iron.
5. Improves Heart Health
Believe it or not, vitamin C can even reduce the threat of heart disease. According to numerous studies, vitamin C is considered as good as an exercise in improving heart health. Higher plasma levels of vitamin C has even been linked to the reduction of heart disease risk.
A regular dose of vitamin C can actively combat a protein named endothelin-1. Endothelin-1, when triggered, can constrict small blood vessels. This can cause damage to the arteries, eventually resulting in a heart attack. Besides preventing heart disease, vitamin C also keeps your arteries flexible and healthy. This helps the arteries dilate when under stress, improving both blood and oxygen flow in the body.
This can aid in lowering your blood pressure. According to doctors, a vitamin C-rich diet can significantly reduce blood cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of a heart attack. Vitamin C can also lower serum cholesterol, preventing coronary heart disease.
6. Fights Oxidative Damage in Your Body
Over time, your body will experience degeneration in both function and ability. This is usually what’s called oxidative stress, which affects muscle function and cellular reproduction. Oxidative stress can increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer’s. However, this can be combatted with powerful antioxidants.
When a body undergoes oxidative stress, tissues can suffer from damage and cause cells to inflame. Vitamin C is known to be a naturally occurring oxidant. It targets and combats free radicals which prevent oxidative damage in important biological macromolecules. This increases antioxidant enzymes which can even combat diabetes and hypertension.
Over time, consistent vitamin supplementation can improve muscle strength in aging individuals. This is, of course, combined with a healthy lifestyle — regular exercise, a healthy diet, enough sleep every evening, minimal stress, and meditation. However, be mindful of how much exercise you put in as this also known to increase oxidative stress.
7. Enhances Hair Growth
Believe it or not, a lack of vitamin C is actually one of the reasons you are suffering from all those hair problems. Vitamin C deficiency can result in an abundance of dry hair and split ends. When this happens, it could lead to irregular hair growth and, in some extreme cases, hair loss.
When your body converts food into glucose for energy production, free radicals are formed. These free radicals are responsible for hair damage, making it weak, brittle, and thin. This impacts hair growth and interrupts the process, making it more difficult for your hair to grow long and healthy. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that can combat these.
Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties can reduce the formation of free radicals, minimizing and alleviating their effects on the body. In general, free radicals can cause significant damage to the body itself. Having ample levels of vitamin C is, therefore, essential to combat these.
8. Prevents Soreness and Damage to Muscle Tissue
A long day out can really take a toll on your body, especially if you finally hit that goal at the gym yesterday. As fulfilling as excelling in work and workouts are, your body can accumulate strain, resulting in sore muscles. Over time, this might even cause significant damage to muscle tissue. Luckily, vitamin C can help prevent that.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant required for the growth and repair of tissues in your body. This aids in producing collagen, which helps repair and improves your skin. However, collagen actually contributes more to your body than just the skin. Collagen is also a really powerful protein that can make scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and even blood vessels.
Athletes are known to take their vitamin C supplements seriously. It helps them avoid muscle soreness and injury during rigorous training. Since vitamin C also boosts the immune system, the body also becomes tougher.
9. Lowers Hypertension
When you have hypertension, it means that your blood pressure elevates persistently, causing you to have episodes of high blood pressure. Having hypertension can put you at high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Luckily, vitamin C has the ability to significantly lower and regulate blood pressure levels.
According to doctors, vitamin C can act as a diuretic. This allows the kidney to remove more sodium and water from the body, relieving pressure from the walls of blood vessels. Vitamin C can also protect your body’s supply of nitric oxide, a molecule that can relax your blood vessels. This can allow for vasodilation, which dilates the blood vessels to release pressure — therefore, decreasing your blood pressure.
Diabetes can also be controlled through regular vitamin C supplement intake. According to doctors, vitamin C stimulates the insulin mechanism, aiding in treatment. This can lower blood sugar levels and prevent damage to your blood vessels.
10. Improves Eye Health
As you get older, your vision begins to blur and worsen. For people aged over 40, cataracts are the biggest cause of vision impairment. In fact, it is the principal cause of blindness across the world. However, evidence suggests that vitamin C can lower the risk of cataracts.
According to doctors, vitamin C can prevent age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss. Vitamin C can combat oxidative stress, preventing free radicals from causing molecular damage to lens tissue in the eye. Ensuring your daily dose of vitamin C can even extend the functional lifespan of retinal cells. In fact, people with a high intake level of vitamin C have a 20% lower risk of developing cataracts.
Vitamin C keeps the blood vessels in your eye healthy and functional. Over time, vitamin C can also aid in the regeneration of vitamin E in the eye — which enhances your eye health even more.