1. Vitamin C supports the immune system
We’ll start with one of the best-known roles of vitamin C – boosting the immune system, which seems to be especially useful during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Vitamin C helps our immune system in multiple ways. For example, it stimulates the production and proper function of various types of white blood cells that fight off pathogens and activate the body’s defense mechanism on the cellular level.
Studies demonstrated that by taking vitamin C supplements in proper doses can help us prevent and fight respiratory infections. Another research has shown that vitamin C supplementation can reduce the duration of the common cold.
2. Vitamin C improves skin condition
Studies show that proper daily intake of vitamin C brings numerous benefits for the skin too. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps decrease the signs of aging by protecting skin from UV-induced photodamage and stimulating the synthesis of collagen. This helps improve skin tone and tightness as well as smooth out wrinkles.
Besides, Vitamin C also supports skin repair functions and promotes wound healing.
3. Vitamin C supports eyes health
Your eyes can also benefit from vitamin C’s strong antioxidant properties and ability to stimulate collagen production.
Research suggests that vitamin C along with other antioxidants can help slow down the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people over 60.
Another study has found that proper daily vitamin C intake can reduce the risk of developing cataracts – a chronic eye disease that makes its natural lens cloudy.
4. Vitamin C facilitates weight loss
Although you won’t get rid of extra kilos just by increasing your vitamin C intake, studies show that you can make your workouts more effective at burning fat if you have enough of vitamin C in your body. In fact, people who have a deficiency in vitamin C can be more resistant to fat loss.
Another research found that individuals with vitamin C deficiency burned 25% less fat during the treadmill exercise compared to individuals with adequate vitamin C levels. And when the vitamin-deficient group started to take daily vitamin C supplements, it significantly increased their fat energy expenditure.
5. Vitamin C supports heart health
Further clinical research is required in this direction, but vitamin C has, in fact, demonstrated the ability to protect our heart health.
Studies suggest that high vitamin C supplementation can lower the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) development. Another study found that higher vitamin C intake can help lower blood pressure, which can be one of the risk factors of heart disease.
The list of Vitamin C benefits goes on and on - it also helps the body get rid of heavy metals and their compounds, enhances iron absorption, reduces the intoxication of the body in alcoholics and drug addicts – and more. But what happens if you don’t get enough vitamin C?
Vitamin C deficiency
When we don’t get proper amounts of vitamin C daily, its deficiency can cause various health issues. It can decrease muscle tone and lead to hair loss, dry skin, and irritability. In some cases, it can even worsen depression.
The vitamin C deficiency is especially common during winter and spring, when it’s harder to have access to fresh vegetables and fruits which contain more ascorbic acid than those which are sold all year round.
How to get enough vitamin C
To enjoy all the benefits of vitamin C and prevent its deficiency, you first need to start with a healthy diet that includes natural sources of this nutrient - for example, green and red peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomato juice, and citrus fruits. Enriching your diet with more fruits and vegetables can go a long way in making you healthier and younger-looking.
Consuming enough vitamin C is especially important if you eat a lot of meat, as ascorbic acid helps reduce the negative effects of nitrogenous compounds which are present in large quantities in the muscle tissue of animals.
Taking vitamin C supplements is another effective way of ensuring you have adequate levels of this nutrient. This can prevent the vitamin deficiency all year round, even when access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited.
Remember, that despite all the benefits vitamin C can provide to your health, it can also cause side effects if taken without proper examination of your current health condition and needs. Consult with your doctor before starting to take any food supplements, including vitamin C. A medical professional will help you identify possible vitamin deficiencies and determine a proper supplement dose.