When it comes to one of the safest and most effective vitamins in the market Vitamin C is it! Even though many people associate vitamin C to the common cold, this essential vitamin is much more than just for the common cold. According to experts vitamin C can help to protect immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease and even skin wrinkles!
Also known as ascorbic acid and ascorbate, this essential vitamin has many roles in the body. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning our bodies can't produce it, so you must get it daily from fruit, vegetables or supplements. You will find vitamin C in nutritious vegetables and fruits such as kiwi fruit, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, kale, spinach and capsicum.
Vitamin C is not readily stored in the body, and that's why we need to replenish it daily either through supplements or through eating a range of fruit and vegetables as mention above.
Antioxidant: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which can strengthen your body's natural defences as it protects the cells from harmful free radicals. When you have too many free radicals accumulated in the body, it can promote oxidative stress. Studies have shown that vitamin C can boost blood antioxidant levels, which will help the body's natural defences to fight off inflammation.
Boost Immunity: This happens as vitamin C aids the increase in the production of white blood cells, which will help to shield the body against infections. This vitamin will also protect damage from free radicals (as mention above). Also, when white blood cells function more effectively, you will strengthen your skin defence system. This will also act as an antioxidant that will help to enhance the skin's barrier.
Production of Collagen: Our body needs an adequate amount of vitamin C to help form and store collagen. This vitamin will hold cells together during the formation of collagen. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found a link between nutrients intake and skin aging. The study found that the higher the vitamin C intake, the lower the likelihood of wrinkle appearance, dryness of the skin and better skin-aging appearance.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 45mg per day for both men and women. For pregnant women, this number increases from 55mg/day to 60mg/day depending on the age group, when in lactation it's recommended to 80mg per day. These values are according to the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council – Nutrient Reference Values.
Ascorbic acid is found widely in fruit and vegetables so you might think you don't necessarily need a supplement. However, the content of vitamin C in fruit and vegetables can be affected due to many factors such as season, transportation, shelf life, cooking practices and chlorination of water. Other factors that can also destroy the ascorbic acid is cutting, heating, bruising, exposure to copper and iron.
A supplement of vitamin C can help to replenish those depleted stores. This is due to the body not fully absorbing the content from a balanced diet, which can lead to many people opting to add a supplement into their daily routine.
*Disclaimer: It's important to always consult with your healthcare professional if you need vitamin C supplementation. Vitamins supplementation are only effective when you have a deficiency.
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