Have you ever wondered which are the top health benefits of vitamin C and how it actually helps the human body?
Well, the health benefits of vitamin C are numerous and these benefits are known to many for centuries now. Vitamin C can help boost body’s immune system, prevents premature aging and improves the health of gums. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a type of water-soluble vitamin that is needed by the body regularly.
Some of the most notable health benefits of vitamin C include the following:
1. Antioxidant Properties
This is one of the top health benefits of vitamin C. Citrus fruits rich in vitamin C contain high amounts of antioxidants that destroy free radicals within the body (that are responsible for causing cells damage).
2. Prevents Colds
Vitamin C may not be used to cure common cold. However, this water-soluble vitamin can help prevent the development of cold and other conditions related to it, such as pneumonia and lung infections. Regular consumption of oranges and lemons in the form of fruit or juice can strengthen the body and protect it against viruses that can cause seasonal colds.
3. Boost the Immune System
White blood cells are considered as the body’s defenders against bacterial invasions and any form of infections. However, white blood cells require high amounts of vitamin C in order to function properly. That is why it is necessary to maintain sufficient amounts of vitamin C on a daily basis. Take note that vitamin C deficiency may result to a weak body that is susceptible to various illnesses and infections.
4. Treatment of Infections
Vitamin C is also helpful in treating various respiratory problems, such as chest colds, asthma and bronchitis. It is also beneficial for the lungs, as it can dry the mucous membrane during an infection. Vitamin c can also cure UTI or urinary tract infections.
5. Formation of Collagen
In the human body, an essential long and fibrous structural protein exists and its primary role is to help develop the tissues. This protein is known as collagen. In case of abnormality, it could result to various medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, muscle pain, inflamed blood vessels, aging, gout and rheumatoid fever. However, all these conditions can be easily prevented if the collagen is capable of regenerating quickly. Consuming large amounts of ascorbic acid is necessary for the body in order to allow collagen to function normally and to keep all conditions related to collagen deficiency at bay. Collagen is also helpful in slowing down the aging process, so it is beneficial to those who want to maintain a younger looking skin.
6. Prevents Scurvy
Scurvy is a known gum condition that is due to insufficient intake of vitamin C in the body. Aside from bleeding gums and mucous membranes, lack of vitamin C can also lead to the development of unusual spots on the legs. Acute scurvy can be considered as deleterious and this could lead to teeth loss and infections in wounds. However, regular consumption of vitamin C can help prevent this condition, as this type of vitamin is helpful in maintaining the strength of the teeth and gums.
All these health benefits of vitamin C are extremely important and can be very easily obtained by including some fruits and vegetables your daily diet.
Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin C
Take note that excessive consumption of vitamin C can also result in negative effects. To avoid this, make sure that the recommended dietary allowance or RDA is followed properly.
– Children aged 0 to 6 months – 40 mg/day
– Children aged 7 to 10 months – 50 mg/day
– Children aged 1 to 3 years – 15 mg/day
– Children aged 4 to 8 years – 25mg/day
– Children 9 to 13 years – 45 mg/day
– Teenage boys – 75 mg/day
– Teenage girls – 65mg/day
– Women aged 19 years old and above – 75 mg/day
– Men aged 19 years old and above – 90mg/day
Lactating or pregnant women, on the other hand, should have a dose of 100 to 135 mg daily of vitamin C and 100 to 135mg per day for habitual smokers. It always better to consult a doctor who can recommend the right daily intake for you, before starting a vitamin C rich diet.
The body cannot produce vitamin C so this vitamin has to be obtained from external sources. In order to take advantage of all health benefits of vitamin C, just consider including in your daily diet some of the best fruits and vegetables: lemons, oranges, papaya, gooseberry, grapefruit, broccoli and cabbage. As much as possible, avoid storing or cooking these products to prevent washing out the vitamins. If you could, eat them fresh or raw. The health benefits of vitamin C are almost the same as the health benefits of orange, so regular consumption of this fruit can be helpful for the body as well. However, if these sources are not enough to fill the gap, you can opt for vitamin C supplements but discuss this with your physician first.