Food and Nutrition
Vitamin C is a very important vitamin that plays a number of roles in the human body. Packed with a wide range of impressive health benefits, the water-soluble vitamin is present in numerous fruits and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach.
Nutritionists recommend a daily Vitamin C intake of 75 mg for women and around 100 mg for men. Although it's generally suggested that one should meet their vitamin C requirement from the food one eats, a number of people switch to supplements to address their nutritional needs. Before you consume any type of Vitamin C supplements, it is essential to consult a medical practitioner to avoid any discrepancies.
Here are some highly significant medically-tested advantages of consuming vitamin C:
Vitamin C is necessary for collagen synthesis. As we know, Collagen is an integral structural component of connective tissue, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, gums, skin, teeth, and bones. It helps in maintaining the skin natural elasticity to render a younger-looking skin and reduce skin-sagging.
Vitamin C also assays a cardinal role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter, 'norepinephrine' which is crucial for optimal brain functioning and impacts mood sensations.
Vitamin C also has a critical role in enhancing the body's immune function, which can get hindered on account of nutritional scarcity.
Vitamin C is also an extremely efficient antioxidant. Even in small traces, vitamin C aids in safeguarding various essential molecules in the body like proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) from damage by free radicals. The free radicals damage can be produced during routine metabolism as well as through contact with various toxins and air pollutants i.e. smoking.
It has also been ascertained that vitamin C can also restore other antioxidants like vitamin E. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which extends scientific recommendations to facilitate medical policymakers, has corroborated the following health benefits that come with the regular dietary intake of vitamin C in one's diet:
It assists in safeguarding essential cell constituents from the damage caused by free radicals.
It improves the rate of collagen formation and assists in the normal functioning of blood vessels, skin, bones, cartilage, gums, and teeth.
It further helps in increasing the rate of non-heme iron (found in plant-based foods) absorption.
It also regulates the standard operation of the nervous system.
Vitamin C also proves instrumental in bolstering the body's natural immunity.
It also assists in preserving the routine functions of the immune system both before and after an intense physical workout.
It also supports the redevelopment process of the abridged form of vitamin E.
Furthermore, it also aids in curtailing tiredness and fatigue levels in the body.
Having understood the importance of Vitamin C in our lives, we must strive to include Vitamin C in our everyday diet to ensure the proper functioning of the body and enjoy healthy disease-free living. If you are unable to receive the prescribed amount of Vitamin C from your conventional diet, you can also resort to using over-the-counter and safe-to-use Vitamin C supplements. However, it is prudent to consult a doctor or a nutritionist before consuming any form of supplements. (Shikha Dwivedi is an Msc. clinical nutrition and dietetics and in-house nutritionist of OZiva)