Vitamin C is an essential micro-nutrient that our body requires to make proteins, keep your energy levels up and produce mood-enhancing brain chemicals. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant and helps in building your body's defense system.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that builds your immunity
- The recommended requirement for Vitamin C in adults is 40 mg per day
- Broccoli, bell peppers and kiwi are some rich sources of Vitamin C
"Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is not produced or easily stored in your body as it is a water-soluble nutrient. Therefore, you need to fulfill your daily requirements of Vitamin C from the food you eat," shares Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta. Besides oranges and lemons, foods like kiwi, broccoli, guava, yellow bell peppers, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and turnip leaves, tomatoes, and papaya are great sources of Vitamin C. In fact, you'll be surprised to know that broccoli and bell peppers contain more Vitamin C than oranges!
As per the National Institute of Nutrition in India, The recommended requirement for Vitamin C in adults is 40 mg per day. Here are six benefits you can derive from eating Vitamin C rich foods regularly and making sure you get your daily dose.
1. Better immunity
According to a study, conducted by University of Helsinki in Finland, taking larger doses of Vitamin C may significantly help in reducing the duration of a viral infection. The findings showed that people who consumed six to eight grams of Vitamin C per day while suffering from cold were able to reduce its duration. The body uses the antioxidants in Vitamin C to boost its immune system.
2. Younger looking and glowing skin
Vitamin C plays an important role in the production of collagen which helps in maintaining your skin's elasticity which tends to deteriorate as you age. Collagen is required to build healthy and firm skin tissues and without enough Vitamin C your body cannot produce it. Vitamin C is also a great beauty ingredient which gives a natural glow and evens out your skin tone.
3. Maintains your blood pressure
High blood pressure can put you at the risk of heart disease and stroke. Vitamin-C rich foods can help in controlling high blood pressure. According to Preeti Rao, Founder and CEO, WELLNESSjiva, "Vitamin C acts as an anti-oxidant and removes disease-causing free radicals from the body. It also helps in lowering your triglyceride levels (bad cholesterol). For instance, lemon is one of the best remedies for hypertension. It is known to make the blood vessels soft and flexible for smooth flow of blood.
Vitamin C is essential for the absorption of iron in the body which is why it is often suggested to pair iron-rich foods with those that are packed with vitamin C. It is known to transform iron into a state which is more easily absorbed by the intestines.
5. Enhances your mood
Vitamin C can help in treating stress and depression. It is known to help in the production of mood-enhancing brain chemicals called neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help in carrying commands, thoughts and feelings through the nervous system.
6. Heals wounds
Vitamin C facilitates the growth of the connective tissues which helps in speeding up the process of healing wounds. Being an antioxidant and helping in the synthesis of collagen, vitamin C provides strength and stability to our tissues to protect them from damage and repair the normal wear and tear.
"It is important to know that vitamin C is a heat sensitive nutrient and therefore, foods rich in vitamin C should either be eaten raw or cooked at low temperatures in order to preserve the Vitamin C content," adds Dr. Rupali Datta.