Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that supports many bodily functions, like metabolism and digestion. Adults require around 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day to avoid diseases and health complications caused by vitamin C deficiency, such as osteoporosis and anemia.
Unfortunately, the human body can neither store nor produce vitamin C. It simply absorbs the vitamin C that many fruits and vegetables provide. Many healthcare professionals recommend including foods that contain at least 12 mg of vitamin C in your diet, like oranges, tomatoes, lemons, broccoli, cabbages and bell peppers. However, individuals with vitamin C deficiency may require more than the suggested daily intake to improve their overall health.
Here are seven good reasons for upping your vitamin C intake. (h/t to SteadyHealth.com)
Vitamin C promotes better bone health
Adequate vitamin C intake has been found to improve bone density, thereby significantly lowering the risk of fractures and bone-related diseases. Vitamin C is especially important in curbing the onset of osteoporosis, which can cause you to “lose” height as you age. (Related: Increasing vitamin C intake can reduce hip fracture risk by 44 percent: Study.)
Vitamin C prevents scurvy
A persistent lack of vitamin C in your diet can cause scurvy. Scurvy is a condition marked by frequent bruising, bleeding and joint pain. In severe cases, scurvy can also cause teeth to fall out and prevent wounds from healing properly, which may lead to infection. Additionally, vitamin C deficiency can cause anemia, spontaneous bleeding, inflammation and ulcers in the gums.
Vitamin C aids in collagen production
Vitamin C helps prevent complications associated with problems in collagen production, like bleeding gums, skin sores and brittle bones. Collagen is an essential component of bones, muscles, skin and tendons. It acts as a barrier protecting different organs of the body, and plays an important role in keeping the skin firm and healthy.
Vitamin C boosts metabolism
Researchers from the University of Naples found that vitamin C helped lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels in individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, also showed that vitamin C administration helped reduce the amount of free radicals in the body.
Vitamin C boosts immunity
As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can fortify the immune system to protect the body from pathogens and disease-causing free radicals. Vitamin C also stimulates the production of white blood cells that protect the body from infection and help fortify the skin.
Vitamin C relieves the symptoms of a cold
In a study published in The Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, researchers found evidence to suggest that vitamin C intake reduced cold severity and duration by relieving its symptoms, including runny nose, congestion, cough, sore throat and fever.
Vitamin C helps prevent iron deficiency
Eating foods rich in vitamin C may help improve the body’s absorption of iron. Iron also plays an essential role in the production of red blood cells. When iron is poorly absorbed, the body becomes at risk of iron deficiency, which can develop into anemia. As such, adequate intake of vitamin C may lower the risk of anemia and improve blood iron levels.
Adequate vitamin C intake protects the body from various diseases and health complications. Avoid vitamin C deficiency by including foods rich in vitamin C in your diet.