Vitamin C has been known as one the strongest Antioxidant vitamin among all the vitamins category. Vitamin C is water soluble vitamin and body doesn’t produce vitamin C on its own that’s why we require it on daily basis through food. Citrus fruits are rich source of vitamin C while other fruits do contain some amount of it as well. It acts as a catalyst in various enzymatic reactions, neutralising free radicals, repairing and healing the wounds and maintaining the elasticity of skin and arteries. Here are the TOP 5 Benefits of consuming Vitamin C on daily basis. Certain conditions like smoking and alcohol requires you to add more vitamin C to protect the damage from free radicals.
- Immunity Booster – It acts as Immunity booster by boosting Glutathione production in the cells which are present abundantly in the liver and muscles. The Glutathione acts as indigenous antioxidant & provides protection against various toxins by neutralising them. It provides protection against acute cold and flu at higher doses by boosting glutathione on immediate basis.
- Cardiovascular Protection – Vitamin C prevents atheroscelrosis by preventing hardening of arteries and damage to endothelium in blood vessels by neutralising free radicals. In one Study Vitamin C at a dose of 500 mg per day for one month in the form of supplement has shown to decrease the Elevated Triglyceride and LDL levels by 20%. In various studies Vitamin C when sourced through diet has shown to lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancers and inflammation. It reduces blood pressure and helps in maintaining the elasticity of blood vessels which decreases as we grow old thereby preventing arterial stiffness.
- Skin Health – Vitamin C lis required for production and regeneration of Collagen, an essential component of our skin and joints. Our skin ages as we grow old because the regeneration process is slowed down along with our ability to neutralise free radicals. Free radicals which also equates to oxidative stress is main reason for Ageing of skin. The Vitamin C boosts glutathione production thereby supporting detoxification pathways and neutralising the excess production of free radicals. Taking higher doses upto 2 gm per day is recommended along with a healthy well balance diet to support healthy skin. Mostly all night creams or skin serums contains some amount of Vitamin C in it to prevent skin damage or repair.
- Anti Cancer – Vitamin C has been used as Anti cancer agent in various studies when used at higher doses in IV form. I does so by increasing the hydrogen peroxide levels. The normal cells have the ability to deal with high concentration of hydrogen peroxide in blood while cancer cells don’t have, so it leads to Apoptosis (death of cell). It is also used as an adjuvant to cancer therapy to kill tumour cells.
- Eye Health – Adequate amount of Vitamin C intake reduces the risk of Cataract by 20%, prevents age related macular degeneration and Retinal damage due to oxidative stress. Even the Dryness of eyes are related to Vitamin C deficiency.
Best Food sources of Vitamin C
- Fruits – Kiwi, lemon, lime, oranges, strawberry, grapefruit, cantaloupe
- Vegetables – Broccoli, tomato, cauliflower, peppers, kale
- Supplements – Be aware that most of Vitamin C supplement are made from GMO corn. Very few brands claim to be GMO free. Liposomal form of Vitamin C is better absorbed than the generic ascorbic form.
Cooking for longer time or storing the food for lon duration deplete the Vitamin C content in foods. Try to consume as fresh as possible and if cooking then light cooking or steaming for no more than 5 mins is preferable. Cooking broccoli for 15 mins deplete vitamin C content by 75%. Broccoli kept at room temperature for 6 days loose 80% of vitamin content. Freezing the vegetables is less detrimental than room temperature such as freezing kale for 1 year lost its vitamin C content by 50%.