Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid, is a very important nutrient that helps the body to perform many vital functions. Historically, Vitamin C was simply known as the component in preventing scurvy. This was most common for sailors out to sea, as the storage of fresh fruits and vegetables, where the majority of the diet’s Vitamin C typically comes from, was rather difficult. Nowadays, Vitamin C deficiency is less common but still happens. Adequate Vitamin C consumption is crucial in order for the body to perform at optimum capacity.
The body cannot synthesize Vitamin C on its own, which is why the nutrient is so important. In fact, this water soluble vitamin has numerous health benefits including the treatment of various ailments and diseases. One of the main conditions that Vitamin C can help to treat and prevent is cancer. Studies have shown that diets higher in Vitamin C are less at risk for various types of cancer including cancer of the mouth, vocal chords, throat, esophagus, lungs, stomach, colon and rectum. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C also help it to neutralize free radicals in the body which are one the of the leading causes of cancer.
Vitamin C is also an important part of maintaining proper blood pressure levels. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, has been known to respond positively to treatment with Vitamin C. In addition, hypertension is linked to higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke which means that Vitamin C is an important component in protecting heart health and longevity.
Adequate intake of Vitamin C will also help to boost the body’s immune system which can protect you against viruses like the common cold and the flu. Vitamin C facilities the absorption of iron which is what increases the body’s ability to fight off colds and coughs. Vitamin C also stimulates white blood cells, which are the cells of the immune system that strengthen the body against these foreign invaders.
Vitamin C is also great of skin health. It fights aging and prevents wrinkles as well as maintains overall elasticity. Vitamin C is also responsible for the body’s ability to synthesize collagen, which is an important aspect of healthy skin. In addition, Vitamin C has been shown to speed up the healing of wounds due to the increase of collagen production that it stimulates.
The most popular sources of Vitamin C are fresh fruits and vegetables. Citrous fruits like grapefruit and oranges are particularly good sources of this vitamin. Other plentiful sources are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and vegetables like leafy greens, peppers, potatoes and broccoli. If fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t readily available to you, then consider adding a daily supplement.