Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for humans. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development. Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all our body parts it also helps the body make collagen which is an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. Vitamin C also helps our body to absorb iron.
Vitamin C is mostly used to prevent and treat common colds , bronchitis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, stomach ulcers caused by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, tuberculosis, dysentery (an infection of the lower intestine), and skin infections that produce boils (furunculosis). It is also used for infections of the bladder and prostate. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps lessen oxidative stress to the body and is thought to lower cancer risk. Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in immune cells and is consumed quickly during infections.
Without Vitamin C we may have a weak body because it is needed for creating ATP which is the molecule that fuels life.
Most foods that contains high vitamin C foods are from fruits and vegetables.
- Some main fruits that contain vitamin C : Cantaloupe, guavas, kiwis, berries, citrus fruits and juices such as orange and grapefruit, Mango, Papaya, Pineapple, Watermelon, plum, avocado, bananas and apples
- Some main vegetables that contain Vitamin C : bell peppers, , dark leafy greens such as spinach and cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, tomatoes, peas,. sweet and white potatoes, winter squash, garlic and radish
Vitamin C is also present in meat especially liver, lamb brain, lamb heart and lamb tongue. Some cereals and other foods and beverages are fortified with vitamin C
Most experts prefer taking vitamin C from fresh fruits and vegetables rather than supplement.
The body is not able to make vitamin C on its own and it does not store vitamin C, therefore it is important to include plenty of foods that contains vitamin C. Cooking food rich of vitamin C or storing them for a long period of time can reduce vitamin C and the less healthy it will become
For ways to keep skin youthful, vitamin C provide one of the most important factors for a healthy skin because of its antioxidant properties. As Maeve Cosgrove, Ph.D. says “Our findings suggest that a higher intake of vitamin C from foods is associated with a lower risk of having wrinkled skin and age-related skin dryness in [middle-aged] women” vitamin C may smoother the skin too. Sometimes, people apply vitamin C on their skin to protect it against the sun, pollutants and other environmental hazards and it is also applied to the skin to help with damage from radiation therapy. Applying Vitamin C to the skin is 20 times effective that taking it orally.
Too little vitamin C can lead to signs and symptoms of deficiency such as anemia, bleeding and inflammation of the gums, weakened tooth enamel, decrease ability to fight infection, decrease wound healing rate, dry and splitting hair, easy bruising, nosebleeds, possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism, rough and dry skin, swollen and painful joints, dry mouth and dry eyes may occur. In the later stages, jaundice, generalised oedema and heart failure, haemopericardium, neuropathy, convulsions and sudden death may occur. Vitamin C deficiency can be treated with supplements of vitamin C and a diet rich in vitamin C.
Smoking can affect the absorption of vitamin C and it is also used up more quickly in those who smoke.
High intake of vitamin C
High intake of vitamin C is not healthy and may lead to serious health sickness , it may cause indigestion especially when taken on empty stomach and might cause diarrhea and symptoms of nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal bloating and cramps, kidney stones, flushing of the face, headache, fatigue and disturbed sleep and the main reaction in the infants was skin rashes.
Take care of your skin and body starting today and drink fresh raw fruits and salad everyday to stay healthy and help you cope with the summer heat. The right nutrition help us protect our body from skin-damaging effects of the sun and as vitamin C is an antioxidants it helps the body to prevent and fix damaged cells. Vitamin C is the key to maintain healthy, young and youthful skin.
When outdoor seek shade always, alternatively wearing sun protective clothing, sun hats and sunglasses will protect your skin and eyes from the effect of the sun uv radiation. When on the beach or swimming pools, wearing UV protection swimsuit will help protect your skin around the clock without the need to keep re-applying sunscreen except on exposed skin where necessary. Keep healthy and enjoy life when possible, specially during summer and holiday times.