Vitamin C Foods, Signs of Deficiency, & Health Benefits
What are Vitamin C Foods Good For?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in maintaining the health of the body’s connective tissue as well as acting as an antioxidant. Your body needs to ingest vitamin C, vitamin C foods, on a daily basis in order to maintain necessary supplies.
Your body does not make vitamin C on its own, and it does not store it either, so it is important that you include plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C in your daily diet. The benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
Because vitamin C is not a vitamin that your body produces, it is very common to have a vitamin C deficiency.
Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms
A deficiency in vitamin C shows itself in several common ways in the body. While the signs and symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are not too bothersome, the results of long-term low levels of vitamin C are very detrimental and worth making a priority.
The less noticeable signs of Vitamin C are still very serious such as:
- Easy bruising
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Slow wound healing
- Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
- Dry and splitting hair
- Dry red spots on the skin
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Weakened immune system
- Digestive disorders like leaky gut and autoimmune disease
- Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism
- Swollen and painful joints
Long Term Problems from Low Levels of Vitamin C include:
- Certain cancers
- High blood pressure
- Gallbladder disease
Top Food Sources of Vitamin C:
Try to consume 2-3 of these vitamin C foods sources daily; This will help you maintain optimal levels of vitamin C. Many of these foods are included in my recommended healing diet due to their high antioxidant content and numerous health benefits.
1) Black Currant
4) Red pepper
8) Green peppers
15) Brussels sprouts
Food in its natural state will provide your body with the most abundant source of nutrition, so even though many people choose to turn to supplements when looking to get more vitamins into their bodies, I want to emphasize that the best source of any vitamin, mineral , or nutrient is fresh, raw food sources.
9 Health Benefits of Vitamin C
1. Fights Off Colds and Flu
It has long been understood that vitamin C benefits your immune system and plays a large role in your body’s ability to fight off colds and viruses. You can take 1000 mg of vitamin C to fight off an oncoming cold and 4000 mg per day to get rid of a cold that is already in your system.
2. Helps Cancer Treatment
A high dose of vitamin C can enhance the cancer-fighting effect of drugs used in chemotherapy. Vitamin C has also been found to target only the cells that are in need of these nutriments, unlike other drugs that can harm normal cells as well. Researchers believe that vitamin C can be a safe and cost-effective cancer remedy and treatment for ovarian and lung cancer as well human heart.
3. Lowers Risk of Stroke
One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood had a 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations. Because people who eat fruits and vegetables have higher blood levels of vitamin C, strive to increase the amount of fruits and veggies that you consume in one day.
4. Improves Immune System
A recent analysis showed that vitamin C is beneficial to individuals whose immune system has been weakened due to stress. Considering that stress has become a common condition in our society, a sufficient intake of vitamin C can serve as an ideal tool for one’s overall health.
5. Fights Free Radical Damage
Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that can protect against damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, as well as toxic chemicals and pollutants like cigarette smoke.
Free radicals can build up in the body and contribute to the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis. Free radicals are made when your body breaks down food or when you are exposed to smoke, tobacco, or radiation.
6. Improves Physical Performance
Eating more vitamin C as part of your diet might improve your physical performance and muscle strength; This is especially true in older people. Taking vitamin C supplements can improve your oxygen intake during exercises and some studies have shown that it can reduce your blood pressure.
Using vitamin C before heavy physical exercise, such as a marathon, might prevent upper respiratory infections that sometimes follow exercise of this kind. Vitamin C can also improve the function of your lungs and airways.
7. Lowers Risk of Gout
Vitamin C is associated with lowering the risk of gout, which is Gout is a painful, arthritis type condition afflicting mainly the big toe. The big toe becomes stiff, inflamed and painful as a result of excess uric acid leading to crystals formed and joints.
In a long-term study of males over the age of 40, who took between 1,000 and 1,499 mg of vitamin C per day, their risk of gout was reduced by 31%. Participants who took over 1,500 mg of vitamin C per day have almost half the risk of getting gout. This is compared to those who did not take supplements.
8. Improves Mineral Absorption
For your body to receive the nutrients it needs to function properly, your digestive system must first take these nutrients from the food that you eat, or the supplements that you take, and then absorb them into your bloodstream. Then your cells absorb these vitamins and nutrients and they help your body to reduce inflammation and turn and the development of disease. Taking vitamin C along with iron can increase how much iron the body absorbs and adults and children.
9. Promotes Healthy Skin and Collagen Formation
A major study that involved over 4,000 women aged 40 to 74 found that higher intakes of vitamin C can lower the likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and can help to naturally slow aging. (1) Vitamin C is used to form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. It helps to heal your wound and it forms scar tissue.
Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin C
Make sure you check the product labels to see just how much vitamin C is in the product. Cooking vitamin C foods, like broccoli or peppers, can reduce the vitamin C content; storing these foods, microwaving and steaming them may also cause a reduction of the vitamin C levels.
The best sources of vitamin C are uncooked or raw fruits and vegetables.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA or) for vitamins reflects how much of each vitamin most people should get each day. The RDA for vitamin C (measured in milligrams per day) is as follows:
0-6 months: 40 mg / day
7-12 months: 50 mg / day
1-3 years: 15 mg / day
4-8 years: 25 mg / day
9-13 years: 45 mg / day
Girls 14 to 18 years: 65 mg / day
Pregnant teens: 80 mg / day
Breastfeeding teens: 115 mg / day
Boys 14 to 18 years: 75 mg / day
Men age 19 and older: 90 mg / day
Women age 19 years and older: 75 mg / day
Pregnant women: 85 mg / day
Breastfeeding women: 120 mg / day
Smokers, or those who are exposed to secondhand smoke, should increase their daily amount of vitamin C by 35 mg / day
Vitamin C Side Effects.