Growing up back then in my father’s farmhouse, we were blessed with an array of assorted fruits like Guava, papaya, mangoes, Pineapples, etc.
It was uncommon to go a day without sucking the life out of some oranges. It was more like a habit than for a particular health benefit. Life truly was priceless with mother nature smiling every morning with a bright sunlight, a perfect source of vitamin D which I came to know later on.
I would, later on, know that, what I was taking then(and most times wasting) was a good source of vitamin C and that my body needs it daily to function optimally.
Back then it was rare to be deficient of vitamin C because of how readily fruits and other sources of Vitamin C were available.
Today, many young people don’t have the opportunity of having fruits straight from the farm as we had back then and may have to make do with preserved ones from the farmers market in order to have all the health benefits Vitamin C has.
Going forward, let see what Vitamin C is and how it Benefits the human body.
Vitamin C, What It Is.
Ascorbic acid as vitamin C is also called is an essential vitamin required for the human body to carry out bodily functions effectively.
Vitamin C is water soluble and that means it can be dissolved in water and is carried through the body but not stored, unlike fat soluble vitamins.
The human body can not synthesize Vitamin C and indeed all water soluble vitamins, and must be taken in as part of a regular diet every day.
Vitamin C is readily available from different food sources including Citrus, Oranges, Guava, Pineapple, Strawberries, Broccoli, etc.
Vitamin C Food Source And Drink.
Like I did mention earlier in this article, the human body can not make vitamin C on its own, it also does not store Vitamin C for future use like Fat-Soluble Vitamins. What that means is; it must be supplied from diet daily in order to keep to the body’s requirement.
Once Vitamin C is not supplied from diet daily, the body will run short of it and health crises like scurvy would appear.
The good news here is that Vitamin C can be gotten from most food sources with our environment. Some of the most prominent sources of dietary Vitamin C are listed below.
- Green pepper.
- Red Pepper.
- Vegetable Juice.
- Orange juice.
- Kiwi drink.
- Grapefruit juice.
There are some other fruits that give abundantly of vitamin C not listed here.
A daily intake of any of these foods should supply you with abundant of vitamin C.
Vitamin C Health Benefits.
So, what is the health benefits of Vitamin C to the human body and why should you add Vitamin C to your daily diet?
Vitamin c is essential and is required by the human body because of its many health benefits. An intake of 400mg-1000mg a day of vitamin C will help the body wade off different microbial and other attacks from different pathogens, boost the immune system, fight cold, carry out its duty of aiding the absorption of Iron, etc.
Here are some of the clinically proven health benefits of Vitamin C in the human body.
1.Serves As An Antioxidant.
Perhaps this is the most widely publicised function of vitamin C everyone knows. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C protects the body from attack by free that cause oxidative stress.
Hosts of severe medical conditions have been linked to excessive oxidative stress like atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can lead to a more severe health challenge like heart disease, stroke and has also been linked with different types of cancer such as Lung Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Lung Cancer, Mouth Cancer, and Cancer of the esophagus.
2.Treat and Prevents The Effects Of Common Cold.
Apart from fighting disease through boosting the body’s defense system, Vitamin C serves as a powerful and an effective antihistamine that will help lessen the bad effects of the common cold with its symptoms like stuffy nose, aches, inflammations, etc.
Many scientific studies had been carried out in the past to determine the claims by some people that large dose of Vitamin C can treat the common cold, however, there is little or no substantive evidence to that effect.
However, the bad effects of the common cold can be lessened including the severity and duration of the cold with a large dose of Vitamin C.
3.Vitamin C Can Help Lower Blood Pressure.
Scientist from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported that, taking high dose of vitamin C can help fight or prevent high Blood Pressure.
You all are aware that High blood pressure is dangerous and in recent years has assumed a frightening cult status among killer diseases, taking high dose of Vitamin C will prevent this killer disease from manifesting in you.
A daily intake of 500mg of supplemental vitamin C can significantly reduce the risk of High Blood Pressure especially among hypertensive patients, one close- monitored study conducted by scientists at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health reviewed.
4. Promote Cardiovascular Health.
Along with Lowering Blood Pressure, Vitamin C helps prevent the formation of cholesterol plaque within the blood vessel walls by properly dilating the blood vessels. This will in turn help in preventing diseases of the cardiovascular system such as High Cholesterol, atherosclerosis, angina pectoris, and of course, Congestive Heart Failure or heart attack as some people call it.
5. Boost Immunity.
The effect of Vitamin C on the immune system is so much such that a deficiency of it will leave the body’s defense system ineffective against attack by the diseases causing pathogens.
Studies show that taking a large dose of Vitamin C will enhance the vital leukocyte thereby improving the body’s natural defense system against pathogens.
6. Good For A Healthy Skin.
Although the study about Vitamin Cs influence on the skin is scanty and not yet clinically proven and accepted by many scientific bodies because of limited information, however, many studies reviewed that a good dose of supplemental Vitamin C would improve the overall health of the skin
The antioxidant component of vitamin C plays a very important role in collagen synthesis and that in itself makes vitamin C vital molecule in the health of the skin.
Further studies have shown that taking a large dose of Supplemental vitamin C may help prevent as well as treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage.
Many dermatologists recommend taking adequate Vital C to help fight skin irritations.
7.Vital For Healing Wound.
Vitamin C is vital in the formation of Collagen, and collagen is the main structural protein that is found in connective tissues of the body( that includes tendons, ligaments, skin, and Muscles).
Vitamin C will help speed up the process of healing and repair of wounds.
8. Help Treat Infections(Viral and Bacteria).
Studies reviewed that, a healthy dose of Vitamin C will boost the body’s defense mechanisms and protect the body against infections.
Vitamin C, when taken consistently will serve as antibiotics. And in the past had been use to tackle infections like measles, herpes, mumps, etc. It is also effective when dealing with pneumonia.
Lack of vitamin C is reported to be the major cause of scurvy in human. According to scientist, the symptoms of scurvy will appear 3 months once ones body began to lack sufficient ascorbic acid.
Low Vitamin C means the body wont be able to produce enough collage and once the body lacks collagen, the connective tissues and the entire body will begin to break down and fall apart.
To correct this health abnormality, patients should increase their intake of Vitamin C and that would help the body produce more collagen.
10.Treat And Prevents Eye Disorders.
Vitamin C is good for your eye as the lens of the human eyes require vitamin C to perfume its functions optimally.
A Deficiency of Vitamin C can lead to cataracts. A higher intake of Supplemental Vitamin C has been shown to help increase the blood flow to the eye lens.
Preliminary result from recent close-monitored studies suggests that, Vitamin C when combine with other nutrients such as Vitamin A can help keep early Age-related Macular Degeneration(AMG) from worsening to Advanced Macular Degeneration(AMD).
11. Aids The Body To Absorb Iron And Maintain Healthy Tissues.
One of the most important Function of Vitamin C is , it helps the body to absorb iron. It is important for Iron to be properly absorbed into the body system as lack of iron means the body may not have sufficient healthy oxygen carrying hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a component of the red blood cells responsible for transporting healthy Oxygen from the lungs round other part of the body.
12. Maintains Healthy Gums And Teeth.
Vitamin C is important in collagen synthesis which also aids in formation and maintenance of healthy gum.
Vitamin C is important in developing and maintaining a healthy Gum so much that a deficiency of it will result into bleeding gum.
Vitamin C is plays an important role in maintaining the health of the teeth and Gum and a deficiency of it can cause a gum disease called periodontal disease(this is a severe form of gingivitis).
Vitamin C helps in improving the defense mechanism and in preserving periodontal health.
There are probaly so many other health benefits derived from having sufficient vitamin C. Research into some other claims made by other bodies is still been studies.
Whatever it is, having a regular diet rich in vitamin C will sure affect your health in a more positive way than not having enogh Vitamin C.
What Happens When You Don’t Have Enough Vitamin C ?
It is rare in some regions and countries to experience Vitamin C deficiency as the natural sources of Vitamin C are readily available, and where it is not found, there are good supplements that can replace natural sources.
However, a lack of Vitamin C can cause scurvy, According to scientist at University of MaryLand Medical Center.
Scurvy is a health condition that is characterized with general body weakness, gum disease, skin disease etc. A prolonged deficiency of Vitamin C can cause Scurvy.