fruits: powerhouse for vitamin c.
Vitamin C is an essential, water-soluble vitamin. Our body cannot produce vitamin C, yet we cannot live without it! We will have to continuously get our supply from our diet, especially from fruits and vegetables.
With scientists and researchers singing the praises of vitamin C, there is one catch: the nutrient is water-soluble, which means the nutrient is easily lost during home preparation processes such as washing or cooking. You may think you are eating sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables every day, yet you are still at risk of falling prey to vitamin C deficiency problems.
But really, why do we need vitamin C in our diet?
You need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It helps the body make collagen – an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds, as well as for the repairing and maintenance of bones and teeth. It also helps the body absorb iron from plant sources.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, along with beta-carotene, and many other plant-based nutrients. Antioxidants block some of the damages caused by free radicals, substances that damage DNA. The build-up of free radicals over time may contribute to the aging process and the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.
According to the USDA, men should consume a minimum of 90 mg per day of vitamin C while women need 75 mg per day for avitaminosis prevention.
In the wild, the simians – the higher primates which share the same classification as humans, usually consume 10 to 20 times of these amounts.
As vitamin C reduces oxidative stress in the body, smokers and people subject to stressful environments are recommended to have increased intakes of vitamin C.
Although it is quite rare to be seriously deficient in vitamin C, evidence suggests that many people suffer health consequences due to low levels of vitamin C intake. By having a sufficient amount of vitamin C in our diet, we can enjoy a lot of what vitamin C has to offer!
Vitamin C is a scavenger for free radicals. Free radicals are created by sunlight, pesticides, smoking, heat, pollution, and the cold – it is basically created in every modern-day life. Your body uses vitamin C to shield you from free radical damage, giving your skin a healthy radiant glow.
Vitamin C is a vital ingredient for the production of collagen in the body. Collagen is essential for building strong connective tissues in the body, maintenance of wrinkle free skin and the building of healthy blood vessels. Vitamin C also promotes the production of elastin and hyaluronic acid, which leads to better skin moisture retention and better skin texture.
Professionals recommend a vitamin C-rich diet for people who have hair loss problems as vitamin C combats bacteria on hair scalp, repairs capillaries and promotes hair growth.