The Health Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and an essential nutrient that your body needs to form muscle, collagen, cartilage, and blood vessels. It also plays a vital role in your body’s healing process. If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin C, your body may have trouble healing and you may experience joint pain, fatigue, and inflammation. While deficiency is rare, there is some evidence that boosting your vitamin C levels can improve your health. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of vitamin C and how to use it.
Ways to Use Vitamin C
There are many ways to incorporate vitamin C into your personal care routine.
Consume Foods with Vitamin C
The simplest way to get more vitamin C is to eat foods that are rich in this essential nutrient. Good sources of vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits, like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit
- Brussels sprouts
- Snow peas
Try incorporating a variety of these foods into your diet to boost your vitamin C intake.
Take Vitamin C Supplements
Another simple way to get more vitamin C is through supplements. There are powders, capsules, liquids, gummies, sprays, and tablets that you can take to increase your vitamin C levels.
If you have trouble taking pills, then powders, gummies, and liquids may make it easier to increase your vitamin C intake.
Vitamin C can also come in many forms, but ascorbic acid is the most common form. Other forms can include:
- Calcium ascorbate
- Sodium ascorbate
You can also find ascorbic acid supplements that also contain bioflavonoids.
Apply Vitamin C Topically
Vitamin C is great for your skin, and it can be applied topically. In topical form, you’ll find:
- Vitamin C oil
- Creams that contain vitamin C
Vitamin C oil is a good option for your skin, but it’s essential to use it sparingly or mix it with your favorite moisturizer. Some people find that their skin breaks out when they apply vitamin C oil directly onto their skin.
Vitamin C Health Benefits
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and plays an important role in your overall health and well-being. Some of the many health benefits of vitamin C include:
May Boost Your Immune System
When most people think of vitamin C, they think of their immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help strengthen your body’s immune function.
Antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals that can damage your cells. Free radicals are a natural byproduct of the metabolic process, but when they build up to dangerous levels, they can cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been associated with several chronic diseases.
Consuming more vitamin C can help increase your blood antioxidant levels, which can keep inflammation at bay.
Vitamin C also helps increase the production of white blood cells that protect against infection. Along with increasing white blood cell production, this essential vitamin can also strengthen your skin’s barrier to speed up wound healing.
May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
More than 17 million people worldwide die each year because of cardiovascular disease. There are many factors that can lead to the development of heart disease, but vitamin C may help reduce these risk factors.
One analysis looked at 9 studies with more than 290,000 participants. After a decade, those who took at least 700 mg of vitamin C each day had a 25% lower risk of developing heart disease than those who did not take vitamin C.
Another analysis found that vitamin C supplements reduced LDL cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides.
Supplementing vitamin C may help reduce the risk of heart disease, but if you already get enough of this vitamin from your diet, then supplements may not provide any additional benefits.
May Promote Healthy Blood Pressure
Millions of Americans suffer from high blood pressure, which is another risk factor for heart disease. Vitamin C may help promote healthy blood pressure levels, whether you have high or low blood pressure.
One animal study found that vitamin C supplements helped relax blood vessels, which lowered blood pressure levels.
Other research has found that vitamin C supplements help reduce blood pressure in adults.
May Help Prevent Iron Deficiency
Iron is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in many functions, including the production of red blood cells. Some people have difficulty absorbing iron or don’t get enough of it from their diets.
Vitamin C may help boost iron absorption. Vegetarians will be happy to hear that vitamin C can also help convert plant-based iron into a form that’s easier for your body to absorb.
Research shows that consuming just 100 mg of vitamin C per day can help boost iron absorption by 67%.
One study found that vitamin C supplements alone helped control anemia (iron deficiency) in children.
May Boost Collagen Production
Vitamin C is needed for several bodily functions, including collagen production. Collagen is a protein, and it’s the most abundant one in your body. It’s found in your connective tissues as well as your skin, hair, and nails.
Collagen has become an important ingredient in anti-aging products. Unfortunately, the body produces less collagen as you age, but vitamin C may help slow this process.
One study found that topical vitamin C helped boost collagen production in participants.
May Enhance Brain Function
Vitamin C is also important for neurotransmitter synthesis and cognitive function. Neurotransmitters send messages from your brain to other parts of your body.
When it comes to brain function, a review from 2017 found that people with healthy cognitive function had higher vitamin C levels than those who were cognitively impaired.
While more research is needed, boosting your vitamin C intake may help preserve your cognitive function.
Vitamin C is essential to your health. Even though deficiency is rare in most parts of the world, there are many benefits to increasing your vitamin C intake. Whether you want to boost your immune system, restore your youthful glow or stave off chronic disease, there are many reasons to add vitamin C to your health and wellness routine.