Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is vital for several functions of our body. It is responsible for growth and maintenance of tissues in our body.
Maintenance of Our Body
Vitamin C is used in our body to make skin, blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and collagen. It is also needed by our body to heal wounds and to maintain teeth, bones and cartilage. According to a study if we take 500mg of vitamin C every day it can slow down our muscle degeneration due to old age by 25%. Smoking tobacco can decrease the vitamin-C level in our body making smokers more viable to having a deficiency of vitamin C. It is suggested to smokers to take supplements of vitamin C in order to fulfil their body’s requirement. It also helps to absorb the iron in our body.
Protection & Prevention
Ascorbic acid also blocks the damage caused by free radicals, which is a cause of cancer. According to Dr. Sherry Ross, who is a women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s health center in Santa Monica, California “Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals that we are exposed to in the environment such as air pollution, cigarette smoke and ultraviolet light from the sun,”. According to some studies, it lowers the amount of overall and LDL, also known as “bad”, cholesterol and thus protects us from several heart diseases.
Signs of Deficiency
If you feel that, your muscles, muscle aches and joints are getting weak or your gums bleed a lot then you probably have deficiency of vitamin C. Rashes in legs and fatigue are also signs of its deficiency. If it is not taken care of on time then it can also cause scurvy, which is a very rare but dangerous illness.
Risks of Overdose
A healthy body can use and store only about 250mg of vitamin C in one day and the excess is excreted through urine. If taken in recommended amount, whether from fruits or supplements, it is not harmful but taking very high amount such as 2000mg in one day is extremely dangerous. It can be a cause of kidney stone, diarrhea, gastritis and nausea
Other than supplements, it can be abundantly found in fruits and vegetables. Eating the following fruits and vegetables in your daily routine can easily fulfil the vitamin C requirement of your body. The amount of Vitamin C in a kiwi of about 1-2 inches has almost 63mg of vitamin-C, a medium sized orange has about 69mg, a cup of bell peppers has about 117mg, a cup of strawberry juice has 84mg, 1 cup of broccoli has 101mg and 1 cup of pineapple has 78mg.
Green leafy vegetables are also very rich in vitamin C. Try to make a habit of eating salad. It may feel like animal food to some of you but trust me it has many nutrients in it including vitamin-C. Apples, cabbage, melon, fortified products like grains, breads and cereals, spinach, tomatoes and potatoes also contain vitamin C.