The power of vitamin C
When it comes to staying healthy, your best defense is boosting your body’s natural defenses. Luckily, staying well can be as easy as ABC…vitamin C, that is! A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C benefits your body inside and out, protecting you in a variety of ways to help you stay healthy and strong. Once you discover the long list of vitamin C facts and benefits, you’ll be well on your way to staying well. Here are five of its most important benefits:
1. It supports your immune system
While one of the most well-known vitamin C effects is helping to fight off a cold, did you ever wonder how it earned this healthy reputation? Vitamin C naturally strengthens your immune system to help protect you from illness, such as colds and the flu. It supports a healthy immune response by encouraging your body to produce white blood cells, which offer protection from illness and infection. While it may not be the cure for the common cold, studies have shown that it may decrease the length and shorten the severity of cold symptoms to help you recover faster.
2. It’s a helping hand in healing
Vitamin C benefits your skin, joints, muscles, and tissues by producing a protein known as collagen. The beauty of collagen is the way it increases the youthfulness and suppleness of your skin, yet the benefits are also felt in how in assists in the healing of wounds. Without enough vitamin C in your diet, wounds will heal much slower and wrinkles show much faster! While your body naturally produces plenty of collagen when you’re young, this rapidly decreases as you age. This makes it vital to get enough vitamin C to keep your body repairing, renewing, and restoring itself naturally.
3. It shows your heart some love
At the heart of vitamin C health benefits is the way it helps supports cardiovascular health. Vitamin C helps keep your heart healthy in a number of ways, from widening blood vessels to helping prevent heart disease, to reducing high blood pressure and lowering (bad) LDL cholesterol levels. All of these factors contribute to a higher risk of heart problems. Yet vitamin C helps counteract them to keep your heart healthy and strong. In fact, when you don’t get enough vitamin C, effects include a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease.
4. It’s a smart choice for a healthy brain
As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C health benefits go beyond your body to your brain. It helps to protect your mind and memory by promoting the development of neurotransmitters in the brain, which are essential for concentration, memory, learning, and movement. In addition, vitamin C can help with detoxifying the brain by reducing and removing heavy metals. Over time and as you age, these toxic metals can accumulate in your brain and lead to cognitive disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, research revealed that adults already diagnosed with these cognitive conditions were deficient in vitamin C. But by getting enough of this brain-boosting vitamin, you can reduce your risk and help to keep your brain at its best.
5. It pumps up your iron consumption
As much as you need vitamin C, iron is also essential for the way it supports healthy growth, produces certain hormones, and delivers oxygen throughout the body. Iron is typically found in meats, seafood, and eggs, but also exists in fruits, veggies, and beans. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, vitamin C is a mealtime-must because it improves your body’s absorption of iron from plant-based foods. So start pairing sources of iron with vitamin C-rich foods to get the benefits of both.
How to get more vitamin C into your diet
Since your body doesn’t naturally produce or store vitamin C, you need to get it from your daily diet. Fortunately, you can find it in a rainbow of fruits and veggies, with the highest amount found in oranges, lemons, strawberries, kiwi, papaya, cantaloupe, grapefruit, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, and potatoes. In case you aren’t able to get enough from the food in your diet, vitamin C is also available as a nutritional supplement. Just be sure to speak to your SignatureMD-affiliated doctor if you’re considering taking a vitamin C supplement to determine if this decision and the dosage are right for you.
As you can see from all of these vitamin C facts, this vitamin is well known to help you stay well.
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