Have you ever wondered what vitamin C really does? Or do you just consume it because some fancy magazine told you to? Well, fret no more as we delve deeper into the world of vitamin C and figure out what all this hoopla is about.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is an essential dietary nutrient that has been on everyone’s lips for ages (no pun intended). It’s a water-soluble micronutrient (meaning once ingested it dissolves in water) required by mammals for growth and repair. It was first discovered by a sailor named James Lind who noticed that lime juice prevented scurvy; a disease caused due to lack of vitamin C consumption at sea. But what else does this magical nutrient do? Let’s find out!
So, What Does Vitamin-C Actually Do?
The short and sweet answer: A lot! Vitamin-C serves various crucial functions in our bodies such as:
- Producing collagen
- Helping with wound healing
- Utilizing iron from plant-based foods
- Acts like antioxidant
These are just the tip of iceberg when It comes to vitamin-C benefits but don’t worry we’ve got your back so read-on!
Collagen Production – The Builders Of Our Bodies
Collagen, derived from Greek word “kolla” meaning glue – provides structure to our skin (and ageing shows us its importance regularly) , ligaments , cartilage etc. Now imagine building something without glue… not very sturdy right ? That’s where our buddy Vitamin-C comes handy. Ascorbic acid plays an important role in producing collagen which essentially makes sure our body parts stay well connected.
Fun Fact : Dr Linus Pauling suggested taking large doses of Vitamin-c could cure colds (can confirm its ineffective after trying multiple times)
Wound Healing – The Cover Up Artist
Have you ever got a cut or scratched yourself? Well, you have your trusty Vitamin-C to thank for the healing process. When we hurt ourselves – our body sends out specialized cells called neutrophils which are essentially first responders of immune system (Gotta love these heroes). Vitamin C helps with the synthesis of collagen which in turn helps replace damaged tissue and speeds up the recovery rate.
Utilizes Iron – We Need All The Help We Can Get
Iron is commonly found in animal-based products but what about vegetarians or vegans? Fear not as your dear friend vitamin C will aid you on this one too! Non-heme iron is predominantly present in plant-based diets, however it is not easily absorbed by human bodies. Enter Vitamin-C, it can form a bond with non-existent iron (anyone else sense an X-Men reference?) to make sure we get all that goodness comprising glucose metabolism and oxygen transportation.
Acts Like Antioxidant – Fighting The Bad Boys
The primary function of antioxidants is to neutralize free radicals floating around (not villains from Batman) causing undesirable oxidation reactions leading to cell damage i.e cancer; slow aging rates etc . Vitamin-C acts here like superhero by eliminating them so no harm done!
How Much Of It Do You Actually Need?
Now that we know what wonders vitamin-c does ,you’re probably thinking “How much should I consume ?”. For starters, let’s look at Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin-c :
|>7 months – <1 year||50 mg|
|>1 year adolescence & adulthood||90mg(Male),75mg(Female)|
It’s always important to keep check on how much supplements/vitamins/micronutrients (can we agree that this word is a tongue twister) one consumes. So make sure to not only rely on supplements and have balanced diet as well which adds up in the vitamin-c buckets.
Should You Be Consuming More Than RDA?
In some cases, yes! Sometimes stress or injury can lead to situation called “oxidative stress”. This increased production of free radicals calls for more antioxidants (See! Superheroes are always called when needed). Vitamin-C has shown great impact reducing oxidative stress in smokers , athletes and people exposed to pollution.
Which Foods Have Highest Quantity Of Vitamin C?
Now here’s where things get interesting, you don’t need Hella amount of pineapple juice if you’re already consuming food high in Vitamin-c . Below higher sources include both plant-based foods/supplements (these captions will get longer sorry had!):
|Bell peppers(red or green)||1 medium pepper||152 mg|
|Kiwifruit||1 large fruit||117mg|
|Oranges||1 medium orange||70mg|
|Kale or Spinach||/2cup||_50mg___|
In case above options aren’t exciting there are numerous other rich sources like strawberries, lemon,juice,sweet potatoes etc.
Excess of anything could come with harmful side effects similarly, overconsumption of vitamin-C also leads to adverse reactions such as:
It’s been observed that taking excess vitamin-c frequently causes stones/kidney damage which isn’t too charming at all so it’s vital to consume Vitamin-C within limits.
To sum it all up – vitamin-c is essential for the proper functioning and well-being of our bodies. However, like everything else excess consumption comes with side effects leading to problems such as stones and kidney damage. So always make sure to balance your diet, eat food high in vitamin C and rely on supplements only when required (Superheroes do need a break now-and-then). Hopefully this brief article gave you an insight into the brighter side of vitamin-C!
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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