Ascorbic acid, commonly known as Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, being made internally by the majority of organisms. Human beings are among the minority of species that cannot produce Vitamin C in their bodies. Fortunately, there are plenty of foods that are high in Vitamin C. First, let’s take a look at the reasons why Vitamin C is so vital for the human body.
Vitamin C Functions
Vitamin C is essential for immune system function. It increases the production of antibodies, the body’s natural defenses. It also improves the ability of immune cells to kill bacteria.
Vitamin C is known as the protective vitamin. It is essential for many metabolic reactions in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant, meaning that it helps to protect the cells from oxidative stress and damage from free radicals.
Each vitamin has a co-factor mineral, and the two nutrients work in synergy with each other. Vitamin C has the co-factor iron, and so is crucial for iron absorption. It is also necessary for the growth and repair of various tissues in the body, aiding in the healing of wounds. Vitamin C assists the proper functioning of the adrenal glands and the depositing of calcium in the bones.
Ascorbic Acid Deficiency
Deficiency in Vitamin C has an extensive degenerative effect on the body’s immune system. It can cause the slow clotting of blood and sometimes anemia, due to the decrease in red blood cells. Deficiency can also lead to brittle bones, impaired healing of wounds, and greater susceptibility to infections, colds, and flu viruses.
As the capillaries are rendered more fragile through lack of Vitamin C, gums are more prone to bleeding and erosion, which sometimes leads to infection. Vitamin C deficiency can also cause fatigue and depression.
Foods That Are High in Vitamin C
As Vitamin C is water-soluble, a daily intake is necessary from food or vitamin supplements. The World Health Organisation states that the recommended daily allowance for adults is 45 milligrams per day.
Here are our top 10 foods that are high in Vitamin C:
- Kiwi fruit
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Benefits of Getting Enough Vitamin C
There are so many benefits of consuming foods that are high in Vitamin C. Optimum Vitamin C levels have been shown to help hypertension by lowering blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C can help lower the risk of cancer.
Another benefit of Vitamin C is that it reduces histamine levels in the body, which helps asthma and allergy sufferers. Consuming the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C will also help protect against viruses and illnesses, so ensure you eat a wide variety of these Vitamin C rich foods every day.