Vitamin C: What & Why

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While we hear about the benefits of Vitamin C on a nearly daily basis, few of us know the real ins and outs of this nutrient, which our bodies treat like a vitamin. We know it can be found in citrus fruits and is frequently touted as the way to beat the common cold.

But many of us don’t know that there are several foods, vegetables and fruits which pack more Vitamin C punch than the oft touted orange. And while commercials and health blogs repeatedly recommend you up your Vitamin C intake to bolster your immune system, we’re unaware of many other ways ascorbic acid benefits a well body.

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, acts as an antioxidant when introduced to the human body. This means it fights the free radicals which damage cells and advance, or at least advance some of the symptoms/signs of, aging. Our lifestyles and the lifestyles of those who surround us bring us into proximity with a variety of free radicals every day, air pollution, cigarette smoke (both first and second-hand), and even sunlight.

Here are some more fast facts about Vitamin C:

  • helps our bodies absorb iron (helps anemics)
  • required in order for our bodies to make collagen (aids in healing)
  • may shorten the length of a cold for those who take in enough via diet and/or supplements

Vitamin C research regarding other medical and healthful healthful benefits is ongoing.

“Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health,” says study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. “The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer.” Source Article

That should be enough information to get you on board about getting more Vitamin C on a regular, if not daily, basis. Our bodies do not store Vitamin C, so it is important to maintain a diet and supplement regimen that provides plenty of ascorbic acid. Beyond orange juice, oranges and grapefruit you can add plenty of:

  • red and green peppers
  • cantaloupe
  • broccoli
  • tomatoes and tomate juice (read labels for additives, sugar & sodium content)
  • kiwi
  • red cabbage
  • kale
  • brussels sprouts
  • cauliflower
  • strawberries
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