Vitamin C is one of the most popular vitamins in health. There’s a good reason for it too. There are few vitamins that are as useful to your body as a whole. It has applications in almost every area of your health without really even needing to be specially prepared. What makes this even better overall is the sheer availability of vitamin C means it is easy to get enough in your diet without ever needing to resort to speed eating oranges. Dark, leafy greens have their share as well as other fruits and vegetables. This flexibility of sources in vitamin C means that you can enjoy a wide variety of foods while getting enough of the vitamin and plenty of others. Not everyone is aware of all that vitamin C actually does for their body though. This is a shame as it always pays to have an awareness of how your body works. Let’s quickly review the major benefits of vitamin C so that you can claim a bit of extra knowledge for your next trivia night.
A General Aid, Not a Cure
There are plenty of people willing to tell you that vitamin C is secretly the cure for the common cold. People even take super-concentrated supplements when they start to get ill in the hopes that it will prevent getting sick. That’s not going to help you at all because it is far too late at that point and on top of that mega-dosing on any vitamin isn’t the best strategy for ensuring your own health. A regular supply of vitamin C does interact with your immune system though. It turns out that ensuring you’re getting a healthy amount of vitamin C in your diet helps to keep your immune system functioning properly. It isn’t a boost so much as it is a necessary component. When you’re not getting enough of the vitamin, you’re much more likely to get sick. So favor eating a balanced diet if you want to avoid getting sick instead of downing mega-doses the moment you feel a cough coming on.
What most skin care enthusiasts already have an idea of is that vitamin C is actually pretty important to help keep your skin youthful and healthy. This is because it provides a number of the components necessary to help motivate your body’s production of collagen, one of its primary structural proteins. Collagen is actually what provides your skin with the firmness that fills it out most of your life. Our gradual loss of collagen in our skin as we age is what contributes to the formation of wrinkles. After all, the skin no longer has the materials it needs for support in a given area and that tends to be a problem. The lack of support in turn leads to skin folding more until the folds begin to deepen. A healthy diet full of vitamin C helps to reduce this effect on your skin as you age. By ensuring your skin has the necessary materials, it can keep up the appropriate repairs for longer. Pairing a good diet with products that further support long term collagen production goes a long way to helping us age gracefully.
Biological Stress Management
We touched on the fact that vitamin C is good for helping keep your immune system functioning, but the benefits actually go beyond that. Vitamin C plays a role in helping to mitigate multiple forms of stress-induced damage to the body. There are multiple ideas being floated about how this works, but some believe that the benefits to the immune system translate into better management of inflammatory reactions in the body. This reduces the likelihood of the buildup of long term damage from chronic inflammation. The end result tends to mean that people with diets higher in vitamin C appear to be less likely to have a stroke and potentially heart disease in some cases. These findings are far from perfect, but the trend does appear to exist. Scientists are studying this potential effect of vitamin C closely to see if they can both confirm it and make greater use of it in the future.
Vitamin C supports your whole body instead of just a particular portion of it. That makes it a very important part of everyone’s diet. You want to get it from your food instead of a supplement though. Your body is better equipped to extract the vitamin from food and tends to distribute it far more effectively. You can skin the oranges and go straight for a salad with kale and bell peppers though if you want a break from citrus.