There are many exciting benefits for the body, skin, hair and nails that Vitamin C provides. It’s readily available in almost any grocery store or drug store and it’s not expensive either which makes it a very popular vitamin to take. Some of these benefits you may not have known about but once you read how many things Vitamin C can help with, you will want it to be one of your regular daily supplements.
Vitamin C Food Sources
You can get vitamin C from many foods that are easy to get. Fruits and vegetables are the best source and if you eat plenty of them, a supplement isn’t really necessary to get the recommended amounts you need. Below are some of the best sources.
- Red and Green Peppers
- Kiwi Fruit
- Baked Potatoes
These are a few of the many foods that have Vitamin C in them. If you already eat these foods, chances are you’re getting the Vitamin C you need but if these are foods not in your diet, it’ simple enough to add 3-4 servings of the various choices every day.
The foods with the largest amounts of Vitamin C will be your citrus fruits and the juices from these fruits. Beware of just drinking regular juices too much though. They usually contain a lot of sugar as well unless you get the natural varieties that don’t have added sugar in them. Fresh is always the best route if you have access to them.
Coking or prolonged storage can reduce the Vitamin C content in your food, as well as steaming and microwaving, so try to eat the raw varieties as much as possible for the largest amounts of this beneficial vitamin.
Supplements are Good too
If you simply don’t like or eat fruits and vegetables much, don’t worry, you can still get the benefits of Vitamin C through supplements. It comes in a wide range of forms including tablets you swallow, chewable tablets, drink packets, and crystalline powder. It’s usually available in amounts that can range from 25 mg to 1500 mg. Most of the crystals contain 100-500 grams of powder. 1 teaspoon will give you about 500 mg of Vitamin C.
How Much Vitamin C do you Need?
The amount of Vitamin C you need each day has a lot to do with your age. Below we’ve outlined a simple to read chart that gives you information on how much C you should aim for. The chart is based on age and is not designed to replace the advice of a doctor. If you are unsure of the amounts you need, or your doctor tells you to take a specific amount, follow the advice he/she gives you.
|Birth to 6 months||40 mg|
|Babies 7-8 Months||50 mg|
|Toddlers 1-3 yrs old||15 mg|
|Children 4-8 yrs old||25 mg|
|Boys 14-18 yrs old||75 mg|
|Girls 14-18 yrs old||65 mg|
|Adult Men||90 mg|
|Adult Women||75 mg|
|Pregnant Women||85 mg|
|Breastfeeding Women||120 mg|
Are You Vitamin C Deficient?
Although Vitamin C deficiency is rare since most of the foods you eat contain this important vitamin, it IS possible to have a deficiency, especially if you are a smoker. Smoking lowers the absorption of Vitamin C, so if you do smoke, you may want to watch out for the signs below that indicate you may have a Vitamin C deficiency.
- Easy bruising
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Hair is dry and the ends split
- Bleeding gums
- Rough, dry skin
- Frequent illness
- Higher blood pressure
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Benefits to Taking Vitamin C
The following list will tell you about the benefits that you can expect from adding this important vitamin to your daily routine.
- Increased immunity – Protects you from getting infections and improves your body’s ability to ward off bacteria, colds and other viruses. If you apply it to your skin in serum or cream form it protects the skin from free radical damage when you get too much sun.
- Helps Reduce Cold Symptoms – Taking vitamin C reduces the severity of any cold symptoms you may have as well as lessening inflammation, runny nose and aches. It can also control the allergy that causes colds. Because it reduces the histamine levels, it can often shorten the duration of your cold.
- Lower Blood Pressure – Anyone who suffers from high blood pressure may be happy to know that it has been shown that adding vitamin C to your diet can help lower blood pressure. Ask your doctor for the correct dosage for you but average doses range between 60-4000 mg daily for blood pressure treatment.
- Heal Wounds Faster – Vitamin c is used by the body to replace damaged tissue which helps wounds heal faster than usual. If it takes a long time for your wounds to heal, it could indicate a deficiency in this important Vitamin.
- Weight Loss – Vitamin C fruits have helped people lose fat and also maintain a healthy weight. It also lowers insulin so instead of storing sugar and converting it to fat, it gets used as fuel.
- Stress – You may be surprised to learn that Vitamin c reduces elevated levels of stress, hormones and cortisol which can be very helpful when you’re dealing with stressful situations.
- Produces Collagen – Vitamin C is needed for the production of both hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline. Both of these are needed to bind the molecules that produce collagen. Collagen is responsible for your skin’s firmness and tone. Without enough collagen in your skin, it can look lifeless and dull. It can also reduce wrinkles and the symptoms of aging as well.
- Improves Hair Growth – When you don’t get enough Vitamin C in your diet, it can show in your hair’s health. Vitamin c deficiency can lead to dry hair and split ends. When you get plenty of Vitamin C, you will see a difference in your hair’s growth and health as well.
- Fights Dandruff – Dandruff can cause the hair follicles to get clogged and that can inhibit hair growth. Vitamin C helps fight bacteria on the scalp and wards off dandruff. It helps to get rid of the debris that is clogging the follicles and encourages new hair to grow. It can also help relieve dry, itchy scalps.
- Reduces Hair loss, increases hair Strength – Vitamin C is responsible for many benefits to the hair. It can reduce hair loss, encourage new growth and stop a lot of the hair disorders that prevent the normal growth of hair. It can also help combat baldness in men and women. In addition it can prevent premature graying of the hair as well.
As you can see, adding plenty of vitamin c to your diet can help it in many ways from health to hair growth. It is a great vitamin that is not only easy to get a hold of, it’s easy to handle as well, not having any real reported side effects from taking it. Add this great vitamin to your daily routine and you will see and feel the benefits for a long time to come.