Vitamin C: The Essential Nutrient
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in several body functions. It acts as an antioxidant, boosts the immune system, and helps with collagen synthesis, wound healing, and iron absorption. It is also essential for the maintenance of healthy skin, teeth, and bones. Humans cannot synthesize vitamin C, so it must be obtained from the diet or through supplements.
Food Sources of Vitamin C
Several fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, including:
- Red and green bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
It is important to note that cooking, storage, and processing can reduce the vitamin C content of these foods. To get the most out of your vitamin C-rich diet, it is recommended to consume these foods raw or lightly cooked.
If you have difficulty getting enough vitamin C from your diet, supplements can be an effective way to meet your daily requirements. Vitamin C supplements come in various forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. However, it is important to note that taking excessive amounts of vitamin C can cause adverse effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps.
The Bottom Line
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in several body functions. It can be obtained from a variety of fruits and vegetables or through supplements. It is important to consume vitamin C regularly to maintain good health, but it is also crucial to avoid excessive amounts. If you have any concerns about your vitamin C intake, consult with your healthcare provider.
- Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin C. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
- Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211 Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
- Naidu KA. Vitamin C in human health and disease is still a mystery? An overview. Nutr J. 2003;2:7. Published 2003 May 14. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-2-7 Link: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-2-7