Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and protects your cells. It also helps your body absorb and store iron. As your body doesn't produce vitamin C, you need to consume it orally through your diet or supplements. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, berries and peppers. If you wish to take oral supplements, they're available in the form of capsules and chewable tablets. According to Healthline, women need a daily intake of 75 mg of vitamin C, while men need 90 mg.
Now that you know a little about what vitamin C is and where it's found, let's look at some of the benefits that it provides to your body.
Benefits of Vitamin C:
1. Boosts Immunity:
Your body must get its dose of vitamin C daily to boost its immunity. One of the vitamin C benefits is that it encourages the production of white blood cells that protect your body against infection. Vitamin C is quite a necessary part of your skin's defence system where it is actively transported to the skin, to strengthen the skin's barriers. When your body has the required amount of vitamin C, it helps shorten wound healing time. Low vitamin C levels, on the other hand, are linked to poor health conditions.
2. Reduces The Risk of Chronic Diseases:
As mentioned above, one of the vitamin C benefits is its power to strengthen your body's natural defences. As it is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system, it helps your body fight inflammation. Consuming more vitamin C can spike up your blood antioxidant levels up to 30%. When free radicals accumulate, they tend to promote oxidative stress that is linked to many chronic diseases. Antioxidants are molecules that protect your cells from these free radicals.
3. Manages High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure can put you at risk of heart disease that can lead to death. Vitamin C can help lower high blood pressure. When you take vitamin C supplements, they help relax the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart, which reduces blood pressure levels. If we're to talk statistically, vitamin C supplements can reduce systolic blood pressure (the upper value) by 3.8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the lower value) by 1.5 mmHg on average, according to Healthline.
4. Prevents Iron Deficiency:
Iron is quite an important nutrient responsible for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen in your body. One of the vitamin C benefits is that it can improve the absorption of iron in your diet. It assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, like plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easily absorbed. This particular vitamin C benefit is helpful for people who are on a meat-free diet. Consuming 100 mg of vitamin C can improve iron absorption by 67%.
5. Slows Down Skin Ageing:
Vitamin C can affect cells on the inside as well as the outside of your body. Higher vitamin C intake, as good as 1000 mg per day, can lower the chances of wrinkles, dryness and ageing of the skin. When you use vitamin C topically on your skin, it will definitely delay the onset of fine lines and wrinkles, and slow down skin ageing.
6. Heals Common Colds:
You might have heard your mother recommend you to eat citrus fruits when you catch a common cold. It is because they're loaded with vitamin C that prevents more serious complications. Vitamin C might not be a cure, but because it reduces the risk of developing further complications like lung infections and pneumonia, it's recommended to consume it when you catch a cold.
7. Reduces Stress:
Wish to know of one of the best vitamin C uses? It can reduce stress and protect your overall health. A deficiency in vitamin C is associated with stress-related diseases. Alcoholics, smokers and obese individuals are the ones who deal with more stress and thus need to consume vitamin C, either by foods or supplements, to deal with stress levels in their body.
Talking about statistics mentioned by Webmd, people with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood are associated with 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations. The reason behind this isn't apparent as of now. But it's clear that people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables have high levels of vitamin C in their bodies and are healthier overall with a lower risk of getting a stroke.
Clear with the benefits as well as vitamin C uses? Let's look at some of the vitamin C side effects that you need to be aware of.
Side Effects of Vitamin C:
1. High Doses of Vitamin C May Lead to Kidney Stones:
When you consume excess vitamin C, it excretes a bodily waste product called oxalate that is secreted from your body via urine. However, in some cases, too much oxalate can form crystals that lead to the formation of kidney stones. When you take high doses of vitamin C that is more than 2000 mg per day, it potentially increases the amount of oxalate in your urine that risks developing kidney stones.
2. Vitamin C Can Cause Iron Overload:
One of the vitamin C side effects is that it can bind to non-heme iron found in plant foods. This kind of iron isn't absorbed by your body as easily as heme iron - the type of iron found in animal products. Vitamin C can make it much easier for your body to absorb non-heme iron. However, people with health conditions that increase the risk of iron accumulation on the body like hemochromatosis should be very cautious with the consumption of vitamin C. Excess of this vitamin may lead to iron overload, which can cause serious heart, liver, and central nervous system damage.
3. High Vitamin C Intake Can Cause Digestive Distress:
One of the most common vitamin C side effects is that it may cause digestive symptoms like nausea and diarrhoea. You're most likely to experience these symptoms if you are consuming more than 2000 mg at once. Excess intake of vitamin C can also give you acid reflux. So if you've been experiencing digestive problems due to heavy doses of vitamin C, cut back your supplement dose or avoid it altogether for some time.
Now that you have enough information on all things important about vitamin C, let's look at some of the ways you can use this vitamin topically to reap benefits for your skin and hair:
How Can You Use Vitamin C Topically?
The beauty market has been formulating many skincare and hair care products enriched with vitamin C, considering it is one of the most beneficial ingredients for your skin and hair. Pure Sense, a premium skincare brand, too has a range of products that are infused with vitamin C along with a few other natural ingredients. We at Pure Sense, believe in bringing organic skincare and hair care products that contain no chemicals. All of our products are made to suit all skin types to help you pick products that are good for you without much hassle. Along with that, we also take care of the animals and the environment, so our products are cruelty-free and earth-friendly. Here are a few vitamin C-infused products that you can use topically for your skin and hair:
This gentle face cleansing gel deeply cleanses your face, removes all the impurities and leaves your skin beautifully radiant. This cleansing gel is enriched with grapefruit, which is packed with vitamin C, that transforms dull complexion and boosts collagen production.
A zesty treat for your lips, this grapefruit-blended lip balm provides your lips with intense moisture. Not just that, it contains a blend of exotic goodness that offers sun protection to your lips and heals chapped lips. You can apply this natural lip balm as often as required to achieve supple and soft lips.
The Rejuvenating Grapefruit Revitalising Hair Conditioner is designed to nourish your hair with vitamin C from grapefruit and leave your hair smoother, shinier and bouncier.
The vitamin C-rich hair conditioner is meant to revitalise your hair and make detangling a much easier job for you.
The Grapefruit Reviving Day Cream by Pure Sense is designed to treat your skin, protect it from the sun damage with SPF 20 PA++ and keep it moisturised throughout the day. The vitamin C present in the cream will keep your skin protected and hydrated as you go through the day.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin as mentioned earlier, so you need to obtain it either through your diet or supplements. Once you understand how important vitamin C is for your overall health, you won't go a day without consuming some portion of it. Besides improving your immunity and reducing heart diseases, vitamin C can also powerfully take care of your skin and hair. With a single vitamin taking care of your whole body, what more can you possibly want?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Why is vitamin C good for the skin?
Vitamin C when used on your skin can successfully shoot up the production of collagen and elastin, both responsible for maintaining skin tone and skin elasticity. Along with that, vitamin C also helps keep your skin naturally plump, prevents premature ageing, restores a youthful glow and gives you a smoother appearance.
2. Which fruit has more vitamin C?
The Kakadu plum is an Australian native superfood that contains 100 times more vitamin C than oranges. This means it has the highest concentration of vitamin C that comes up to 5300 mg per 100 grams. Other fruits rich in vitamin C are citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges, kiwi fruit, pineapple, berries like cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon, etc.
3. Is it okay to take vitamin C every day?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to consume vitamin C either through foods or through supplements on an everyday basis. The daily recommended amount of vitamin C is up to 65 to 90 mg. The upper limit is 2000 mg a day. However, higher doses of vitamin C can cause the aforementioned digestive symptoms and other health conditions.