6 Benefits of Vitamin C, the King of Vitamins!
Vitamin C isn’t called the king of vitamins for no reason. It has a host of benefits! We've listed some of the main ways in which Vitamin C benefits your health and overall wellness below.
Vitamin C plays a vital process in supporting the immune system by stimulating the production and function of white blood cells. White blood cells protect you from, and fight off, bacteria and viruses to prevent infection and illness. What’s more, Vitamin C assists the production and function of antibodies which are a part of your immune system’s response to disease causing microbes. Studies have shown that regular vitamin C intake can reduce the incidence of infections to your respiratory tract, as well as the length of time you suffer from a cold. Finally, by stimulating collagen production, Vitamin C also strengthens your skin; your body’s first line of defence against bacteria and viruses which may cause infection. Vitamin C is therefore a holistic support mechanism for your immune system, helping it fight off illness in many direct and indirect ways.
Vitamin C is one of the best-known antioxidants. As an antioxidant, its primary function is to prevent free radicals from damaging cells in your body, eventually leading to chronic diseases and signs of ageing. How do they do this? A free radical is an atom with an unpaired electron. They’re formed inside the body through everyday metabolic processes and can also be caused by external factors like air pollution, exposure to X-Rays and ozone, cigarettes and industrial chemicals. Free radicals scour the body in search cells whose electrons they can steal and pair with. In doing so, they damage those cells of your body in a process called oxidative stress. Antioxidants like Vitamin C give electrons to free radicals and prevent them from causing damage through oxidative stress.
Vitamin C goes a step further by aiding the regeneration of other antioxidants. Antioxidants have a number of benefits including but not limited to prevention of heart and lung disease, improved brain and digestive function, blood sugar stability and prostate health as well as better skin and hair!
Relieves and manages stress
Vitamin C is a nutrient that is sensitive to stress. Vitamin C levels are the first to drop in the bodies of alcoholics, smokers and others with habitual stress related health issues. Why is Vitamin C burned when you experience stress? It’s because Vitamin C fuels your adrenal glands. When your body experiences stress, it responds by releasing adrenal hormones. These hormones, produced by the adrenal glands, are essential to the functioning of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA Axis). The HPA axis is a core element of the process which helps maintain of your body’s physiological and biochemical balance called homeostasis. Without Vitamin C, your adrenal glands will weaken and so your body’s ability to respond to stress is depleted. Every time you’re stressed, the vitamin C levels in your blood drop rapidly, and once you’ve no vitamin C left, your ability to produce adrenal hormones reduces. That’s why you may feel unable to cope with tiny stresses, exhausted even after a full night’s sleep, and unable to express or feel happiness.
Boosts Collagen Synthesis
Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen. In its absence, the enzymes required for collagen synthesis will not work. In fact, Vitamin C is directly involved in maintaining and regulating the intercellular amount of collagen. Studies show that an increased intake of vitamin C through your diet leads to better skin with a visible decrease in skin wrinkling. This is because collagen, which is a protein that makes up close to 75% of your skin, maintains your skin’s elasticity and strength. As you grow older, your ability to produce collagen decreases, leading to sagging, wrinkled skin. A consistent intake of vitamin C will complement your body’s ability to produce collagen, and prevent signs of aging. Vitamin C’s collagen production powers also influence bone health, and studies have even associated higher vitamin C intakes with increased bone density. Hair growth as collagen contains amino acids that your body requires to produce keratin, a protein that is vital for hair growth.
Boosts Energy Levels
Remember mitochondria? The powerhouse of the cell? Mitochondria has its reputation because it makes energy. In fact, it turns fat into energy. How? With the help of a molecule known as L-Carnitine. Without L-Carnitine your body’s ability to burn fat is diminished, so you feel lethargic. Guess what vitamin is essential to the synthesis of L-Carnitine? Vitamin C! Note: If you hadn’t guessed that already, vitamin C also helps with brain function!
Improves Iron Absorption
Anemia is a major health problem in India, with 58% of children, 53% of women and 23% of men all suffering from the condition as per the National Family Health Survey. Anemia is a condition where the body cannot produce enough red blood cells, leading to a reduced flow of oxygen to your vital organs. The result is tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, pale skin and headaches. The most common reason for anemia is because of iron deficiency. Iron is required to make red blood cells, and so it’s a vital nutrient for a healthy diet. The problem is, most iron rich foods are non-vegetarian, and we in India are generally burdened with many dietary restrictions. If there’s anything you should’ve learned by the end of this article, its that Vitamin C is always the answer. So how does vitamin C fix your iron deficiency and treat anemia? It’s quite cool. Vitamin C increases the efficiency with which your body absorbs and metabolizes iron. In fact, studies have linked doses of just 100mg of Vitamin C to improve iron absorption by 67%.
Vitamin C is clearly amazing. It is used in such a diverse set of functions of your body that you couldn’t possibly get enough, and you really can’t! The strange thing is, unlike most mammals, humans have evolved to lose their inherent ability to produce vitamin C within their bodies. We’ve got to derive Vitamin C from the food we consume. And of course, consuming it is just one part of the problem. Vitamin C is also water soluble, and so it can’t be stored by our bodies. Any amount deemed excess is excreted by our bodies. So, we need a daily supply.
Here’s where we have you covered. If you’re looking for a smarter, simpler way to increase your Vitamin C intake while keeping the integrity of staying plant based and vegan, try out Spruce Health’s Vitamin C essentials. Our sugar-free Vitamin C essentials provides you with a daily dose of Vitamin C. Our versatile effervescent tablets are natural and allergen free, fitting perfectly in any diet!