You could always find the container of orange slices next to the sporting field, something that every player enjoyed at the end of a game. But besides being a delicious and healthy snack, this orange slice played a role in increasing your levels of vitamin C, a nutrient that is essential for your health.
What is Vitamin C good for?
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a vital vitamin that our bodies require daily in order to simply function. Vitamin C has a variety of benefits, which only improve when you consume more than the daily minimum amount:
- Supports the immune system – Vitamin C is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system, and it helps to protect the body against infections and illnesses by stimulating the production of white blood cells
- Collagen synthesis – Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, a protein that is important for the growth and repair of various tissues in the body, including skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
- Antioxidant properties – Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, meaning it helps to protect cells from damage
- Wound healing: Vitamin C is essential for the proper healing of wounds and the formation of scar tissue.
- Iron absorption: Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron from plant-based foods, which is important for the production of red blood cells and the transport of oxygen to the body’s tissues.
- Brain and mental health: Vitamin C is important for the proper functioning of the brain and the production of neurotransmitters, which help regulate mood and behavior.
Where can I get Vitamin C from?
Vitamin C is not produced by your body, which means you must consume it through your diet or as an oral supplement. Common sources of Vitamin C include:
What happens if I don’t get enough Vitamin C?
The recommended daily amount of vitamin C equates to an orange, a cup of strawberries or a chopped capsicum. Fortunately, most people hit this level of Vitamin C per day, but there are several symptoms that may suggest you aren’t quite getting enough:
- Swollen/bleeding gums
- Hair loss
- Poor wound healing
Severe vitamin C deficiency can lead to a disease called scurvy, which can leave lasting damage on your body. It is crucial to ensure that your diet regularly includes fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C.