While the concept of fitness and health is gaining a lot of mileage amongst the youth of today, it is the concepts of exercise, drinking water, eating a calorie-specific diet, taking in more protein and lesser carbs, and so on that people seem to worry about at all. The need for specific nutrients, their minimum required intake, their benefits, and how their deficiency can cause problems – these are the things that people need to focus on, as soon as possible, and as much as possible.
One of the most important nutrients for our well-being is vitamin C, and it’s a shame that our body itself cannot manufacture it. This makes it all the more essential for us to find foods that are rich in this vitamin, and try to ingest at least the minimum required amount, each day.
Why is it, that we can’t stress enough the importance of vitamin C? How does it benefit the human body?
Aids Your Body in Absorbing Iron
Iron-rich food is important, for it doesn’t let the haemoglobin in the blood drop from a certain level ,amongst doing other great things for the body. But, however much good food you eat, if your body isn’t able to absorb iron from it, it will be of no use. Therefore, always try to pair food items that are rich in vitamin C and in iron. Because, just like protein is broken into amino acids for the body to take it in, similarly other nutrients also have to be transformed for the body to easily absorb them; vitamin C does that for iron in the body.
Works as an Immunity Booster
Vitamin C is a renowned immunity booster. And that is why, if one has common cold, they can help their body fight the virus more effectively if they load themselves with this vitamin. While common cold cannot be treated by vitamin C, but the severity of the disease can be reduced to a great extent because of it.
Makes Your ‘Brain’ Healthy
Who knew Vitamin C could have an effect on improving our brain health as well! We have neurotransmitters in our brain, which basically carry commands and signals from brain to various organs and vice versa. Science has shown that this marvel of a vitamin works to make these neurotransmitters function better,and therefore improving the way our whole nervous system works.
Keeps Your Skin Healthy
If you desire a naturally healthy skin, devoid of any scar tissues, Vitamin C rich diet is the answer to your worries. It doesn’t just keep skin supple and beautiful, but one of its derivatives, ascorbic acid 2-phosphate has been seen to to even help reverse some DNA damage!
It’s a Great Antioxidant
Antioxidants work as one of the best neutralizers in the human body, which itself has a lot of biochemical reactions taking place inside of it. They help the body keep check of any harmful reactions taking place inside the body, therefore preventing many-a-damages that could result from them. Vitamin C acts as a great antioxidant, helping the body maintain its status quo, and giving us all another reason to eat food that contains it.
Helps in Fighting Depression
Serotonin is a chemical that our brain releases to uplift our mood. So, this chemical is like a happiness signal that our brain gives us. Now, ingesting vitamin C doesn’t actually make a person happy just like that; but, it has been seen that it does target the production of serotonin in the brain, which in turn helps in the well being of a person.
Prevents You from Having Scurvy
Thankfully, scurvy is a disease that is rarely ever seen in today’s day and time; but, there was a time when people used to suffer from it. It is an acute Vitamin C deficiency that becomes the cause for scurvy. The disease was first seen in sailors at a tie when they used run out of fresh produce, leading to an intense deficiency of vitamin C. Even today, in villages and remote parts of the world where malnutrition is prevalent, small children can be seen bearing loss of teeth, having bleeding gums, pale skin, and and anemia – all due to scurvy. This disease, therefore, can only be completely eradicated if people take a wholesome diet which includes Vitamin C rich food.
For a healthy mind and body, one must take in 40mg of Vitamin C, every day. They say excess of anything is bad, and that is why an intake of more than 1000mg of Vitamin C can induce abdominal pain and even cause diarrhoea.
But, which food items are the best sources of Vitamin C?
● Citrus fruits like lemon and orange, and even amla are known to be extremely rich in Vitamin C. So much so, that if you eat one orange, or take a glass of water with one whole lemon squeezed in it, you will have already met your intake requirement for the day.
● If you’re not high on having an orange, serve yourself half a cup of papaya, which is again enough to provide your body with the amount of vitamin C that it needs for the day.
● Strawberries are one of the most beloved fruits, and guess what? They’re also packed with Vitamin C. So, don’t feel too guilty the next time you have strawberry with cream – along with calories, you’re also good amount of nutrients out of it!
● Veggies like bell peppers are great vitamin C sources. So, the next time you’re making yourself a pan-Asian stir-fry, don’t forget to add bell peppers to it! Next on the list of vegetables is broccoli, which looks boring, but is full of nutrients including vitamin C. So, help yourself with copious amounts of this vegetable, the next time you make yourself a salad.
● Raw tomatoes are usually prescribed by nutritionists as it makes for a great inclusion in a calorie-deficient diet. We know how these have a lot of water content, which makes them extremely healthy. But, what many don’t realize is, how rich tomatoes are in vitamin C. You can either eat them plain, or even put a few slices the next time you make yourself a sandwich or a salad.
We insist on you eating these veggies in their raw form, because cooking them means exposes them to heat, and heat reduces the vitamin C content in foods.