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The Vitamin C lowdown: sources and benefits

For one reason or another, Vitamin C seems to be a vitamin that receives much attention despite the body’s equal need for many other vitamins such A, B, D and K. There is much debate about how much you need and how regularly you need it and I will aim to inform you as best as possible.

Vitamin C is often a topic of discussion around winter when common colds become more regular and people reach for its known properties to help reduce the symptoms and rid it from our systems. However, it is important that we understand the benefits, dosage and sources of vitamin C before we reach for a big jar of vitamin C powder or tablets to shove down our throats.

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C is necessary for a number of bodily functions and whilst many animals are able to produce it internally, humans are not and thus we must seek it out from food sources. It is present in a number of foods, namely bright coloured vegetables and fruits such as capsicums and citrus fruits.

Also severe vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) is rare nowadays, there are still many cases of minor deficiencies. Vitamin C is an antioxidant among other things and helps to boost our immune systems, protect the lining of our blood vessels and reduces the effects of ageing.

What are the benefits?

  • It boosts the immune system

A strong immune system is important to help reduce the likelihood of illness and maintain your overall health. A strong immune system thanks to regular vitamin C intake will ensure illness doesn’t get in the way of your busy life.

  • Prevents damage from oxidants

As vitamin C is a strong antioxidant is significantly reduces any damage from oxidants and free radicals helping to promote a healthier and longer life. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation within the body and is a strong helper in the fight against damage to the lungs as a result of smoking.

  • Collagen production and skin

Applying vitamin C-rich moisturises is great for the skin and regular intake will also have benefits for your skin as it helps to improve connective tissue within the body meaning benefits for your skin and bones.

Where can I find it?

For vitamin C-rich foods look to raw vegetables and fruits, specifically those with bright colours like capsicums and citrus fruits. These will contain high levels of vitamin C and are easy to incorporate into a balanced diet.

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