A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is capable of limiting the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. It also contains detoxifying properties that can fight against harmful pollutants that may enter the body.
How Vitamin C supports an active lifestyle
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all human body tissues. It is also required for a number of different bodily functions, which include the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth, healing processes, and healthy functioning of the immune system. In addition to that, vitamin C can aid in improving physical performance through the promotion of positive energy metabolism, which in turn, reduces tiredness.
Benefits of vitamin C
High levels of vitamin C can mostly be found in the cells and tissues of your body, such as white blood cells, the eyes, adrenal glands, pituitary gland and the brain.
However, the human body is not capable of producing vitamin C on its own, and therefore needs the vitamin to be supplemented as part of a healthy and balanced diet. The most common source of vitamin C are fruits and vegetables. It is worth noting that vitamin C is the most fragile of all vitamins, and can therefore be damaged through prolonged storage or overcooking. Heat, exposure to air and solubility to water are some of the conditions which can denature the vitamin C of a food source. For example, the vitamin C content of a citrus fruit can be halved in 24 hours if left exposed to air or stored in a place with high temperatures. Thus, in order for your body to absorb vitamin C effectively, it is recommended for you to eat fruits and vegetables raw instead of serving them as part of a cooked dish.
Foods that are abundant in vitamin C:
- Fruits, such as guava, blackcurrant, lemon, strawberry, oranges and kiwi
- Vegetables, such as peppers, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes and broccoli
- Muesli and fortified breakfast cereals
Some people may be at risk of suffering the effects from a lack of vitamin C in the body. Therefore, people with active lifestyles should constantly aim to provide their bodies with an adequate amount of B vitamins and vitamin C to ensure optimal physical and mental performance daily. Studies have shown that athletes who took vitamin C supplements regularly experienced lesser muscle soreness, and improved muscle function. Vitamin C has also been claimed to be able to alleviate oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, which have both been linked to a number of chronic illnesses which include heart disease and diabetes.
In addition to that, a lack of vitamin C and vitamin B9 in the body can also cause a person to experience tiredness, which is evident through symptoms such as poor decision making, moodiness and chronic sleepiness. Not consuming enough foods with vitamin C can also cause scurvy, which in turn can result gum disease, skin bleeding and loss of hair, if left untreated.
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