If vitamin C had a superlative, it would be “most popular.” It’s an essential micronutrient that our body needs from diet and one of the most widely used supplements, and it helps us out in a lot of ways. Many people associate vitamin C primarily with oranges and fighting colds, but vitamin C is more than one fruit, and definitely has more than one function.
What vitamin C does for the body
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vital nutrient that supports healthy bones, muscles, and blood vessels. It’s also an antioxidant that helps protect the body from the effects of free radicals, and it plays a vital role in the body’s healing process.
You’ve probably heard that vitamin C can prevent or even cure the common cold, but that isn’t necessarily the case. It does, however, help protect the immune system, and has been known to support eye and skin health as well.
In short, vitamin C does a lot for us, earning its place as one of the most popular vitamins out there.
Benefits of Vitamin C you might not know about
Most of us are aware of vitamin C’s role in supporting the immune system. A glass of orange juice may not cure a cold, but vitamin C can help your body fight off illness and infection.
But that’s not the only benefit of vitamin C. This vital nutrient helps us out in several other ways as well.
1. Skin health. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps neutralize harmful free radicals from the environment and sun exposure, which supports healthy skin. Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of collagen, a protein that gives the skin its structure and elasticity and helps wounds heal. That’s why you’ll see vitamin C listed as an ingredient in many skincare products.
2. Iron absorption. Vitamin C improves the body’s ability to absorb iron from plant-based foods, which is important for maintaining healthy red blood cells and preventing anemia. If you’ve been told to eat more iron-rich foods, it’s a good idea to also make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C while you’re at it.
3. Cardiovascular health. The heart loves vitamin C, as it has been shown to help keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the healthy range. Anything that benefits the heart is worth prioritizing, as a healthy heart is one of the most important factors for a long health span.
4. Memory. Studies suggest vitamin C may also support cognitive function and that poor memory and cognition are associated with lower vitamin C levels. Vitamin C helps out with the synthesis of neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain that are important for cognitive function and memory.
5. Stress support. As previously mentioned, vitamin C is an antioxidant, which fights free radicals that can be elevated as a result of occasional stress, which can cause cellular damage. Vitamin C can also help regulate cortisol levels a hormone that is released in response to stress and reduce some of its negative effects. And, of course, vitamin C supports the immune system, which is especially important during times of stress.
Foods rich in vitamin C
Our bodies don’t produce vitamin C on their own, so we must get it from the food we eat. If you eat fruits and vegetables every day, you’ll be in good shape, as many vitamin C–rich foods come from these food groups:
Vitamin C supplementation
While getting the vitamin C we need through diet alone is ideal, it doesn’t happen as often as it should. In fact, 9 out of 10 people don’t eat enough fruits and veggies each day, which can leave a lot of nutrient deficiencies in your diet.
A simple, easy way to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C is by taking a daily vitamin C supplement like Bio-C. Bio-C is a powerful vitamin C blend that combines concentrated antioxidants with citrus bioflavonoids, which can improve vitamin C absorption in the body.
Vitamin C is important for any diet, whether you get it from a supplement or food (or both). If you have questions about your vitamin C consumption, consult your healthcare provider before making any major changes to your diet.
Vitamin C: Popular for a reason
A common nutrient that’s available in lots of yummy foods, vitamin C is a friend to all. And it’s a friend we all need, as it’s a vital nutrient that supports overall health and wellness. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of it, whether it’s through food or supplementation.