Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the most crucial nutrients in the body emanating from a large section of citrus fruits. A good thing to know is that vitamin C will rarely lack in the body as it is part of most meals we eat, as long as we eat our fruits and vegetables. Not only are its sources nutritious, they are delicious as well. Here are some of the many interesting facts about vitamin C that you need to know.
Is There Such Thing as Too Much or Too Little?
Vitamin C has to be consumed in order to be noticed by the human body. Animals other than humans have an advantage in this area as they produce their own vitamin C internally. But don’t worry, the many fruits and vegetables we eat are great sources of this.
The lack of vitamin C in the body leads to scurvy. This was once known as a common disease among the sailors in the past due to the fact that they were unable to access fruits and vegetables over long periods while at sea. The disease is fatal with symptoms such as bleeding of gums and skin rashes.
There’s a word of caution, though with taking too much of it. Vitamin C can be toxic leading to kidney failure and the development of kidney stones. This is however almost impossible thanks to the fact that it is flushed from the body regularly. This can also only be realized when daily consumption hits 2000mgs a day.
Vitamin C Is Our Body’s Best Friend
Vitamin C acts a strong antioxidant which eliminates toxins from the body as well as germs. For this reason, we will eat oranges and other citrus based fruits to keep those pesty colds away. Antioxidants are also ideal when it comes to boosting the body’s immune system helping keep off immune deficiency based diseases at bay.
Vitamin C is also one of the most crucial ingredients when it comes to the healing of wounds, growth and development, and the structuring of the collagen tissues. These include teeth, bones, and gums. The fact that it is a potent antioxidant also makes it a powerful agent when warding off external threats such as cigarette smoke and other harmful pollutants. You don’t need to take so many multivitamin supplements if you make sure to include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
How Much Do I Need?
The human body needs certain levels of vitamin C per day to operate optimally. Men need at least 90mg a day while women will need about 75mg of vitamin C daily. Smokers and people living in heavily polluted conditions will need 35g more than everyone else as antioxidants will be used up by the clearing effects with time.
The best sources for ascorbic acid include grapefruits, oranges, limes, lemons, tomatoes, red peppers, strawberries, mango, spinach, cantaloupe, potatoes and winter squash. Any of these are good enough to provide enough vitamin C for a daily fix. You can eat the fruit itself or make a fruit juice or fruit shake. In any case, you will be getting the vitamin C (and hopefully other vitamins) that your body needs.
Author Bio: Maggie Martin is Ph.D. in Cell Biology graduate. She is very passionate about healthy living and has been writing about food and healthy lifestyles. When she is not busy, she takes interest in a variety of things such as lifestyle, food, health, herbal medicine, and the benefits of turmeric. Follow her on Twitter @Maggiemartink.