Vitamin C is a vitamin that’s usually associated with oranges and other citrus fruits, but the truth is a whole lot of other fruits and vegetables contain it, too. The list includes everything from broccoli, cooked kale and cabbage to kiwi fruit, strawberries and blackcurrants.
Equally as diverse is the range of health benefits vitamin C can deliver, like the fact that it…
1. Supports immune system health. The body relies on having enough vitamin C to launch a strong and effective immune response if and when it detects the presence of a bug or virus it needs to fight. And the thing to remember about vitamin C is that while it serves a few different essential roles, because it’s a water-soluble vitamin the body doesn’t store it very well, so consuming enough of it every day is vital.
2. Reduces the severity and duration of ills and chills.Thanks to the big role it plays in supporting a healthy immune system, some research shows that when vitamin C is taken as a supplement, it can support recovery from ills and chills.
3. Supports the formation of collagen. It’s the protein that’s probably most well known for helping skin look plump and firm, but collagen is also the key ingredient that the body uses to make connective tissue, like cartilage. This tissue cushions and lubricates joints so that they’re able to move smoothly and freely. The body produces collagen from the amino acids that protein-rich foods deliver, but this process also relies on other nutrients, including vitamin C and zinc.
4. Helps to reduce free radical damage. Like a few other vitamins and minerals, vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it can help to counteract and ‘switch off’ unstable molecules called free radicals that can cause damage to cells in the body. Unfortunately, free radicals are an unavoidable part of life, given they’re generated by everything from the sun’s UV rays to air pollution. They are also a natural by-product of some of the body’s own processes, so supplying the body with a steady stream of antioxidants is important for good health and wellbeing.
5. Supports wound healing. Research shows that vitamin C is involved in every phase of wound healing when an injury to the skin occurs. As a result, some research shows that wounds take significantly longer to heal for people who are deficient in vitamin C.