Vitamin C is important to all animals – including human beings. Unfortunately, the body cannot produce vitamin C on its own. The body harvests this nutrient from the food we eat. Without it, the body is unable to complete its many and often-complex processes. But why do we need natural vitamin C anyway? In today’s post, we are giving you five reasons why you should start eating vitamin C-rich foods right now:
It Boosts Collagen Production
Vitamin C promotes collagen production. This is one of the reasons why animals and human beings alike need this nutrient.
Collagen is found in the connective tissues. This compound is the building block of our tissues. Our connective tissues help support our organs and various systems. Collagen has five different types. Type 1 is found in skin, bones, teeth and tendons. Type two is found in cartilage and type three is found in the organs. The fourth and fifth types of collagen are found in layers between the epithelial and endothelial cells. They are also found between the skeletal system or smooth muscle cells.
Collagen also keeps the skin smooth, plump and younger-looking. Over time, the body’s collagen level becomes depleted. A constant supply of vitamin C helps increase collagen production.
Aids in Nutrient Absorption
Water-soluble vitamin C helps protect fat-soluble vitamin A and E from oxidation. It also helps prevent fatty acids from oxidizing. These nutrients become useless once they are oxidized. By preserving the integrity of the nutrients, the body is able to synthesize them effectively.
Protects from Diseases
We all know vitamin C is critical in improving the health. This nutrient is an excellent remedy against scurvy. It also cuts the risk of iron deficiency anemia. Vitamin C also protects from viral, bacterial and fungal infection. This nutrient strengthens the immune system. Eating foods rich in vitamin C is an excellent way to prevent common colds, flu, and cough.
Works like an Antioxidant
Contrary to popular notion, vitamin C is not an antioxidant. However, this nutrient acts like one. Vitamin C is called a redox agent. This means vitamin C works the same way as antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that protect from oxidative stress. Oxidative damage is caused by chemical reactions between highly reactive molecules called free radicals. Oxidation reactions damage healthy cells. Eventually, the damage leads to chronic diseases and cell mutation.
Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals. It also repairs damaged cells and prevents aging. Some health experts believe vitamin C prevents chronic diseases at a cellular level. However, more research is needed to support this theory.
Protects from Cancer
Remember how oxidative stress leads to chronic diseases? One of these chronic diseases is cancer. Numerous studies found that eating vitamin C rich foods reduces the risk of cancer development significantly.
According to Jane Higdon, a nutrition scientist at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, vitamin C cuts the risk of mouth and stomach cancer.
Protects from Cardiovascular Diseases
Vitamin C also keeps the arteries and heart strong. In a study that involved examining more than 85,000 women, researchers at Children’s Hospital, Boston found that those who took vitamin C daily have the lowest risk of heart disease. Health experts also found that vitamin C reduces damage to the artery walls. It also protects from blood clots, preventing strokes and heart attacks.