myth vs fact: 5 things you didn't know about vitamin c
So what's the deal with vitamin c, and why are we obsessed with getting more of it? Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, and unlike many animals, humans are not capable of producing it in their bodies, which means we have to get our fill through our diet or supplements. Generally, diets high in fruits in vegetables provides adequate amounts of vitamin c, but for those looking to go above and beyond and maximize the benefits, supplementing may be a more viable option.
1. Immune Support
While the rumor that vitamin c can fights colds has been labeled a myth, there are still benefits to your immune system. Many cells of the immune system cannot function without vitamin c, and look towards accumulating it over time. These cells include phagocytes and t-cells, which work to ward off certain infections. Knowing this, we can say that a deficiency in vitamin c may lead to weaker immunity and reduced resistance against certain pathogens. Some studies have also shown that increased vitamin c intake may slightly reduce the duration of a cold, it does not impact the severity.
2. Improved Cardiovascular Function
February is Heart-Healthy month, and vitamin c plays an important role in our overall cardiovascular health. It aids in the prevention of artery diseases by raising bodily levels of glutathione, which acts as a scavenger of free radicals, protecting the arteries.Whenever your body requires more blood flow, your arteries expand in order to transport more blood to the necessary areas. Availability of nitric oxide (NO) in the blood is paramount to improving this kind of vasodilation and vitamin c moves along the process.Furthermore, vitamin c can help strengthen the blood vessel walls by promoting collagen synthesis. Maintaining strong connective tissue in your arteries helps ward off LDL oxidization, which is the bad cholesterol we want to avoid.
“Did you know that sweet red peppers have three times more vitamin C than orange juice?”
3. Eye Improvement
Vitamin C is known for its healing and repairing qualities, like that of the connective tissue in the arteries. Similarly, studies have shown it to be beneficial within the collagen in our eyes. That’s right, vitamin c may be more beneficial to your eye health than carrots and all their vitamin a!
4. Prenatal Health
During pregnancy, your body may experience internal depreciation, especially related to organs, due to fetal expansion. Maintaining the integrity of your organs and their function during and long after pregnancy can be met by consuming recommended amounts of vitamin c. Any cuts and wounds suffered as well as brittle bones can all benefit as well!
5. Prevent Skin Wrinkling
One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found links between vitamin c intake and skin elasticity. The study, preformed with 4,025 women between the ages of 40-74, found that those who had higher intake of vitamin c were associated with a less wrinkled appearance, less dryness and better skin-aging appearance. Another reason to stock up on Enchilada Casserole, with red peppers, rich in C!
Learn more about 10 Seasonal Superfoods.