If you can only afford to take one kind of vitamin everyday, you should definitely choose Vitamin C. Sure, there are other types of vitamins that are also needed for good body functioning. But at the very least, you should make it a point to start off – and stay on track – with Vitamin C. Here’s why:
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that helps keep the body strong and healthy. When we say ‘water-soluble’, it simply means that when the body does not use or need Vitamin C at the moment (or if there is a surplus of it in your system) it simply flushes it out with your urine when you relieve yourself. Hence, you do not need to worry about any excess buildup of this vitamin in your system. However, this also means you should take it regularly to ensure that there is a ready supply for when your body needs it at any given time.
Why Do We Need Vitamin C?
The primary reason as to why we definitely need Vitamin C is because our body is not able to produce it on its own. Vitamin C has an important role to play in the daily functioning of your body. Vitamin C helps ensure that your muscles, bones and blood vessels are well maintained and working properly. It ensures growth of the tissues and mends these when necessary.
When Vitamin C is present, the body is able to produce the protein needed to create skin, ligaments, blood vessels and tendons. If you are prone to wounds and scrapes, you will need Vitamin C because this vitamin is a factor in the speedy healing of wounds and formation of scar tissues.
As an antioxidant, Vitamin C protects the body from damage by blocking free radicals formed when food is broken down or when you find yourself exposed to radiation or tobacco smoke. As free radicals are responsible for speeding up the aging process, Vitamin C therefore keeps us looking and feeling young. Furthermore, free radicals also play a role in diseases such as arthritis, heart disease and even cancer; therefore Vitamin C also performs a vital part in preventing or keeping these diseases at bay.
How Much Vitamin C Per Day is Needed?
The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for Vitamin C is as follows:
Infants up to 12 months: 40-50 mg per day
- Children 1-3 years: 15 mg per day; 4-8 years: 25 mg per day; 9-13 years: 45 mg per day
- Adolescents 14 to 18 years: 65-75 mg per day
- Adults 19 and above: 75-90 mg per day
While side effects from taking too much Vitamin C are quite rare, the maximum recommended amount is 2,000 mg per day because any more than that may result in stomach upset and/or diarrhea.
What Contains Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is naturally present in a variety of fruits and vegetables. They are quite high in citrus fruits such as oranges, among others. Your best sources for Vitamin C immune system friendly fruits and vegetables include:
- Kiwi fruits
- Assorted berries (strawberries, cranberries, etc.)
- Oranges and grapefruits
- White and sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
- Red and green bell peppers
- Leafy greens such as cabbages, spinach and turnip greens
- Cauliflower, broccolis and Brussels sprouts
Now that you know all about the importance of Vitamin C, you can start incorporating it in your routine to stay healthy inside and out – every day!