Virtually no process in the human body takes place without the participation of water-soluble vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The growth and restoration of cells, the absorption of iron, the maintenance of immunity – this is only a small part of the functions of the vitamin. It is important to remember that it is not produced by the body, but enters it with food. Consider the benefits of vitamin C for health and beauty, in which products it is contained.
The best sources of vitamin C
At the mention of vitamin C immediately arises an association with the strengthening of immunity and protection against respiratory diseases. As soon as the throat begins to tickle, many turn to ascorbic acid so that they can avoid a cold. Here are just the store most often run for lemons, oranges and other types of citrus, and they are not leaders in the content of vital vitamin. Leadership belongs to the berries of acerola (Barbados cherry), but for us it is exotic. Pay attention to the wild rose, red pepper, parsley, black currant, sea buckthorn, apples, broccoli.
Useful properties of ascorbic acid
Vitamin C is not only important for the immune system, it also protects the blood vessels. Ascorbic acid normalizes blood flow and helps preserve the integrity of the inner walls of arteries. Not allowing cholesterol to accumulate, prevents atherosclerosis and cardiovascular system pathologies.
The skin and connective tissue also benefit from vitamin A because it plays a crucial role in the production of collagen – this substance strengthens the teeth and bones, maintains the elasticity of ligaments, tendons, skin and blood vessels, accelerates wound healing and bone healing.
In addition, vitamin C regulates hormonal balance and activates those enzymes in the liver that are responsible for detoxification. And last but not least, the body needs a trace element so that it can better dissolve and absorb minerals – zinc, calcium and iron.
Another function of ascorbic acid is the fight against free radicals due to antioxidant activity. Free radicals cause damage to cells, they can attack almost any tissue (from eyes to kidneys, joints and heart), provoke dangerous diseases, including cancer. It is antioxidants that counteract this destructive process.
Who faces vitamin C deficiency
A healthy body receives the required amount of ascorbic acid, if a person follows a balanced diet with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, berries, and greens. However, the need for vitamin C may increase dramatically when taking certain drugs – contraceptives, cortisone or broad-spectrum antibiotics. Severe vitamin deficiency can occur in acute or chronic diseases.
Who most often suffers from ascorbic acid deficiency:
- people in a state of chronic stres
- diabetics (their need for vitamin C is increased by 30%);
- patients with ulcers of the stomach or intestines;
- smokers (their need is increased by 40%) and alcoholics;
- people whose diet is poor or includes mostly finished products;
- persons with weakened immune systems.
Vitamin C deficiency is usually manifested by increased susceptibility to infections, poor wound healing, pain in the joints and limbs, general weakness, insomnia, frequent bleeding of the gums, depression and apathy. To avoid this is easy, you only need to revise the diet and fill it with healthy foods.