Vitamin C is also commonly referred to as ascorbic acid, and provides numerous health benefits including the ability to prevent cell damage and repair wounds, the promotion of healthy teeth and gums, and an overall strengthening of the immune system. Vitamin C is also responsible for helping the body absorb iron, and it has also been linked with the prevention of disease and the delaying of aging because Vitamin C destroys free radicals, which are the molecules that are most commonly associated with cell damage and signs of aging. Vitamin C provides numerous health benefits, and promotes overall excellent health for the entire body.
Vitamins are categorized based on the substances in which it ca be dissolved, therefore Vitamin C is categorized as a water soluble vitamin along with the B complex group of vitamins. If there are water soluble vitamins in your system that is not being used by your body, they will be naturally expelled from your body through your urine. For this reason, unlike fat soluble vitamins, it is important for you to get a constant supply of water soluble vitamins so that you consistently have enough in your system.
Because Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, it is important that you consume the right amount of the vitamin all throughout the day. Women and men should both consume at least 60 milligrams of Vitamin C every day in order to get the most out of the vitamin. People who are habitual smokers are required to consume more Vitamin C, because smoking is capable of interfering with how the body uses vitamins. Women who smoke should aim to consume a total of 110 milligrams of Vitamin C in a day and men who are smokers should consume a total of 125 milligrams of Vitamin C per day.
There are a number of excellent sources for Vitamin C. You can obtain Vitamin C through two different primary sources: Whole food sources and synthetic sources. Synthetic sources are available in pill or liquid form, and provide Vitamin C in a way that does not involve natural, whole foods. Whole food sources include citrus juices, citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, spinach, green peppers, red peppers and berries. While synthetic vitamin sources like multi vitamin pills and liquids are a great source of vitamin C, obtaining your vitamin C through whole food sources is definitely the healthier, more effective option.
There is such thing is not getting enough Vitamin C, as a vitamin C deficiency causes a disease known as scurvy. While scurvy may be uncommon in the United States, it is still important to get enough Vitamin C. The symptoms associated with scurvy include stiffness in the joints. There is also such thing as taking too much Vitamin C, so it is advisable not to get more than 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C in a single day, otherwise it may result in a flushed face, increase in urination, headache, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and some other related symptoms. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take more than the recommended daily amount of this particular vitamin.
There are right ways and wrong ways to store or care for your vitamins if you want to get the most out of them. If you are getting your Vitamin C from natural, whole food sources then it is vital that you refrigerate your fresh produce, and that you keep grains and milk away from strong light exposure. It is easy for vitamins to e washed out of your foods during preparation, or destroyed during the cooking or storing process. If you are taking liquid or pill synthetic vitamin supplements, you should aim to have them stored in cool, dark and dry places as moisture, warm temperatures and sunlight can destroy the efficiency of these vitamin supplements without you knowing it.
Ron Godlewski has written many articles on health, wellness, and maintaining vitality throughout our lifetime. Read more about the importance of nutrition and the many benefits of the Vitamin C in our daily diets in the article library at the Health and Nutrition Articles Library, and even receive your own complementary copy of a nationally recognized health and nutrition magazine just for visiting!