What is Vitamin C?

Without vitamin C the body would not be able to heal itself. This is because vitamin C is vital for the formation of collagen. Whenever a person has a cut or an injury it is the collagen that helps repair the damage, and without sufficient vitamin C this would be almost impossible. Collagen has a multitude of functions in the body, including skin healing. Consequently, vitamin C is popular in the use of anti aging skin care beauty products.

Vitamin C is probably the best known vitamin, which is not surprising because the body needs vitamin C for over 300 functions. In fact, vitamin C has been proved to help protect against heart disease, cancer and other serious illnesses.

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant for the body and helps other vitamins and minerals to be absorbed better. Folic acid and iron, for example, need vitamin C to maximise their usefulness. The more vitamin C that the body has, the better its defence against colds and other common ailments and vitamin C may not prevent a person catching a virus but it does help speed up the recovery process.

Vitamin C Foods

There are many food sources of vitamin C primarily the many vegetables and fruits with vitamin C though some are high in vitamin C. Cranberries and melons are high in vitamin C content. In fact, tropical fruits have the highest vitamin C amounts of all fruit.

When it comes to vegetables high in vitamin C, hot peppers are amongst the richest sources. The hotter the pepper, the higher its vitamin C content is. Unfortunately, vitamin C is water soluble so many vegetables lose their benefits if they are boiled for a long time. Steaming or quick stir frying vegetables ensures that more of their vitamin C content is retained. The recommended daily vitamin C intake is easily obtained from eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day if they are consumed raw or cooked quickly.

Vitamin C supplements are extremely useful to ensure that people obtain sufficient vitamin C. However, with a balanced diet the vitamin C intake the body receives is likely to be sufficient. However, if a person begins feeling tired or lethargic then vitamin C supplements will help overcome this. There is no danger of having too much vitamin C as the body simply excretes the excess.