Immunity and memory: 7 Reasons to consume foods full of vitamin C
08/24/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Immunity and memory: 7 Reasons to consume foods full of vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble nutrient, which means your body can neither make nor store it. It gets a lot of buzz for its ability to boost the immune system. But this only scratches the surface of its role in the body.

For starters, vitamin C protects cells from damage. It also aids in the formation and maintenance of your bones and skin. It’s also needed for the growth and repair of tissues throughout your body.

Here’s a closer look at what this essential nutrient can do for your health.

Brighteon.TV

1. Strengthens your immune system

Vitamin C’s most well-known benefit is its positive effect on the immune system. In a 2017 review in Nutrients, vitamin C was found to strengthen the immune system by protecting against oxidative stress, aiding in microbial killing and lowering the risk of tissue damage.

In addition, vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells, which protect your body against infections. Vitamin C also helps these white blood cells function more effectively. For these reasons, a deficiency in vitamin C can lead to an increased risk of infections.

It’s unlikely that loading up on vitamin C once you start sniffling will stop you from getting a cold. Still, it could help you recover more quickly.

2. Supports healthy cognitive function

Vitamin C may also reduce your risk of dementia, a general term for the impaired ability to think, remember or make decisions.

According to studies, oxidative stress and inflammation near the brain, spine or nerves can increase the risk of dementia. Luckily, vitamin C works as an antioxidant to lower oxidative stress and inflammation. Vitamin C also helps in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which send messages from the brain to the rest of the body.

Interestingly enough, experts have also found that people with dementia tend to have lower levels of vitamin C. In one study, Australian researchers found that cognitively intact participants had higher vitamin C levels than those with impaired cognition.

Therefore, eating foods rich in vitamin C or taking vitamin C supplements may help prevent you from developing dementia.

3. Prevents iron deficiency

Another plus to vitamin C is how it interacts with other nutrients in the body, such as iron. Iron is necessary for growth and development. It also helps deliver oxygen throughout the body.

Non-heme iron, which is the type of iron found in plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, can be tricky for the body to absorb. Studies indicate that eating foods rich in vitamin C or taking vitamin C supplements can help your body absorb iron more efficiently. This can help lower your risk of developing symptoms linked to iron deficiency, such as brittle nails, fatigue and shortness of breath.

4. Lowers high blood pressure

High blood pressure can put you at risk of heart disease, the top cause of death globally. Fortunately, vitamin C may help lower blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure, according to several studies.

In one animal study, researchers found that taking a vitamin C supplement lowered blood pressure levels by relaxing the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart.

In a review of 29 human studies, researchers also found that taking a vitamin C supplement lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure in healthy adults.

5. Lowers cholesterol

High levels of cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, can raise your risk of a heart attack. Luckily, there’s evidence that vitamin C can lower your cholesterol levels.

For instance, a review showed that people who took at least 700 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C daily had a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who didn’t take a vitamin C supplement.

In another review, researchers found that people who took at least 500 mg of vitamin C daily had lower LDL cholesterol levels than those who didn’t take a vitamin C supplement.

6. Protects against free radicals

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from free radicals. These unstable molecules are sometimes naturally created by your body as a by-product of digestion. If there are more free radicals than antioxidants in your body, oxidative stress will occur. Oxidative stress is linked to the development of many chronic diseases, including diabetes and its complications, kidney disease and liver disease.

If left unchecked, free radicals can also end up damaging cells and DNA. This could trigger cancer.

Studies show that eating foods rich in vitamin C can raise your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30 percent. Therefore, incorporating foods rich in vitamin C into your daily routine may help lower your risk of chronic diseases.

7. May lower blood uric acid levels

Gout is a painful form of arthritis caused by high uric acid levels, which occur when the kidneys don’t eliminate uric acid efficiently. Gout causes sudden and severe pain, usually in the joint at the base of the big toe.

Interestingly, studies have shown that vitamin C can lower uric acid levels and help prevent gout attacks. For instance, a study including nearly 1,400 men showed that those who consumed the most vitamin C had significantly lower uric acid levels than those who consumed the least vitamin C.

Meanwhile, a review of 13 studies showed that taking a vitamin C supplement for 30 days lowered uric acid levels better than taking a placebo.

Recipe for an immune-boosting fruit smoothie

Drinking vitamin C smoothies is one of the tastiest ways to boost your intake of vitamin C. Here’s a simple recipe for an immune-boosting vitamin C smoothie:

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 2 medium navel oranges, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large mango, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled
  • 2 1/2 cups pineapple chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • 1/2 cup water

Preparation:

  1. Add the fruits, ginger and ice to a blender. Blend on low speed for 1 minute.
  2. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides. Add the water and blend on medium speed for 1 minute.
  3. Thin the smoothie with more water as needed. Pour into glasses and enjoy.

Vitamin C occurs naturally in various foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Good sources include orange, berries, lemons, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach and papaya. To maintain adequate levels of vitamin C, add these foods to your diet. You can also take vitamin C supplements.

Sources:

EcoWatch.com

MDPI.com 1

MDPI.com 2

MayoClinic.org

SenseAndEdibility.com

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
Comments
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles