The Mighty Vitamin C: Unravelling the Power of an Essential Nutrient
July 25, 20234 min read
In the realm of essential nutrients, few can match the versatile and potent capabilities of vitamin C. Also known as ascorbic acid, this water-soluble vitamin plays a crucial role in supporting overall health and well-being.
From its antioxidant properties to its immunity-boosting benefits, vitamin C has earned its reputation as an essential element for maintaining a vibrant and robust body. In this blog, we delve into the importance of vitamin C, its sources, the wide array of benefits it offers, and the significance of antioxidants in our daily lives.
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a vital micronutrient that the human body cannot produce on its own, making it an essential dietary component. Ascorbic acid serves as a powerful antioxidant, actively neutralizing harmful free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cells and tissues, leading to various health issues. Besides its role as an antioxidant, vitamin C is crucial for collagen production, a protein that supports the health and integrity of our skin, bones, and blood vessels.
Vitamin C foods
Fortunately, there is no shortage of natural sources to obtain the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C foods include citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, other fruits like strawberries, kiwifruit, and guavas also pack a powerful punch of this essential nutrient. Vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach are excellent non-citrus sources of vitamin C.
Berries are also a good source of antioxidant and vitamin C. The deeper the colour, the more antioxidants the berry contains. For example blackcurrants, which have around four times more vitamin C than oranges and 16 times more than blueberries!
From traditional remedy to modern superfood, the humble blackcurrant is associated with an astounding range of benefits.
New Zealand organic blackcurrants are famous for extremely high levels of Vitamin C, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. If part of a healthy, varied diet, Vitamin C can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Did you know? Blackcurrant bushes grown without pesticides have been shown to contain higher levels of Vitamin C than those treated with common pesticide applications.
Blackcurrants are naturally rich sources of anthocyanins, a group of polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
NZ Blackcurrants contain higher levels of anthocyanins than black currants grown elsewhere in the world. Research articles report promising effects of anthocyanins for a range of different nutritional needs, including: Brain and Eye Health, Sports Nutrition, Blood sugar regulation and diabetes T2 prevention, and more.
Vitamin C Benefits
1. Immune System Support:
Vitamin C is renowned for its immune-boosting properties. It stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells, our body's front-line defenders against infections and pathogens. Regular intake of vitamin C can reduce the duration and severity of colds and other respiratory illnesses, promoting a more robust immune system.
2. Collagen Synthesis and Skin Health:
Collagen is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. Vitamin C plays a pivotal role in the synthesis of collagen, ensuring healthy and supple skin. Additionally, its antioxidant properties protect the skin from free radicals, delaying the signs of aging and promoting a radiant complexion.
3. Heart Health:
The antioxidant properties of vitamin C are also beneficial for heart health. By combating free radicals, it helps protect the heart and blood vessels from oxidative stress, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, vitamin C supports healthy blood pressure levels and reduces bad cholesterol, contributing to a healthy heart.
4. Iron Absorption:
Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron, the form of iron found in plant-based foods. Consuming vitamin C foods alongside iron-rich sources like spinach or lentils can significantly improve iron absorption, preventing iron deficiency anemia.
5. Brain Health:
Some research suggests that vitamin C may play a role in supporting cognitive function and reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Its antioxidant properties help protect brain cells from damage, potentially promoting healthy brain aging.
6. Exercise Performance and Recovery:
For individuals leading an active lifestyle, vitamin C can be particularly beneficial. It aids in reducing oxidative stress and muscle inflammation after intense physical activity, promoting quicker recovery and improved exercise performance.
The Importance of Antioxidants
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and these are crucial components in maintaining overall health. These powerful molecules neutralize free radicals, preventing them from causing cellular damage. Oxidative stress, resulting from an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, has been linked to various chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders. By consuming a diet rich in antioxidants, we can bolster our defences against these potential health threats.
The Importance of Vitamin C
Vitamin C stands tall as an indispensable nutrient that supports various aspects of our health and well-being. Vitamin C benefits such as bolstering our immune system to promoting skin health and heart function, its benefits are far-reaching and undeniable.
When we are in a time of stress or healing from illness or surgery, fractures, various diseases, high-performance physical exercise or excessive daily exercise routines, excessive alcohol, smoking or even taking aspirin on a daily basis, the body can easily exhaust its levels.
At these times, extra care to include more vitamin C foods on a daily basis would be beneficial. You can find vitamins C in blackcurrants, blueberries, citrus, pepper, strawberries, cruciferous vegetables, kiwifruits…
As an antioxidant, vitamin C is a critical force in protecting our bodies from oxidative stress and free radical damage. Remember, the best way to ensure adequate intake of this mighty vitamin is through a balanced diet, incorporating a variety of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables into your daily meals. Embrace the power of vitamin C and safeguard your health for a vibrant and fulfilling life.
Add some extra vitamin C to you diet with Immunity Fuel Blackcurrant Probiotic Superfood – a beautiful blend of gluten free probiotic superfood powder and NZ grown certified organic blackcurrant powder rich in the antioxidants Vitamin c and anthocyanins.
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