Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for many body processes. While vitamin C may be best known for its immune benefits, it also helps repair wounds and prevents cell damage due to its antioxidant properties. Overall vitamin C is beneficial in combating physical and mental stress. It is very important to eat foods with vitamin C because the body does not produce its own vitamin C or store it. Many fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits, mangos, kiwis, berries, watermelon, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, and spinach are very high in vitamin C. To receive the maximum vitamin C content, these fruits and vegetables should be eaten fresh and uncooked.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps to protect the body cells against free radicals. It also boosts the immune system to help the body fight off various diseases. Vitamin C is well known as a treatment for scurvy, a disease now considered rare but was once popular amongst sailors and pirates. Nowadays, people take vitamin C for common illnesses such as colds, bronchitis, tuberculosis, prostate and bladder infections and stomach ulcers caused by bacteria.
Vitamin C is also used as a preventative tactic. It hardens the arteries helping to prevent blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Other serious medical conditions that vitamin C may help prevent include but are not limited to glaucoma, cataracts, Lyme Disease, gallbladder disease, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, diabetes, autism, dental cavities, osteoporosis and cancer.
Symptoms of people deficient in vitamin C include dry hair and skin, gingivitis, nosebleeds, anemia, inability to fight infections, swollen joints, easy bruising and weight gain. Scurvy may result that are malnourished and therefore lack the appropriate vitamin C intake.
In addition to physical illness, Vitamin C has also been used as a treatment for mental conditions such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and ADHD.
Side effects of too much vitamin C are rare. This is mainly due to the body’s inability to store the vitamin. Much of the excess vitamin C is excreted through urine. However people could experience upset stomach and diarrhea if they have overconsumed vitamin C.
Research done by Ms. Emily Demino
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