Immune Health: Vitamin C for the Win
Updated: May 21, 2020
Most people associate Vitamin C with the ability to fight off colds and infections. There is a medical basis for that association because Vitamin C is known to be necessary for a normal, healthy immune system.
While Vitamin C intake is fairly simple to accomplish today with either foods rich in this vitamin or Vitamin C supplements, that hasn't always been the case. Scurvy was once a real health concern, associated with low levels of Vitamin C in the body. The problem was rampant in areas of the world where fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C content were rare, or where people couldn't afford to have those vegetables as part of their daily menu.
The c vitamin has got to be the most widely known vitamin these days. It is not surprising because the body needs c vitamin for over 300 functions.
In fact, the c vitamin has been proved to help protect against heart disease, cancer and other serious illnesses. Without the c vitamin the body would not be able to heal itself either. This is because the c vitamin 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 c vitamin this would be almost impossible. Collagen has a multitude of functions in the body, including keeping the organs in place, and it would not be able to do this without sufficient c vitamin.
The c vitamin is also an antioxidant for the body and helps other vitamins and minerals to be absorbed better. Folic acid and iron, for example, need the c vitamin to maximise their usefulness. The more c vitamin that the body has, the better its defence against colds and other common ailments and the c vitamin may not prevent a person catching a virus but it does help speed up the recovery process.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are among the more common food sources of Vitamin C. The papaya is probably the fruit with the single highest natural Vitamin C content. A medium papaya provides more than the daily recommended allowance for Vitamin C for any normal, healthy person. Because most people associate Vitamin C with citrus fruits, you may not realize that there are some other non-citrus sources of Vitamin C. If you simply don't like oranges or grapefruits, you can still find fruits that are high in Vitamin C to add to your diet. Strawberries and Cantaloupe are among those fruits. There are some other foods that are also good sources of Vitamin C, such as peppers. Vitamin C has also been found to be a natural antioxidant, meaning that it helps the body fight off specific health problems and diseases and may even slow some of the signs of aging. Some people think that Vitamin C will keep you from getting a cold, but the vitamin's natural aid to the immune system is the only real aid when it comes to colds. Instead of taking Vitamin C after you're coming down with a cold, the best course is to be sure you have sufficient levels of Vitamin C all the time. An important fact about Vitamin C is that the body doesn't store this vitamin as it is the case with some other vitamins. That means that you need to give your body new sources of Vitamin C daily to be sure to maintain a sufficient Vitamin C level. This is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential that you maintain a strong immune health and a great level of vitamins, antioxidants and hydration. Most professionals seem to agree that getting Vitamin C naturally is best. But if you're not getting sufficient amounts of this important vitamin, Vitamin C supplements are a great idea. Manufacturers have met the demand for more options when it comes to vitamins, including Vitamin C. You'll find tablets, powder in vegan capsules and chewables, all packed with enough Vitamin C to keep your body ready to fight off the infections that come your way.
Disclaimer: these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products, foods and ingredients mentioned are not intended to prevent, treat or cure any disease.