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5 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Vitamin C
Since grade school, we’re told that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) benefits our body by helping our bones and teeth grow. We also know that vitamin C comes from oranges and other citrus-based foods.
However, eating a diet filled with vitamin C has many other unique health benefits. Here are five ways vitamin C benefits your body.
Vitamin C boosts Collagen levels
One vitamin C benefit is it can help boost your collagen levels.1 Collagen is a protein found in your skin, bones, tissues, and the surfaces of cells. Collagen keeps your skin healthy and assists with the reparation of wounds.2
When you consume foods with vitamin C, your body is able to replenish hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is responsible for aiding your joints and speeding up your recovery time. When you have optimal hyaluronic acid levels, you’ll produce more collagen, which in turn maintains your body.1
Continuing this chain reaction can help keep your skin youthful and give you long-lasting health. Think of this vitamin C benefit as giving your body the resources it needs to fuel your internal production line.
Our bodies lose the amount of natural collagen we produce as we age, which is why it’s important to eat a balanced diet to replenish it.2 Include citrus fruits such as oranges, strawberries, red peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes to power your body with vitamin C and collagen.3
Vitamin C may help you lose weight
Everyone knows it’s important to maintain an adequate weight for your height. After all, obesity can lead to disease and puts your body at risk.
If you’re looking to lose or maintain weight, you’re in luck: vitamin C can help! A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that vitamin C is correlated with a lower percentage of body fat and a smaller waist circumference.4 The study trialed individuals with a placebo and vitamin C supplements to observe how this might affect weight loss. The researchers concluded that those who took vitamin C had lower BMIs.
If your mission is to lose weight, start adding some oranges, broccoli, lemons, and other vitamin C rich foods to your diet. Maintaining a good weight is a vitamin C benefit that you won’t want to miss out on.
Prevents Iron Deficiency
A unique vitamin C benefit is it can help prevent iron deficiency within your body. Iron is a nutrient responsible for creating red blood cells, which are vital for transporting oxygen throughout the blood stream.5
When your body lacks iron, you feel tired, have short breath, and have a lack of energy. This reduces your concentration and causes anemia in more severe cases.6 Iron deficiencies are also linked to poor attention spans and sore mouths and throats.
When you consume foods with vitamin C, your body transforms the food’s iron into a more absorbable type. This allows your body to process and use the iron to create the red blood cells it needs.5
Eat foods rich in vitamin C to keep optimal iron levels and maintain your body’s health. After all, it’s important to give your body the fuel it needs to stay healthy and active.
Vitamin C is linked to Lower Blood Pressure
Another benefit correlated with maintaining vitamin C levels is low blood pressure. Your blood pressure send signals to your heart and tells it how much blood to pump. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is linked to heart disease and strokes.7
The American Heart Association estimates that nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure, and most aren’t aware they have the condition.8 Because of this, it’s important to maintain a lifestyle that prevents high blood pressure and ensures long lasting health.
The John Hopkins University School of Medicine conducted a study that showed a correlation between vitamin C and blood pressure. The study found that taking an average of 500 milliliters of vitamin C reduced blood pressure by 3.84 milliliters of mercury in the short term. One reason researchers believes vitamin C lowers blood pressure is because it helps removes excess salt and water, which relaxes the body’s blood walls and reduces blood pressure.9
While Vitamin C alone might not be enough to maintain blood pressure, consider eating healthy vitamin C rich foods to help keep it low. After all, you want to give yourself an edge in keeping your body healthy with every choice you make.
Vitamin C May Help Reduces Stress
Do you consistently feel stressed out from work, school, and all of your other obligations? Another vitamin C benefit is it can help reduce your stress levels.
Vitamin C directly impacts the amount of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone that gives our brain the “flight or fight” response whenever we’re stressed or endangered.10
However, high amounts of stress leads to our body feeling exhausted and lethargic. When we prolong our stress, we start to feel worse over time because our bodies exert their resources. Other side effects of stress include headaches, fatigue, sleep problems, an upset stomach, and a change in sex drive.11
Eating vitamin C helps reduce cortisol production, which allows our body to maintain its stress.10 A study in Alabama looked at the vitamin C level in humans and animals, and they concluded that vitamin C reduces physical and emotional stress. The study looked at signs of stress including body weight, the adrenal gland size, and the size of the thymus gland and spleen.12
Having foods with vitamin C is a great way to help feed your body positive energy and keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed. Try including Vitamin C rich foods to power your mind and maintain your stress.
Are you ready to add more vitamin C foods to your diet?
With all these health benefits in mind, it’s no wonder vitamin C is an essential part to healthy living. Consider adding more foods with vitamin C to maintain a happy, healthy body!
Saber Healthcare supports healthy eating!
Here at Saber Healthcare, we know how important it is to maintain your diet. That’s why we strive to hire dietary experts who can help assist in preparing meals across all our locations.
If you or a loved one is looking for a career at an organization that cares about the health of our patients, take a look at our careers page to find an open dietary position near you.
- Watson, Kathryn. “5 Ways to Boost Collagen.” Healthline Media, healthline.com. July 17th, 2017. Accessed September 1st, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/ways-to-boost-collagen
- Ross, Rachel. “What is Collagen?” Future US Inc., livescience.com. January 23rd, 2020. Accessed September 1st, 2020. https://www.livescience.com/collagen.html
- “The Best Way You can Get More Collagen.” Cleveland Clinic, Clevelandclinic.com. May 15th, 2018. Accessed September 1st, 2020. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-way-you-can-get-more-collagen/
- Carol S. Johnston, Bonnie L. Beezhold, Bo Mostow, and Pamela D. Swan. “Plasma Vitamin C Is Inversely Related to Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference but Not to Plasma Adiponectin in Nonsmoking Adults.” American Society for Nutrition, The Journal of Nutrition. July 1st, 2007. Accessed September 1st 2020. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/137/7/1757/4664525
- Raman, Ryan. “7 Impressive Ways Vitamin C Benefits Your Body.” Healthline Media, healthline.com. February 19th, 2020. Accessed September 1st, 2020 . https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits#5.-Helps-prevent-iron-deficiency
- “Iron Deficiency Anemia.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), mayoclinic.com. October 18th, 2019. Accessed September 1st, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355034
- “High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes.” US Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. May 19th, 2020. Accessed September 1st, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/about.htm
- “The Facts about High Blood Pressure.” American Heart Association, heart.org. November 30th, 2017. Accessed September 1st, 2020. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure
- “Big Doses of Vitamin C May Lower Blood Pressure.” John Hopkins Medicine, hopkinsmedicine.org. April 18th, 2012. Accessed September 1st, 2020. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/big_doses_of_vitamin_c_may_lower_blood_pressure
- “Vitamin C: Stress Buster.” Sussex Publishers, Psychology Today. April 25th, 2003. Accessed September 1st, 2020. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200304/vitamin-c-stress-buster#:~:text=The%20researchers%20believe%20that%20vitamin,glands%20in%20response%20to%20stress.
- “Stress Symptoms: Effects on your Body and Behavior.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), mayoclinic.com. April 4th, 2019. Accessed September 1st, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987
- American Chemical Society. "Scientists Say Vitamin C May Alleviate The Body's Response To Stress." ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily. 23 August 1999. Accessed September 1st, 2020. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/08/990823072615.htm