Vitamin C is well known these days because it is an important nutrient that comes from many fruits and vegetables and the most popular one is of course oranges. It is also sometimes called ascorbic acid. Vitamin C benefits became very popular in supplement form because of the Nobel prize-winning scientist called Linus Pauling. He was taking up to 25 g of the vitamin every day of the year and attributed his good health to his consumption of the vitamin. Considering he died at the age of 96 in great physical and mental health he must have had some parts of the benefits of vitamin C correct.
So the key benefits of vitamin C are as follows:
- It promotes wound healing
- It’s essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissue such as fat, muscle and your bone structure. It also helps proper tissue strength and collagen growth which helps your skin remain youthful.
- Many people suggest taking vitamin C if you have a cold. The reason is that vitamin C does not directly fight the cold that you actually helps your immune system. Vitamin C is much potent in preventing colds than an actual solution once you have the actual symptoms. However, some say that vitamin C can help lessen the impact of the symptoms. Either way whether you are sick or not vitamin C definitely seems like a good idea. While colds is often mentioned, it actually helps prevent other viral diseases and cancer.
- Another vitamin C benefit is that you prevent yourself from developing a related deficiency which is called scurvy . This sickness is one of the first ones that was discovered that could be treated by giving the affected patient some oranges which had the time was one of the best and most well known source of vitamin C (even if they didn’t really knew at first vitamin C was needed to prevent scurvy).
- Vitamin C helps people with high cholesterol, allergies, asthma, cataracts and diabetes. It’s a powerful antioxidant, especially combined with vitamin E, that protects your blood cells and the lenses in your eyes.
You can find vitamin C in a large variety of foods such as oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, sweet potato, liver, cold cereal and many other fruits. If you want exact portions that you should aim for in the day as a benchmark from a single source you should look for about
1 cup of orange or tomato juice
~10 ounces of liver from beef or pork
Ideally you want to mix some of these sources like maybe 1 mango and half a cup of orange juice.
At this point it’s important to mention that vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which means that although Pauling probably took way too much vitamin C (he was taking about 25 grams a day when the recommended dose is usually between 500mg to 2 grams depending on your health and location) all the excess is simply thrown away in your urine. You only need to take 60 mg of vitamin C to prevent scurvy. Some vitamin experience caution pregnant women to not exceed 1 to 2 g a day and exceeding 1 g can sometimes cause upset stomachs, diarrhea or constipation but this is in very rare cases. Ideally as long as you do not take more than 1 vitamin C supplement capsule a day you most likely cannot reach any vitamin C overdose that could lead to side effects.