We all know that Vitamin C is good for us. Have you ever been told by a loved one to take some Vitamin C whenever you feel a bit ill? This nutrient is perhaps one of the most popular supplement in the UK today. This reputation of supporting recovery from minor infections and illnesses has made Vitamin C the people’s medicine. If you have ever had a cold it is likely that you’ve turned to citrus fruits or juices as well as Vitamin C supplements to aid a speedy recovery. This popular use of Vitamin C has made it perhaps one of the best known vitamins.
But how much do you really know about Vitamin C? Sure, it may support your immune system, but how does it do this? And what other benefits does it offer you? You may be surprised to learn that this popular vitamin is not actually that well understood by most people. It can do much more than just help you to recover from colds! It can support your cardiovascular health, help to prevent Cancer, control Cataracts, and even ease the symptoms of Osteoarthritis. And this is just a few of the benefits this nutrient can offer you!
Did you know that Vitamin C could hold some significant benefits for cardiovascular health? The connection between this valuable vitamin and the health of the cardiovascular system is little known. You may not have thought that there could even be a significant link between this nutrient and your blood and heart. However, according to extensive research, Vitamin C may help to prevent and control a huge range of cardiovascular complications. For many medical experts and researchers, this makes Vitamin C hugely important.
So what can Vitamin C do for your cardiovascular wellbeing? According to a range of studies, it can do a lot for you! It is now known that Vitamin C is involved in controlling and managing blood pressure, as well as supporting good endothelial health. Some of its main benefits concern the build-up of plaque in the arteries, also known as Atherosclerosis. It can also help to control a heart valve disorder associated with age, commonly called Degenerative Aortic Stenosis. Clearly Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining cardiovascular wellbeing.
Atherosclerosis is the build-up of plaque formed due to an excess of cholesterol in the blood stream. This means that if you have high cholesterol, you also have a high risk of Atherosclerosis. The problem with this condition is that it leads to narrowing of the arteries, whilst also causing these blood vessels to become inflexible. This makes high blood pressure more likely. With high blood pressure and high cholesterol together, the risk of life threatening blood clots and artery ruptures becomes very great indeed.
Preventing the build-up of plaque is obviously a good idea when thinking about maintaining cardiovascular wellbeing. With Vitamin C, this can be done both naturally and effectively. In several studies it has been found that Vitamin C can lower the risk of Atherosclerosis. In one British study, people with low Vitamin C levels who took supplements for 2 months had their risk of Atherosclerosis reduced by almost 40 per cent.
Degenerative Aortic Stenosis is an age related disorder related to the heart valve. It can be serious, and is in part caused by excessive inflammation in the cardiovascular system. According to a recent study, patients with this condition could benefit from Vitamin C supplements. Patients with mild to moderate aortic stenosis who took Vitamin C supplements experienced improvements to wellbeing that those not who did not take Vitamin C lacked. Namely, it was found that the vitamin greatly reduce their risk of inflammatory damage to their heart valves, which could make their condition worse.
But why does Vitamin C offer so many benefits to cardiovascular health? Well, it is believed that Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient capable of tackling oxidative stress and inflammation. As both an anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory vitamin, Vitamin C can help to prevent and control two of the most common causes of cardiovascular disease.
Oxidation can be problematic, and is known to be a potential cause of Cancer. Oxidative stress can build up in the body if it is not tackled or controlled, and can make cells less stable or unable to function properly. If this oxidative damage builds up to much it can affect more than just a few cells. It can cause damage to whole organs and systems in the body. Oxidative stress in the cardiovascular system is known to increase the risk of a range of conditions. In a similar way, inflammation can cause extensive damage to the body when not controlled. Luckily, Vitamin C can tackle both oxidative stress and inflammation, lowering your risk of cardiovascular conditions dramatically.
You might not associate Vitamin C with eye health, but there are some well-known links between them. It is now known that Vitamin C could potentially help the body to fight Cataracts. Cataracts is a common eye condition most often associated with the elderly, although it can affect anyone of any age. It causes clouding to the lens and vision. It can be caused by oxidative stress build up, which can develop due to sunlight reaching the eye. Since Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, it can prevent this from occurring and building up too much. Vitamin C is concentrated in the lens of the eye, so it makes sense that your eye health depends on you getting enough Vitamin C in your diet.
It is thought that this vitamin can help to improve quality of vision in people with Uveitis. This is a condition caused by inflammation in the centre of the eye. As a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient, Vitamin C can control the inflammation and tackle this condition effectively.
Alongside other anti-oxidants, Vitamin C can help to protect your eyes from various health conditions. Namely, it can play a role in preventing Age related Macular Degeneration. Also known as AMD, this condition is the primary cause of loss of sight and blindness in the elderly of the UK. As you get older, your risk of AMD increases. So finding a way to protect your eyes in later adult life is important. Alongside Zinc, Vitamin E and beta-carotene, Vitamin C can prevent and tackle oxidative stress in the eyes. Oxidation is one of the main causes of AMD, so getting plenty of powerful anti-oxidants in your diet can help to prevent this condition. Even in people with advanced AMD, Vitamin C is powerful enough to offer some benefits. A common supplement to take for this condition combines a high dose of Zinc with Vitamin C.
Now that you know how Vitamin C can support your health and wellbeing, it is time to find out which foods are Vitamin C rich. Including these foods regularly as part of a varied and nutritious diet can help you to support your wellbeing naturally and safely. Your diet determines a lot about your wellbeing. So focusing on your diet and making it nutritious is a great way to promote health and wellbeing throughout life. Men need about 90 mg of Vitamin C a day, whilst women need about 75 mg.
Most of the best food sources of Vitamin C are fruits. Fruits are low in calories and fat yet packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. Your best bet when choosing Vitamin C rich fruits is to choose citrus fruits. Orange, lemons, grapefruits and limes are all chock full of Vitamin C. You may be used to stocking up on citrus fruits when you are feeling under the weather. Since Vitamin C supports the immune system, this is a good idea! Just one medium orange can offer you 70 mg of Vitamin C, which amounts to almost 100 per cent of an adult woman’s daily needs.
Other fruits to stock up on include strawberries, papayas, black currant, guava, kiwis, and melons. Cantaloupe melon can provide you with almost 70 mg of Vitamin C per cup, whilst watermelon can offer you over 110 per cent of you daily needs for this nutrient.
Kiwi fruits may be small but they are certainly mighty when it comes to Vitamin C. They have even more of this nutrient than an orange! As a bonus, they also contain more Potassium than bananas.
In terms of vegetables, you may want to stock up on leafy green vegetables. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, watercress, and chard all contain a lot of Vitamin C yet almost no calories. Try eating more salads with mixed leaf greens, or cook them as nutritious and tasty side dishes. Brussels sprouts are also worth mentioning, as they are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, Potassium and fibre. Though not the most popular of vegetables, they can do wonders for your health! A more popular vegetable to include regularly in your diet is broccoli, containing 90 mg of Vitamin C per floret. Some herbs, such as chive, thyme, parsley, and basil are worth adding to your meals for an easy Vitamin C boost.