What Is Vitamin C & Why Do We Need It?

Published November 22, 2012

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Vitamin C

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient that we get from our diet. It’s water-soluble, so can easily be lost if food is overcooked or poorly stored.

Why your body needs Vitamin C

Vitamin C has many important roles throughout the body. Perhaps the best known is its ability to support your immune system.

It’s also an important antioxidant, helping the body to combat damaging free radicals that cause disease and ageing. It also makes other antioxidants, such as Vitamin E more effective.

Vitamin C helps the body to make collagen and other proteins that maintain healthy skin, blood vessel walls, joints, ligaments, tendons, gums, bones and teeth. It also helps wounds to heal.

Among its many other benefits, Vitamin C helps circulation, helps the body to absorb iron, helps combat stress, improves mood, and assists with energy production.

Dietary sources of Vitamin C

Fruit and vegetable are particularly good sources of Vitamin C. In particular, try blackcurrants, citrus fruit, watermelon, rockmelon, mango, kiwi fruit, strawberries, pawpaw, capsicum, chillis, cabbage-type vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and bok choy, and ripe tomatoes.

Some medications or a lack of fruit and vegetables may deplete Vitamin C levels in the body. If you’re low in Vitamin C, a simple supplement can help.

Always read the label, use only as directed. If symptoms persist, seek advice from your healthcare professional.

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