Vitamin C: From its incredible health benefits to the best food sources

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Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential vitamin which promises to bring an array of impressive results thanks to its high levels of antioxidants.

It has been linked to many impressive health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, reducing heart disease risk, boosting immunity and reducing dementia risk.

What does vitamin C do? 

Sydney-based nutritionist and dietitian Stefanie Valakas has revealed some of the hidden benefits of vitamin C, telling Starts at 60: “It is an antioxidant meaning it helps your body remove free radicals which build up over time and contributes to process of ageing.”

Vitamin C is important for keeping your skin, bones and connective tissue healthy, helping wounds heal, helping prevent infections and helping you absorb iron from your food.

“So combining foods such as legumes, beans, tofu, whole grains, nuts, seeds, spinach and broccoli with vitamin C rich foods can help our bodies absorb the iron from these plant[-based] foods,” Stefanie added.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential vitamin jam-packed with an array of impressive health benefits. Source: Getty
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential vitamin jam-packed with an array of impressive health benefits. Source: Getty

Sources of vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that must be obtained from diet and supplements. The best way to meet your needs is by incorporating a few foods rich in vitamin C into your diet, Stefanie explained.

Vitamin C is found in many different fruits and vegetables such as oranges, limes, lemons, berries, kiwifruit, blackcurrants, tomatoes, broccoli and capsicum.

She added: “Just keep in mind that it is a heat-sensitive vitamin, so really over-cooking your greens and other veggies will reduce their vitamin C content. Including a mixture of both raw and cooked veggies is a good idea and makes it colourful!” 

While it’s commonly advised to get your vitamin C intake from food, many people turn to supplements to meet their needs.

“Despite popular opinion, vitamin C supplements do not show good evidence in helping to prevent or treat a common cold,” Stefanie said.

What do you think? How do you incorporate vitamin C into your diet?

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