Role of Vitamin C in optimizing our health
Role of Vitamin C in optimizing our health
Vitamin C helps in healing wounds, repairs and maintains bones, teeth, and cartilage. It functions as an antioxidant and is also responsible for producing one of the most abundant proteins in our body, called collagen. On a more crucial level, vitamin C acts as an immune booster and is known to reduce the length of a common cold.
Do you recall how a medicated ointment helps heal a minor bruise? Well, let’s not credit external treatments alone but the nutrient that plays a huge role too – Vitamin C.
Where is Vitamin C naturally found?
Vitamin C is found naturally in all living animals. For instance, dogs and cats produce vitamin C from the ingested food metabolized into glucose. This process helps meet required nutrient levels in their body without the need to consume vitamin C-rich foods.
In most animals and plants, vitamin C is synthesized through a biochemical pathway. This pathway depends on four enzymes that work to convert glucose into vitamin C. In the case of mammals, the glucose is extracted from stored sugar or glycogen, and the conversion into vitamin C takes place in the liver.
On the other hand, humans, primates, and guinea pigs are an exception. As humans, our bodies do not produce vitamin C as easily as it is formed in animals and plants. We lack the enzyme L-gluconolactone oxidase that is critical for the last step in synthesizing vitamin C.
However, when vitamin C levels are low, the body is not able to perform essential functions like building healthy tissue or promoting a strong immune system.
To further add, elevated sugar (glucose) levels in the body may lead to restricting vitamin C from entering cells. Both glucose and vitamin C depend on insulin (a pancreatic hormone) to get into cells.
However, when glucose levels are too high, they tend to dominate their role and enter into cells, thereby restricting vitamin C’s entry. Another notorious act committed by high blood glucose levels is that they get in the way of white blood cells from ingesting bacteria and viruses and neutralizing them.
So, as you can see, vitamin C has a significant role to play in the human body, but its functions are interrupted, for example, with high blood sugar levels.
What are the best sources of vitamin C?
An average adult requires a maximum of 60 mg of Vitamin C per day. However, for people with chronic health conditions, higher doses are usually recommended by doctors.
Here’s a shortlist of the vitamin-rich sources:
- Yellow bell peppers
Vitamin C is present in a lot of foods, and so it’s not difficult to replenish this nutrient in the body. However, remember to include these foods on regular days.
Studies show that people with low Vitamin C levels are more resistant to fat mass loss. To understand more about your body’s response to fat mass reduction, get a free medical online weight loss consultation with Dr2bThin’s medical staff without ever leaving your home.
Five significant ways to increase Vitamin C Levels
It’s not just enough to consume vitamin-rich foods. There are other ways that are also needed in order to sustain the right amounts and improve levels along with overall health.
- Avoid sugar-rich sources
One of the foremost essential tasks is to avoid sugar as much as possible. You can stick to a lower carbohydrate diet that may help to improve vitamin C levels. So, processed sugars must be avoided, including high starch foods like potatoes, rice, and fruits high in sugar like bananas and watermelon.
Having foods that aid in stabilizing blood sugar and insulin levels should be your number one priority. You may consume grass-fed and organic animal products along with healthy fats from olives and olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados.
Therefore, as mentioned earlier, follow a lower carbohydrate diet. It can include having more non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, asparagus, celery, mushrooms, onions, garlic, cucumbers, etc.
- Include vitamin C rich foods in your diet.
Include the foods listed above as the best sources of vitamin C. Just to recap it for you, have more bell peppers, lemon, lime, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables, among other rich sources.
Drinking warm lemon water will amp up this nutrient level and also aid in a healthy digestive process.
Onions, elderberries, cranberries, peppers, and kale are rich in quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that works with vitamin C to support the immune system.
- Use Vitamin C supplements.
Severe deficiency of vitamin C is called Scurvy, and it can lead to bruising, gum and dental problems, dry hair and skin, and even anemia. Therefore, people suffering from this nutritional deficiency can benefit from consuming its rich sources while also taking supplements. You must consult your physician for your daily recommended dose.
- Intermittent fasting with Vitamin C supplementation
Intermittent fasting involves fasting (not eating) for a period of time followed by a period of feasting. Intermittent fasting increases autophagy (the natural process of the body clearing out and replacing damaged cells), cellular rejuvenation, immune system function, and genetic repair. It reduces inflammation and the risk of disease.
Here, combining intermittent fasting with Vitamin C supplementation and lemon water can improve blood sugar management and immunity, release the stress off your digestive system, and free up more energy for healing and repairing.
- Glutathione supplementation
Many people are deficient in Glutathione and may benefit from supplementation. It is also known as the “master antioxidant” and helps improve the inflammatory response, and also maintains vitamin C and E levels in their active forms. More importantly, Glutathione helps in recycling Vitamin C levels.
You may discuss the proper dosage with your physician for this master antioxidant as it helps in improving Vitamin C levels in the body.
Now that you’re aware of the many benefits of vitamin C, you may start taking measures to improvise on your daily lifestyle habits. There’s no time like today to begin working on your health and live a more active life.