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Why we need Vitamin C | Benefits, Sources and Supplements

What is Vitamin C and how does it help us? Also known as Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that occurs naturally in ...

Vitamin C

What is Vitamin C and how does it help us?


Also known as Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that occurs naturally in some foods and is important to us because it plays an important role in the normal functioning of our body's immune system. When one is feeling under the weather or plagued by an irritable cold or flu, the most common advice one receives is to increase the intake of Vitamin C. Yes, the vitamin helps our immune system work properly and protects our body from diseases but there is much more to Vitamin C than that. Did you know that Vitamin C also helps maintain healthy teeth, bones, gums? It is also an antioxidant and helps produce collagen which in turn helps boost the skin tone and health. So you could say in a way that it is an all-round vitamin.


Insufficient Vitamin C intake


The amount of Vitamin C one needs depends on a number of factors - your age, your gender and other things like whether you are a smoker or not and the presence of certain medical conditions. Mostly, people tend to get enough Vitamin C from food but if for any reason you are deficient in the vitamin, you may experience symptoms such a as fatigue, impaired wound healing, dry/damaged skin, painful joints, swollen/bleeding gums and poor immunity etc.

Because it is a water soluble vitamin and our body does not store large amounts of Vitamin C, it is essential that we ensure that we have a regular intake of the vitamin. So, the next question is - what is the best source of Vitamin C.

Important food sources of Vitamin C


As you would have rightly guessed, some of the best sources of Vitamin C are fruits and vegetables. If you eat a varied diet that includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, you can easily get the recommended amounts of Vitamin C that your body needs. Good food sources of Vitamin C include:

Sources of Vitamin C


  • All citrus fruits - oranges, lemons, grapefruit etc. Amongst the citrus fruits, oranges are said to have the maximum Vitamin C content and interestingly the most Vitamin C is in the peel of the fruits rather than in the pulpy fruit themselves.
  • Other fruits like: kiwis, guavas, blackcurrants, cantaloupe, papaya, mango, pineapple, strawberries, blue berries, watermelon.
  • Vegetables like: broccoli, kale, bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, peas, parsley, tomato, cauliflower.

Unfortunately, cooking results in the loss of Vitamin C content but luckily the fruits and some of the veggies can be eaten raw. So, you can expect to get their full benefit.

Vitamin C Supplements


For those who are not getting the recommended amount of Vitamin C from their diet (and this could be due to any reason), the way to get their Vitamin C would be via supplements. Nowadays, Vitamin C supplements come in a range of formats - tablets, capsules, powders, soft chews etc. You can choose whatever works best for you. But go for a food based vitamin rather than synthetic supplements as then you will need a smaller dose to deliver a similar result.

Link Nutrition - Vitamin C and Bioflavanoids


Link Nutrition are a brand whose supplements are 'food based' and contain all the natural goodness of vitamins and minerals just as they are found in food. Their Vitamin C & Bioflavonoids supplement contains Vitamin C and bioflavonoids incorporated in citrus pulp, chaga mycelium powder (fermented) and mineral enhanced Lactobacillus bulgaricus providing zinc. There are no fillers, binders or preservatives in the capsule. And because the Vitamin C used in the capsule is food based, it is more bioavailable in the body than synthetic isolated vitamin C; Ascorbic acid. The Link Nutrition Vitamin C & Bioflavonoids is priced at £18.95 for 60 capsules and can be ordered online from www.linknutrition.com

As with any vitamin, taking too much of Vitamin C can be counterproductive and even have adverse effects. So, please be aware of the daily recommended value and do not exceed the dosage. If you have any concerns, talk to your healthcare professional or pharmacist.

Bonus!


When you are out and about and need a dose of Vitamin C, Say Aloe's reduced sugar drinks could be a good option. Not only are they delicious, they also contain a whole host of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including 100% of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C in each ‘on-the-go’ bottle.

Available in Say Aloe Reduced Sugar Original (Grape), Say Aloe Reduced Sugar Mango, Say Aloe Reduced Sugar Strawberry, Say Aloe Reduced Sugar Apple & Berry, or Say Aloe Zero Sugar Original (Grape), Say Aloe Zero Sugar Mango. You will find these drinks in most superstores (priced at RRP £1.49, 500ml).

Say Aloe Reduced Sugar Aloe Vera Drink
*Contains PR samples. All views are my own.

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