If vitamin C had a superlative, it would be “most popular.” It’s an essential micronutrient that our body needs from diet and one of the most widely used supplements, and it helps us out in a lot of ways. Many people associate vitamin C primarily with oranges and helping with colds, but vitamin C is more than one fruit, and definitely has more than one function.
What vitamin C does for the body
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vital nutrient that supports healthy bones, muscles, and blood vessels. It’s also an antioxidant that helps support the body's immune system.
You’ve probably heard that vitamin C can help with the common cold, but that isn’t necessarily the case. It does, however, help support the immune system, and has been known to support eye and skin health as well.
In short, vitamin C does a lot for us, earning its place as one of the most popular vitamins out there.
Benefits of Vitamin C you might not know about
Most of us are aware of vitamin C’s role in supporting the immune system. A glass of orange juice may not cure a cold, but vitamin C can help support your body's immune system.
But that’s not the only benefit of vitamin C. This vital nutrient helps us out in several other ways as well.
1. Skin health. As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps helps supports healthy skin. Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of collagen, a protein that gives the skin its structure and suppleness. That’s why you’ll see vitamin C listed as an ingredient in many skincare products.
2. Iron absorption. Vitamin C improves the body’s ability to absorb iron from plant-based foods, which is important for maintaining healthy red blood cells. If you’ve been told to eat more iron-rich foods, it’s a good idea to also make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C while you’re at it.
3. Cardiovascular health. The heart loves vitamin C, as it has been shown to help support normal, healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Anything that benefits the heart is worth prioritizing, as a healthy heart is one of the most important factors that support long-term overall health.
4. Memory. Studies suggest vitamin C may also support cognitive function. Vitamin C helps out with the synthesis of neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain that are important for cognitive function and memory.
5. Stress support. As previously mentioned, vitamin C is an antioxidant, which can also help support healthy cortisol levels—a hormone that is released in response to stress. And, of course, vitamin C supports the immune system, which is especially important during times of stress.
Foods rich in vitamin C
Our bodies don’t produce vitamin C on their own, so we must get it from the food we eat. If you eat fruits and vegetables every day, you’ll be in good shape, as many vitamin C–rich foods come from these food groups:
The recommended amount of vitamin C per day is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women, but you can safely consume up to 2,000 milligrams a day.
Vitamin C supplementation
While getting the vitamin C we need through diet alone is ideal, it doesn’t happen as often as it should. In fact, 9 out of 10 people don’t eat enough fruits and veggies each day, which can leave a lot of nutrient deficiencies in your diet.
A simple, easy way to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C is by taking a daily vitamin C supplement like Bio-C. Bio-C is a powerful vitamin C blend that combines concentrated antioxidants with citrus bioflavonoids, which can support optimal vitamin C absorption in the body.
Vitamin C is important for any diet, whether you get it from a supplement or food (or both). If you have questions about your vitamin C consumption, consult your healthcare provider before making any major changes to your diet.
Vitamin C: Popular for a reason
A common nutrient that’s available in lots of yummy foods, vitamin C is a friend to all. And it’s a friend we all need, as it’s a vital nutrient that supports overall health and wellness. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of it, whether it’s through food or supplementation.