A miracle ingredient in a true sense, the health benefits of vitamin C are multi-dimensional. Also known as L-ascorbic acid, it is easily available, but this is an unstable form of vitamin C. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, bioflavonoids, liposomal vitamin C and ascorbyl palmitate (a fat-soluble variant of vitamin C used for topical skincare products) are other variants of it, which are stable.
Lately, this antioxidant has revolutionised the beauty and wellness industry and has found its way as a star component in everything — from oils, sunscreens, serums and moisturisers to shampoos and masks. Not just to be applied topically for better skin and hair, but oral intake of this vitamin through natural foods is known to boost health and tackle free radicals as well as reduce oxidative stress in our bodies.
An immunity booster and a multi-purpose ingredient to deal with skincare woes, this antioxidant is like a saviour which fights against serious ailments and restores our health in more ways than one.
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health (Office of Dietary Supplements), the recommended daily intake for vitamin C for meeting 90 to 95 per cent of an adult’s nutritional needs is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. Smokers need around 35 mg more of it as smoking causes oxidative stress that reduces the levels of this essential vitamin in the body.
Here is all you need to know about the effect of this vitamin on health, hair and skin.
What are the health benefits of vitamin C?
Reduces risk of fatal diseases
As vitamin C increases blood antioxidant levels by around 30 per cent, it protects the body from contracting many harmful diseases.
Improves heart health
Consuming the recommended amount of vitamin C preferably through natural foods and maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL) levels, which helps prevent cardiovascular diseases.
The National Library of Medicine has deduced this by analysing 15 studies on the consumption of this vitamin and its benefits. The analysis shows that this antioxidant reduced LDL cholesterol by over 7.9 mg/dL and blood triglycerides by 20.1 mg/dL.
Prevents gout attacks
Numerous studies suggest that vitamin C helps in reducing the formation of uric acid in the body. This acid crystallises in joints and causes gout attacks. Hence, regular inclusion of foods rich in this ingredient or its supplements can help tackle this issue.
Improves immune system
Optimum levels of this essential component are linked to the production of white blood cells, particularly lymphocytes and phagocytes. These are natural fighters against any kind of infectious viruses entering our system.
Natural foods that are high in vitamin C
Experts suggest that eating whole foods rich in vitamin C is a better option than consuming supplements. Here are some foods that should be included in your daily diet to maximise its intake.
- Brussels sprouts
- All citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges
What happens if you consume too much of vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which means that it does not get stored in the body for a long time and the excess gets flushed out. Hence, it is advisable to consume it daily. Although vitamin C-rich foods do not cause any kind of side effects, one must be careful because some of the side effects of consuming an excess of this vitamin can cause problems. These include stomach cramps, bloating, vomiting or other issues related to digestion. It can also lead to heartburn, headache, fatigue and insomnia as well as flaring and flushing of the skin.
Get glowing skin and luscious locks with these vitamin C products
Vitamin C is one of the best ingredients to be used topically on the skin as it does wonders by increasing collagen production, which makes the skin look younger, supple and plump. Vitamin C present in the skin layer improves barrier function which ensures that your tissues have adequate antioxidant protection against sun exposure.
Here are some products that you can add to your daily skincare regimen
As vitamin C has anti-inflammatory properties, its regular consumption can help you get blemish-free and even-toned skin.
Shop for vitamin C-infused skincare products
Shop some more products in the vitamin C skincare range
Check out these vitamin C-infused haircare products for those enviable locks
Do you suffer from a dry or flaky scalp? Vitamin C is the answer to all your mane woes. Its collagen-boosting properties come in handy to make sure that you flaunt shiny, thick hair. It neutralises free radical damage and prevents hair loss and ageing. Precisely, it prevents age-related macular degeneration.
Shop for vitamin C-based haircare products
Shop for some more haircare products with vitamin C
It is well established that vitamin C is highly essential for a healthy body that functions well. Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy. Some of the signs that you should look out for when your body needs this essential vitamin include brittle skin, slow healing of wounds, poor immunity, weak joints and bones, bleeding gums, unexplained weight gain, red hair follicles, iron deficiency, anaemia and fatigue.
It is thus incredibly beneficial to tap into the numerous benefits of vitamin C by consuming natural foods rich in the same along with topically applying general or homegrown products infused with vitamin C on your skin and hair. However, it is to be noted that since ascorbic acid is unstable in nature, it can cause the skin to break if used in high concentration. It is advisable to consult a dermatologist before purchasing a serum, peel-off mask or any other skincare product. You should always do a patch test on your skin before using any such product.
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