Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for our overall health. It is a vital nutrient that our bodies cannot produce on their own, so we need to obtain it through our diet or supplements.
Vitamin C plays numerous important roles in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant, which means it helps protect our cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. This antioxidant property of vitamin C is beneficial for our immune system, as it helps strengthen our defense against infections and supports the healing of wounds.
Furthermore, vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, a protein that forms the structural framework for our skin, bones, blood vessels, and other connective tissues. It promotes the health of our skin, helps in the repair and maintenance of tissues, and supports the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin C has been associated with accelerated bone healing, in part due to its role in producing collagen.
Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron from plant-based sources, enhancing iron availability for the body. It is involved in the production of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which contribute to mood regulation.
Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are well-known sources of vitamin C, but it can also be found in other fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, kiwis, bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach.
While vitamin C is generally safe and important for maintaining good health, excessive intake through supplements may lead to digestive discomfort or diarrhea in some individuals.