New York: Vitamin C has got to be the most widely known vitamin these days. It is not surprising because the body needs Vitamin C for over 300 functions. In fact, the Vitamin C has been proved to help protect against heart disease, cancer and other serious illnesses.
Without the vitamin C the body would not be able to heal itself either. This is because the vitamin C is vital for the formation of collagen. Whenever a person has a cut or an injury it is the collagen that helps repair the damage and without sufficient vitamin C this would be almost impossible. Collagen has a multitude of functions in the body, including keeping the organs in place, and it would not be able to do this without sufficient vitamin C.
The vitamin C is also an antioxidant for the body and helps other vitamins and minerals to be absorbed better. Folic acid and iron, for example, need the vitamin C to maximise their usefulness. The more vitamin C that the body has, the better its defence against colds and other common ailments and the vitamin C may not prevent a person catching a virus but it does help speed up the recovery process.
There is vitamin C in almost every fruit and vegetable but some have far higher vitamin C content than others. Cranberries and melons have high vitamin C content. In fact, tropical fruits have the highest vitamin C amounts of all fruit. Hot peppers are amongst the richest sources of the vitamin C when it comes to vegetables. The hotter the pepper, the higher its vitamin C content is. Unfortunately, the vitamin C is water soluble so many vegetables lose their effectiveness as a vitamin C provider if they are boiled for a long time. Steaming or quick stir frying vegetables ensures that more of their vitamin C content is retained. The recommended daily amount of the vitamin C is easily obtained from eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day if they are consumed raw or cooked quickly.
Vitamin C supplements are extremely useful to ensure that people obtain sufficient vitamin C. However, with a balanced diet the amount of vitamin C the body receives is likely to be sufficient. However, if a person begins feeling tired or lethargic then a vitamin C supplement will help overcome this.