It may not come as a surprise that according to a recent survey by VÖOST Vitamins and Minerals, 58% of British females do not get their recommended five-a-day, given that for many of us, everyday life has become increasingly busy.
It’s perhaps an obvious one, but of course a healthy balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is imperative to help our bodies function normally so we can feel at our best.
Generally, a healthy diet consists of foods that meet all the food groups, including fat and carbohydrates, and all the essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin B, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Calcium and Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is one vitamin that can’t be stored in the body, meaning you need to include it in your daily diet. Getting the right amount should be achievable from a balanced diet. Vitamin C can be found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and good sources include oranges and orange juice, red and green peppers, strawberries and blackcurrants.
Vitamin C comes with myriad health benefits, the most well-known perhaps is that it contributes to the normal function of the immune system, the body's defence against infectious organisms and other invaders.
Here are four more benefits of Vitamin C, you may not be aware of:
1. Vitamin C contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress
The NHS website states that Vitamin C serves multiple important functions in the human body including helping to protect cells and keep them healthy₂.
One of the ways Vitamin C does this is that it contributes to the body’s complex antioxidant defence system which helps protect our cells from oxidative stress.₃
Oxidative stress, is basically a disturbance in the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defences.₄
2. Vitamin C and your skin
Vitamin C is important when it comes to the normal health of four other parts of the human body in particular, our skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage₂. Its role in the formation of crucial collagen helps these parts of the body to function properly.
Vitamin C plays a part in protecting the skin from oxidative stress (see point 1) by donating electrons to neutralise the free radicals.₅
3. Vitamin C contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue
Along with other vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B and iron, Vitamin C contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue as well as contributing to what’s known as normal energy-yielding metabolism. A good combination of Vitamins B and C along with iron can be found in leafy greens, with this particular combination especially beneficial, as Vitamin C helps to increase the body’s iron absorption.
4. A benefit to fitness enthusiasts
Vitamin C, is actually great for fitness enthusiasts because consuming 200 mg per day in addition to the normal recommended daily intake, helps maintain the normal function of the immune system during and after intense physical exercise.
When life gets busy, getting enough of the right foods each day can sometimes seem like a big ask; if you struggle to get your RDA, supplements offer a convenient way to support your intake.
₁VÖOST Survey: Attitudes and Usage towards Vitamins and Supplements, September 2017.
The survey, commissioned by VÖOST Vitamins and Minerals, polled 1,109 females who are UK residents and are either employed on a full time or part time basis, as well as people who are unemployed, students and retired.