Vitamin C Graduation: What Exactly Does This Vitamin Do For You?

"Like Vitamin E and beta-carotene, vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are that nutrients that create a barrier against some of the damage caused by free radicals, those are the by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy. Too many free radicals floating around in the body speeds up the effects of aging and can even create medical problems, like cancer and heart disease. For smokers, antioxidants can be just the clean up your body needs after twenty years of puffing."



It was Nobel Laureate, Linus Pauling who pioneered vitamin C back in the 1920's. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and it's hard to imagine where the body would be without this water-soluable vit essential to proper growth and development.

What Vitamin C Does For You-Exactly

Well, vitamin C performs a few functions. For starters, it can be very helpful in healing certain kinds of wounds. And if you want to develop or maintain strong, healthy bones, vitamin C is your best bet. 

Ever heard of collagen? If you're a plastic surgery buff it's likely that you have. Vitamin C provides all of this natural protein that you'll need. Collagen is used by the body to make skin, scar tissue and blood vessels.

Like Vitamin E and beta-carotene, vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are that nutrients that create a barrier against some of the damage caused by free radicals, those are the by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy. Too many free radicals floating around in the body speeds up the effects of aging and can even create medical problems, like cancer and heart disease. For smokers, antioxidants can be just the clean up your body needs after twenty years of puffing.

Recommended Amounts of Vitamin C

The Food and Drug Adminstration recommends that adults and children get the following amounts of vitamin C per day, as determined by age:

Pediatric
  •  1 to 6 months: 30 mg
  •  6 to 12 months: 35 mg
  •  1 to 3 years: 40 mg
  •  4 to 6 years: 45 mg
  •  7 to 10 years: 45 mg
  •  11 to 14 years: 50 mg
  • Teen Girls: 15 to18 years: 65 mg
  • Teen Boys: 15 to18 years: 75 mg

Adult

  • Men 18 +: 90 mg
  • Women 18+: 75 mg
  • Breastfeeding women: first 6 months: 95 mg
  • Breastfeeding women: second 6 months: 90 mg

Smokers will need an additional 35 mg per day

Where To Get Vitamin C

Despite it's role in essential functions and it's impact on growth and development, your body doesn't produce or store vitamin C. It's up to you to make sure you get plenty of the C you need, and most times that can be achieved through just a strong diet. Some foods that contain lots of vitamin C are:

  • Green peppers
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Turnip greens
  • Leafy greens
  • Sweet and White potatoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Watermelon
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Winter squash
  • Red peppers
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Pineapple
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