Vitamin C has long been hailed as the key to fending off pesky colds and enhancing immune function – hence the ubiquitous glass of orange juice at breakfast tables worldwide! Vitamin C isn’t just for fighting off the sniffles, however – so we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the internal and external benefits of vitamin C.
Our body doesn’t store vitamin C, so we need to consume it every day to get its benefits. A healthy vitamin C intake will provide you with a boost of antioxidants, which, in turn, will preserve your cardiovascular and immune health.
The antioxidants present in vitamin C show signs of protecting the body from toxins and harmful molecules known as free radicals, preventing a build up that could potentially lead to serious illnesses like cancer. It is well known that antioxidants also act as an anti-inflammatory, essential in treating chronic diseases and preventing episodes like heart failure and stroke.
Vitamin C promotes collagen production, which aids the body in repairing tissue and supporting bones and organs. Collagen gives skin elasticity, which can be negatively affected by environmental pollutants – meaning it’s imperative to encourage the body’s natural collagen production functions.
As most of us know, vitamin C helps to alleviate symptoms of the common cold by acting as an antihistamine – however, it’s now believed to help in treatment of allergies and respiratory conditions like asthma, too.
Vitamin C also enhances the body’s ability to absorb iron. People who are anemic or pregnant are encouraged to increase their intake of vitamin C, in order to boost their iron levels. Next time you’re feeling fatigued, try a combination of foods rich in both iron and vitamin C to combat your lack of energy!
Skin and Hair
Collagen’s tissue repairing effects are important for maintaining healthy skin, too! Just as collagen benefits the body internally, it works wonders externally as a natural skin care product. Collagen creates tension and plumpness in the skin, for a wrinkle-reducing and anti-aging effect.
Sun exposure can encourage the development of free radicals on the skin, damaging it in the short and long term. Regular vitamin C intake will fight off these free radicals, mitigating sun damage and discoloration. Sunscreen is still key – so don’t forget your SPF!
Vitamin C isn’t a moisturizer on its own, but it enhances oxygen absorption into the bloodstream, helping to minimize unwanted blemishes and make skin look radiant in the process.
Improves Hair Growth
A lack of vitamin C serum can lead to dry hair and split ends – the antioxidant properties of vitamin C promote healthy hair, and in turn ensure consistent hair growth.
Best Sources of Vitamin C
The synthetic vitamin C oil we usually see at the supermarket doesn’t metabolize well in the body, so it’s best to go with natural sources (internally and externally) whenever possible.
First of all, there are the usual vitamin C-rich suspects, like oranges, kiwis, and berries. However, there are many more under-the-radar fruits and vegetables packed with this powerful vitamin! Green vegetables like broccoli and kale are a great way to add vitamin C to salads and entrees, and if you want a change of pace, tropical fruits like papaya and guava are great sources of it as well. Many foods rich in vitamin C are light, and easy to digest, which makes them even easier to incorporate into daily snacks and meals. Make sure not to overcook these fruits and vegetables, as excessive heat can minimize vitamin C content!
While citrus essential oils have relatively low amounts of Vitamin C in and of themselves, research indicates that they can boost the absorption of Vitamin C within the body and are excellent compliments to your natural Vitamin-C intake!
Neroli is an essential oil that is renowned for its anti-aging properties when used on the skin. To begin with, its aromatherapy effect soothes the mind and minimizes physical tension, meaning a reduction in wrinkles and frown lines. It is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, and it also has an antiseptic effect on the skin, for blemish and acne fighting. Neroli is also a great way to minimize scarring and signs of trauma, such as acne scars and stretch marks.
Orange essential oil is becoming increasingly popular amongst health aficionados looking for ways to boost their immune system. A drop of orange oil added to food or beverages is shown to reduce stress and anxiety, helping to calm both the mind and the body. Applied directly onto skin, orange oil helps to remove dead skin and provide the nutrients the skin needs to retain moisture.
And there you have it – the many benefits of vitamin C, and creative ways to make the most of them (hint: it's not just about the morning glass of OJ anymore!)
For a natural, vitamin C-packed face oil, check out our Absolute Anti Aging blend.