Are you struggling with frequent infections?

Does your skin lack elasticity and look dull?

If so, there’s a nutrient that you may be lacking. Vitamin C!

Keep reading as we explore the health benefits of this impressive nutrient and the warning signs of vitamin C deficiency. We’ll also talk about some of the best dietary sources of vitamin C (hint: they’re super tasty) — and why supplementing is helpful.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C gets a lot of buzz in the health and wellness world. But what is it?

Vitamin C – AKA ascorbic acid – is an essential nutrient that acts as both a vitamin and an antioxidant. As a cofactor in various physiological reactions, vitamin C has endless benefits! It’s your go-to nutrient for healthy immunity, skin, and brain function.1

However, vitamin C is not made in the human body. And as a water-soluble nutrient, any excess gets excreted. Essentially, this means you must consume it every day or risk a deficiency.

But many of us don’t get enough vitamin C for our needs.2

Signs you’re not getting enough Vitamin C

If you’re low in vitamin C, your body is likely screaming out to you. But, if you don’t know the signs, it may go unnoticed.

These are some of the signs of low vitamin C:

  • Poor immunity
  • Fatigue
  • Low iron levels
  • Slow wound healing
  • Premature wrinkles
  • Weak blood vessels and varicose veins
  • Frequent bruising
  • Swollen, bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth

While severe vitamin C deficiency isn’t common in developed countries, a mild deficiency can fly under the radar. Seniors, smokers, and those with digestive conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are at greater risk of deficiency.

Vitamin C health benefits

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals – compounds linked to cell damage, aging, and inflammation.3 Free radical damage is a daily battle, made worse by poor dietary choices, pollution, smoking, over-exercising, and stress. But vitamin C can counteract this, reducing inflammation and improving your longevity!

Other benefits of vitamin C include:

  • Stronger immune function
  • Healthier, supple skin
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Stable mood
  • Increased focus
  • Fewer aches and pains
  • Quicker exercise recovery
  • Increased well-being

Let’s take a more detailed look at some of these benefits…

Vitamin C helps you recover from colds and flu

Vitamin C should be the first thing you reach for when you feel a sore throat coming on!

pms symptoms

Consuming 1-2g of vitamin C per day at the first sign of symptoms may reduce the length and severity of a cold. It’s concentrated in white blood cells, which you need in abundance to bounce back from a cold.4

Vitamin C gives you glowing skin

If you have pigmentation, dull skin, and premature wrinkles, it’s an indication you need more vitamin C. This anti-ageing nutrient is essential for producing collagen, a protein that gives strength and elasticity to your skin.5 Boosting your vitamin C levels can revive collagen production as you age, minimizing crow’s feet and loose skin. It may also reduce premature skin ageing caused by harsh UV rays!

Vitamin C for injuries and muscle loss

Consuming adequate Vitamin C is vital for athletes, people with injuries, and the elderly. Its role in blood vessel health and collagen production makes it a vital co-factor for healing musculoskeletal injuries6 and preserving muscle mass as you age.

Vitamin C for anaemia and energy

Do you struggle with low energy and breathlessness?

If so, you might have low iron levels. Iron is a mineral that forms healthy red blood cells and transports oxygen around your body, helping you produce energy.

iron red blood cells

Consuming vitamin C with iron-rich foods and/or supplements may help you absorb iron more efficiently.7 This is particularly useful for vegetarians and vegans at greater risk for anaemia.

Vitamin C reduces gout

Gout is a painful condition caused by a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints – it feels like tiny shards of glass inside your joints! Vitamin C significantly reduces the risk of developing gout.8 It’s thought to help by clearing uric acid from the body and preventing a build-up in your joints.9

Daily vitamin C requirements

So, how much vitamin C do you need to consume?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. The demand increases to 85–120 mg daily in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Plus, people who smoke should consume an extra 35 mg of vitamin C daily.

A person holding a cigarette in your hand

However, the safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2000 mg per day10, and many experts swear by mega-dosing for health. It’s a water-soluble vitamin, so it’s not easy to overdose on vitamin C. If you take too much, your digestive system will let you know!

Best dietary sources of Vitamin C

Here are 5 of the richest food sources of vitamin C:

  1. Oranges are famous for their vitamin C content. An average-sized orange provides roughly 70 mg of vitamin C. If you’re anaemic, eating an orange with your meals may help iron absorption.11
  2. Strawberries don’t just look and taste good — they’re good for you. They offer more vitamin C per gram than oranges.
  3. Kale is having a trendy moment — but we promise it’s not a wellness fad! The leafy green veggie is a rich source of vitamin C. It’s delicious eaten raw in salads or cooked in stir-fries.
  4. Juicy guavas offer up to 126 mg of vitamin C per fruit. Lightly cooking guavas allows you to remove the seeds easily. Try serving cooked guavas with yoghurt and granola for a yummy snack.
  5. Papaya, tropical fruit from the melon family, is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin C. One cup offers almost 100% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake.

Supplementing with Vitamin C

At Cerebra Nootropics, we believe meeting your nutrient requirements should be easy! We have expanded our supplement range to include Vitamin C, providing 1000 mg of vitamin C per capsule along with a synergistic blend of rosehip extract and citrus bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids complement vitamin C and enhance absorption.

Closing thoughts

Vitamin C is a powerhouse nutrient that your body needs to minimize oxidative damage and keep you looking and feeling healthy.

Including more vitamin C-rich foods in your diet and supplementing with Cerebra Nootropics Vitamin C is a convenient way to top up your levels quickly for greater well-being.