It is considered to be one of the important vitamins because of its many health benefits. It can be found in citrus fruits and in quite a few fresh juices. We are talking about Vitamin C. And although we all know that it helps protects us against colds and infections, Vitamin C also helps us achieve healthy and glowing skin!
How does Vitamin C affect the skin?
1. Collagen synthesis: One of the major roles of Vitamin C is the synthesis of collagen and the connective tissues between cells. Collagen in turn is important in the formation of bones, joints and connective tissues needed for wound healing, not forgetting its role in keeping the skin looking young and delaying the appearance of wrinkles.
2. Protection of important vitamins and minerals needed for healthy skin: Vitamins A and E are crucial for a glowing complexion and Vitamin C helps keep them from oxidation. It also increases the absorption of iron from food, and a good iron status in the body means more oxygen to the organs especially the skin.
3. Protection against environmental factors: Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant which helps protect the skin from harmful environmental factors and the by-products of smoking which negatively affects the skin.
That’s why any shortage of our daily intake of vitamin C would negatively affect our skin as Vitamin C’s role in both collagen synthesis as well as its beneficial role to other important nutrients affecting the skin.
What is the daily recommended intake of vitamin C?
- Women between 19-50 years: 75mg/day
- Pregnant: 85mg/day
- Lactating: 120mg/day
What are the major food sources of Vitamin C? Vitamin C is mainly found in fruits and vegetables like citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit), tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, cabbage, guavas, strawberries and sweet pepper. (Their Vitamin C content varies from 50-150mg/100gm).
Be aware! A number of factors that will make Vitamin C less available are leaving cut vegetables for a long period of time exposed to air before cooking or eating them and using pans that contain copper for cooking.
You should try as much as you can to get fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid cutting beforehand, avoid leaving it highly exposed to air, sun and temperature and use it as soon as you can. Long cooking hours and high temperature make the food lose some of its Vitamin C, so try recipes that require short cooking time or better yet, eat it fresh!