Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin important for your bones, skin, connective tissues, and has many other impressive health benefits. It plays a major role in the formation of carnitine, collagen, and amino acid. Since the body is not capable of producing this vitamin on its own, it is taken in the form of foods, fruits, and other dietary supplements.
Vitamin C Benefits
Vitamin C helps in controlling infections as well as in healing wounds. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps in neutralizing the harmful free radicals. This vitamin also manages blood pressure levels, lowers the risk of heart disease, reduces blood uric acid levels, prevents iron deficiency, boosts immunity, and improves your memory.
What is Vitamin C Deficiency?
Vitamin C deficiency occurs due to the lack of a sufficient amount of vitamin C in your diet. This means that new collagen cannot be formed and causes the breakdown of various tissues in your body. Chronic vitamin C deficiency leads to a disease known as Scurvy.
Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency
These are the common signs and symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.
1. Bleeding gums and teeth
Lack of vitamin C makes your gum tissues weak and inflamed. Therefore, the blood vessels tend to bleed more easily. Also, in severe cases, due to unhealthy gums and weak dentin, your teeth start falling out.
2. Slow wound healing process
Vitamin C deficiency can slow down the rate of collagen formation, making the wounds heal slowly. In severe cases, there is a high chance for the old wounds to reopen further causing infection.
3. Dry and wrinkled skin
Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants that are beneficial for the skin in a number of ways. Higher intake of this vitamin is associated with better skin quality. A lack of vitamin C results in dry and damaged skin. Sometimes, it also increases the risk of developing wrinkled skin.
4. Weight gain
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid helps in removing unwanted fat from the human body. Therefore, a deficiency in vitamin C can lead to the deposition of fat, especially around your tummy.
People with vitamin C deficiency feel tired most of the time. This is one of the first symptoms that appear in vitamin C deficient individuals, but they typically restore with adequate vitamin C intake.
6. Poor immunity
Ascorbic acid helps in combating various skin infections and destroying disease-causing pathogens. Lower levels of vitamin C are associated with an increased risk of infections.
7. Weak bones
Vitamin C is very important for bone health. Its deficiency can increase the risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis.
Poor collagen production makes the blood vessels weak. So, a lack of vitamin C can weaken the blood vessels causing easy bruising. This is one of the first obvious signs of vitamin C deficiency.
If you have any of these signs and symptoms of vitamin C disease, see a doctor as soon as possible. You can also consult a doctor online.
Home Remedies for Vitamin C Deficiency
Don’t waste time. Hurry up and add these vitamin C foods into your diet.
1. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits such as lemon and oranges are excellent vitamin C foods. They help to improve your immune system and maintain the elasticity of your skin. These fruits have anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant effects. One whole lemon (including peel) contains 83 mg of vitamin C, and one medium-sized orange contains 70 mg of vitamin C. Other citrus fruits such as grapefruit can also help you meet the vitamin C needs. It provides 44 mg of vitamin C.
The fruit of angels, papaya, is packed with 235 mg of vitamin C. That is, even half a papaya has a higher amount of vitamin C than an orange. It is a powerhouse of nutrients, and the fibres present in papaya flushes out the toxins from your body. Papaya also helps in treating skin conditions such as acne and pigmentation.
Amla is a nutrient-rich berry that is used as an ayurvedic medicine for treating many health problems. In fact, it is a powerful source of vitamin C, phenolics, and antioxidants. Amla contains around 600-700 mg of vitamin C. It improves metabolism and prevents viral as well as bacterial infections. Amla can be either eaten raw, as salads or in the form of juice. Adding amla into your diet can be considered as one of the natural ways to improve the immune system.
4. Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. are all examples of cruciferous vegetables. They are a rich source of vitamin C. The vitamin C content of these vegetables are given below:
- Broccoli- 89.2 mg
- Cabbage- 36.6 mg
- Cauliflower- 48.2 mg
Guava is a good source of vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants. It helps in boosting your immunity, treats constipation, prevents diabetes, weight loss and is even good for your brain. This is one of the best foods that will instantly boost your metabolism. A single guava fruit (100g) contains around 200mg of vitamin C.
This highly nutritious fruit is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C. It prevents heart disease, manages diabetes, and also helps in hydrating the body, thereby maintaining regular bowel movements. 59mg vitamin C is present in each 100g of strawberries.
Before adding these fruits and vegetables into your diet, talk to a doctor. Keep in mind that a vitamin C rich diet is always a valuable investment towards better health and well-being.