Before discussing the antioxidant properties of vitamin C, it is appropriate to define what antioxidants are and why they are so precious for our health.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent oxidation. Now, what is this oxidation they prevent? Oxidation happens to be a type of chemical reaction that tends to result in the production of free radicals, which in turn leads to chain reactions that may destroy the body cells. The presence of antioxidants, therefore, breaks these chain reactions and stops the destruction that free radicals could have caused to the body cells. Common examples of antioxidants are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Antioxidants are naturally synthesised by the body and can also be gotten from foods that are rich in them. They include: dark chocolate, blueberries, oranges, raspberries, kale, red cabbage, beans, beets, pecan, spinach, broccoli, to mention but a few. Men are recommended to take 90 mg of Vitamin C and women 75 mg on a daily basis. Some of the benefits of taking Vitamin C supplements as proven scientifically are discussed below.
So, what are the Antioxidants properties of Vitamin C ?
- Vitamin C helps in lowering blood pressure:
High blood pressure as we know imposes a risk of heart disease which has been discovered to be the principal cause of death internationally. However, a study on 29 human trials shows that taking a vitamin C supplement, averagely, lowered the systolic blood pressure (upper value) by 3.84 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (lower value) by 1.48 mmHg in healthy adults. As encouraging as this result sounds, it has not been ascertained if the lowering effect on blood pressure is permanent or temporary.
- It could reduce the level of blood uric acid and help prevent gout attacks:
Gout symptoms occur when the level of uric acid in the blood is high. Uric acid is one of the wastes products produced by the body. When on the high side, uric acid matures and deposits itself in the joints; which causes inflammation of the joints with severe pains. Remarkably, studies have proven that vitamin C may help bring down the amount of uric acid in the blood thereby protecting against gout.
- It prevents Iron deficiencies:
Iron is a vital nutrient that is responsible for forming red blood cells and the distribution of oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin C is said to improve the absorption of iron in the body by converting poorly absorbed iron in plant-based foods to iron that is easily absorbed. This invariably prevents the deficiency of iron (anemia) especially in people on meat-free diets.
- It boosts the body immunity:
Vitamin C encourages the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which serve as the body soldiers fighting back any attack on the body immune system. Also, it improves the efficacy of the white blood cells; helping them to function better.
- It strengthens your thinking ability:
Dementia (inability to think correctly) is said to be affecting over 35 million people all over the world; especially the aged. Studies have made it known that stress due to oxidative stress near the central nervous system can increase the risk of dementia. Vitamin C supplements have been shown to give a protective influence on the thinking ability of human.
Moreover, aside from the scientifically proven benefits of Vitamin C, there are other tentative claims about Vitamin C, and they include:
In summary, Vitamin C remains one of the most vital nutrients everyone who desires a healthful living should get on a daily basis, in the right quantity, and within the recommended dosage.