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Adlen Robinson: The many benefits of vitamin C
orange juice

Most of us grew up knowing we all need vitamin C to help prevent the common cold or to help lessen the severity of the symptoms once we caught one. But there have been so many studies since “back in the day” to show what important roles this vitamin plays when it comes to our health.

Vitamin C is a micronutrient that does so much to help our overall health — from reversing our skin aging to reducing our cholesterol levels to helping prevent gout — vitamin C is one vitamin we all need to make sure we are getting on a daily basis.

Best food sources of vitamin C

• Kiwi

• Bell peppers

• Oranges

• Strawberries

• Papaya

• Grapefruit

• Broccoli

• Brussels sprouts

• Mango

• Tomatoes

• Spinach

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, and of course can also be taken in the form of a supplement. It acts as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals and reduces inflammation. Our bodies use this all-important vitamin to synthesize collagen which aids in healing any wounds you may have.

The benefits of adequate vitamin C intake are numerous, but let’s talk about the top six.

1. The antioxidants in vitamin C help fight disease. Enough said.

2. Vitamin C helps prevent anemia — a lack of healthy red blood cells — and helps your body absorb iron, thus preventing this disease.

3. Vitamin C boosts your immunity. If you are sick, vitamin C can help reduce your symptoms as well as help shorten the duration of your symptoms.

4.Vitamin C can help improve your heart health. Our hearts supply our cells with oxygen and nutrients and help pump blood through our veins — numerous studies show that 500 milligrams of vitamin C a day helps reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in our bodies.

5. Vitamin C can help promote clear and younger skin. Women know how vitamin C is an increasingly popular ingredient we see in skin care products.

6. Vitamin C can reduce the risk of gout and also help reduce the symptoms for those suffering from gout. If you have ever known anybody who suffers from gout, you know how important prevention is.

Now you know the importance of vitamin C. Sure, you can take a supplement, but never forget incorporating this important vitamin into your diet via whole foods.

 Check out my food column this Friday for some simple, yet delicious recipes highlighting foods loaded with vitamin C. 


South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at adlen@adlenshomematters.com.