The Health Benefits of Vitamin C

  • April 05, 2018

Many of us think of vitamin C as a nutrient that may help us stay healthier during cold and flu season. We know it can pump up our immune system and allow us to fight off some types of viruses. But vitamin C can help with so much more. 

In honor of National Vitamin C Day on April 4th, we share a quick guide on the role vitamin C plays in a healthy lifestyle.

Exploring the Health Benefits of Vitamin C

What other health benefits can you reap by incorporating the right amount of vitamin C in to your daily diet?

Here’s what the experts say vitamin C does:

  • Stabilizes blood sugar in people who have diabetes
  • Converts cholesterol in to bile salts which are easier for the body to eliminate
  • Promotes skin health and reduces the signs of aging
  • Lowers the risk for developing cataracts
  • Promotes white blood cell creation which helps the body fight off infection
  • Aids in wound care and the healing of wounds by supporting collagen production 
  • Keeps blood vessels dilated which helps keep the heart healthier
  • Relieves symptoms caused by  chronic health conditions like arthritis, sinusitis, and asthma

Health Risks Linked with Vitamin C Deficiency

You or a senior loved one might be suffering from a vitamin C deficiency without even realizing it. A few health conditions linked to a deficiency include: 

  • Frequent colds 
  • Nose bleeds
  • Wounds that won’t heel
  • Easy to bruise
  • Weight gain
  • Slowed metabolism
  • Anemia

Newer studies have also linked a vitamin C deficiency to higher rates of dementia and some forms of cancer.

How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?

There are differing recommendations on how much vitamin C seniors require each day. Here are a few to discuss with your primary care doctor:

  • U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends men over the age of 18 take 90 milligrams a day and women of the same age take 75 milligrams daily.
  • University of Michigan researchers put the number higher. They believe optimum health requires 500 daily milligrams of vitamin C.
  • Scientists from Oregon State University suggest that the recommended daily allowance should be 200 milligrams per day for both men and women.

So what can you do to naturally increase your vitamin C?

Learn More About Foods Rich in Vitamin C

The good news is that there are a number of fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C:

  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries
  • Spinach, cabbage, romaine, and other leafy greens
  • Kiwi, papaya, pineapple, and mango
  • Broccoli, Brussels sprout, and cauliflower
  • Green and red peppers
  • Sweet and white potatoes
  • Tomatoes and tomato juice

You can work them in to smoothies, add them to soup, or make them a part of your salad at lunch each day. 

Chef-Inspired Healthy Meals at Five Star Senior Living

At Five Star communities across the country, we’re proud of our signature dining services. Our delicious, chef-inspired menus encourage residents to take an interest in good nutrition. From our partnership with celebrity chef Brad Miller to our culinary competitions, visit the community nearest you to learn more. 

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