What Does Vitamin C Do? 

We all know that a glass of orange juice is filled with health-boosting vitamin C, but many people down their daily glass without giving much thought about the health benefits of vitamin C or the best way to take it. From helping to prevent iron deficiency, to improving your complexion – there are a number of benefits of vitamin C that might just surprise you.  

Luckily, we’ve got the lowdown on all of the vitamin C benefits and the best foods high in vitamin C that’ll keep you feeling as healthy as possible.  

The Health Benefits of Vitamin C

We’re told from a young age to make sure we’re getting enough vitamin C in our diets, but why is vitamin C so important and what are the benefits?  

Glass of freshly squeezed orange juice

It’s a Powerful Antioxidant

Vitamin C is high in antioxidants, which are an essential part of any diet. In fact, studies have shown that an increased consumption of vitamin C may be able to increase blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. 

Helping to protect from free radical damage, antioxidants are thought to reduce the risk of: 

  • Premature aging  
  • Certain cancers  
  • Heart disease  
  • Inflammatory diseases  
  • Cataracts 
  • High blood pressure  

In addition to fighting free radical damage, antioxidants can help to support the immune system, giving you a little extra boost when it comes to fighting off bacteria and infections.  

It Can Help to Prevent Iron Deficiency

You might be wondering how vitamin C can help to prevent iron deficiency – after all, isn’t it iron that will reduce the risk of iron deficiency? 

Vitamin C plays an important role in iron absorption and helps to convert the plant-based sources that are hard to absorb, known as non-heme iron, into a more bioavailable form 

Studies have found that consuming vitamin C with a meal may be able to improve iron absorption by 67% - which is especially important for those on a plant-based diet.  

Salad Bowl

So whether you enjoy a glass of orange juice with your oats in the morning, or add extra red peppers to your spinach salad at lunch – you’ll help to ensure that you’re absorbing as much iron as possible from your food. 

It May Help to Protect From Age-Related Memory Loss

From fine lines and wrinkles to grey and thinning hair – there are some signs of aging that are hard to avoid. However, it’s thought that there’s a link between age-related memory loss and vitamin C. 

Low vitamin C levels have been linked to a reduced capacity to think and recall information. Additionally, some studies have found that those suffering from dementia may have decreased levels of vitamin C in their blood.  

This supports the theory that lower antioxidant uptake may lead to neuronal damage from free radicals. However, further studies are required to identify whether vitamin C supplementation could delay the cognitive decline in dementia patients. 

Vitamin C is Great for Your Skin 

If you’re looking to improve your complexion, then vitamin C might be able to help you! Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the synthesis of collagen, which has a number of skincare benefits.  

Collagen is naturally present in your skin, however, as you age, the production of collagen slows down, contributing towards sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles. Ensuring you get enough vitamin C in your diet can help you to delay the signs of aging for as long as possible. 

Vitamin C Skincare

Additionally, vitamin C may help to improve your complexion by: 

  • Helping the skin to retain moisture  
  • Brightening the complexion and reducing pigmentation  
  • Providing a healthy glow  
  • Helping to reduce redness and promoting a more even skin tone 
  • Reducing the appearance of dark under-eye circles  
  • Providing some protection against sun damage 

As well as ensuring you’re getting enough vitamin C in your diet, it can also be applied topically to your skin and there are a number of vitamin-infused serums, creams and moisturisers to choose from.  

It May Help to Reduce Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is thought to affect more than 1 in 4 adults in the UK, which can increase the risk of suffering from heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease.  

However, vitamin C may be able to contribute to a reduction in blood pressure as it is thought to relax the blood vessels, reducing pressure. Studies found that, on average, vitamin C was able to reduce diastolic blood pressure by 1.5 mmHg and systolic blood pressure by 3.8 mmHg.  

However, whilst these results look promising, vitamin C alone is not enough to treat high blood pressure, but may aid in the management of it.  

Foods High in Vitamin C

When it comes to ensuring you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals, your first port of call should always be your dietSome of the best foods that are high in vitamin C include: 

  • Citrus fruits (lemons, oranges and grapefruits are all excellent choices) 
  • Kiwi  
  • Red peppers  
  • Broccoli  
  • Berries  
  • Leafy greens such as kale and spinach  
  • Papaya  
  • Tomatoes  
Fruit Bowl

So whether you make yourself a salad with leafy greens, red peppers, tomatoes and dress it with a drizzle of lemon juice, or you enjoy a glass of vitamin C-rich orange juice with your breakfast  you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of reaping all of the benefits of vitamin C in no time.  

What About Vitamin C Supplements?

If you’re not sure you’re getting enough vitamin C from your diet, then it might be worth considering a vitamin C supplement. As a water-soluble vitamin, it cannot be stored by the body, so a regular dose is required daily to maintain levels. 

Liposomal vitamin C is one of the most bioavailable supplementation methods and has been scientifically proven to deliver more of the vitamin than traditional tablets, allowing you to reap more of the benefits.  

So whether you’re looking to improve your complexion, reduce your blood pressure, or simply want to ensure you’re absorbing as much iron as possible from your plant-based diet – vitamin C should certainly be on your radar.  

Why not add a dose of vitamin C to your morning routine with our potent, health-promoting Raw Turmeric Vitamin C & D3 shots. Filled with a powerful combination of natural ingredients, our tasty shots will provide you with an 1,000mg of vitamin C so you can start your day off right.   

Thomas Robson-Kanu

The Hal Robson-Kanu Guide To Fitness & Nutrition

Gain exclusive insight into habits that will make every day a healthy and fulfilling one.