You don’t need to be an expert to know that nutrition is very important. And not just for your physical well-being, but also for your mental health. And when you negate some nutrients from your diet, your body starts throwing signals at you. Similarly, when you are deficient in vitamin C, one of the most important nutrients in your body, it also shows you the deficiency in several ways.
You see, vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means it protects cells from damage. It’s also anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating. The human body requires vitamin C for a number of significant activities, but a deficiency can cause a lot of health problems in an individual.
And during Covid-19, we have seen that the role of vitamin C is indispensable. But how can we check its levels in the body? Come, let’s figure it out.
Signs that your body throws at you when you don’t get enough vitamin C
You fall sick fast: Vitamin C is high in antioxidants, which helps the immune system function properly. A weak immune system is the outcome of a vitamin C deficiency. A person can fall ill more frequently, as a result of their increased susceptibility to infections.
You become prone to acne: Vitamin C insufficiency can result in the formation of tiny acne-like lesions on the arms, thighs, or buttocks. However, these bumps are insufficient to diagnose a deficit.
Your oral health degrades: Vitamin C deficiency can affect not just your skin, but also your teeth. Gum bleeding is caused by a lack of collagen formation due to low vitamin C levels. Vitamin C deficiency is also associated with swollen gums. A severe deficiency can potentially result in the loss of teeth.
You get bruises faster than others: A lack of vitamin C weakens blood vessels, resulting in easy bruising. It is generally one of the first visible symptoms of vitamin C insufficiency.
You are always tired: Low vitamin C levels can make you feel exhausted all the time. This condition can also be spurred on by a lack of immunity and anemia. You may have a lack of energy when trying to perform an activity.
You become anemic:Vitamin C insufficiency may raise the risk of iron deficiency anemia by decreasing iron absorption and raising the possibility of bleeding. Consuming iron alone is insufficient; you must also drink enough vitamin C to allow the iron to be absorbed.
Now let’s find how much vitamin C your body really needs
“For individuals aged 19 and above, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 90 milligrams (mg) per day for males and 75 milligrams (mg) per day for women,” shares Dr Hitesh Gour, Consultant Pulmonology, Manipal Hospital, Patiala, with HealthShots.
He adds, “Those with a poor overall diet, those on dialysis for kidney illness, heavy drinkers, and smokers are all at risk for vitamin C insufficiency. Smokers may need an extra 35 mg of vitamin C, because smoking depletes the body’s supply of this mineral.”
Excessive intake of vitamin C can have negative effects, thus adults should stick to a daily dose of no more than 2000 mg
Here are some of the best sources of vitamin C
90% of vitamin C can be gained by consuming vegetables along with citrus fruits.
Vitamin C is naturally present in:
Citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, and grapefruits
Muskmelon, watermelon, tomatoes, pineapple, kiwi, guava, papaya, and mangoes
Raw or barely cooked green vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, red and yellow bell peppers, and turnips
Potatoes (both sweet and white)
Strawberries, Indian gooseberries (amla), raspberries, and cranberries
So, if you don’t want to feel dull and exhausted, just amp up the intake of vitamin C and feel the difference!