Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, helps our bodies stay fit, healthy and regulated. It can be taken in a pill or tablet form and can also be found in a number of fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is known mostly for its ability to strengthen immune systems, but studies have proven that Vitamin C can also reduce cold-like symptoms such as sore throats, coughs and runny noses. Vitamin C can also help prevent colds from progressing to more severe conditions such as pneumonia. Vitamin C also ensures sufficient blood vessel dilation. With its powerful antioxidant properties, it keeps our air pipes and lungs healthy (which is of particular importance and value to asthma sufferers) as well as our eyes. By eliminating free radicals from the eyes, Vitamin C helps prevent the creation of cataracts and other various types of eye damage.

Since Vitamin C aids in the healing of wounds, tissue repair, facilitates bone growth and bone repair and helps to keep skin healthy, it is no surprise that Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for pregnant women and growing fetuses. Vitamin C is central in the production of collagen, which is a protein the body requires in the maintenance and development of cartilage, bones, skin and tendons. Additionally, Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. While iron is very important during pregnancy and fetal development, the body can only process so much iron in a given period, and Vitamin C helps to regulate that.

Some studies have suggested that low levels of Vitamin C can lead to undeveloped cognition and learning abilities in babies. Related symptoms to Vitamin C deficiency include dry skin, bruises, slow healing cuts and brittle hair.

Foods rich in Vitamin C (and best enjoyed fresh as the majority of the vitamin is lost during the cooking process):

  • Vegetables (particularly red bell pepper, broccoli, cabbage, sweet potato, beets and regular potato)
  • Fruits (particularly strawberries, grapefruit, papaya, cantaloupe, mango, raspberries and cherry tomatoes)