Vitamin C and its impressive health benefits

Alisha Shinde
Thursday, 19 March 2020

Vitamin C doesn’t guarantee you immunity from the novel coronavirus, but consuming vitamin C has impressive health benefits, such as boosting immunity, increasing antioxidant levels and improving iron absorption.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, people have been taking all kinds of precautionary measures to stay safe. Along with good hygiene, they are also having nourishing food to stay healthy. Anything to keep the virus at bay!

Vitamin C, which is known to boost immunity, may prove beneficial for the body, however, there is no guarantee that it will safeguard you from coronavirus. Nonetheless, consuming vitamin C will help your immune system fight off other common illnesses. Anupama Menon, nutritionist and food coach, tells us more about the benefits of consuming vitamin C and lemon water on a daily basis. 

During these difficult times it is extremely important to focus on what you are eating and how to benefit from various nutrients. The nutritionist suggests focusing on making one’s gut and immunity strong. “There are many effective ways of doing so but the most common one is to consume nutritious food,” she says, adding that incorporating a healthy dose of vitamin C in one’s daily diet can boost one’s immunity. “Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of the body tissues and is also included in the smooth functioning of the immune system,” she says. 

Talking about an effective way of consuming vitamin C is simply to have lemons. The nutritionist points out that lemon is a part of almost every Indian meal. “This little fruit is a rich source of vitamin C, a nutrient which helps in activating a list of other nutrients,” says Menon. 

“Why have plain water when you can simply make it flavourful and nutritious simply by adding lemon juice to it!” says Menon explaining that it is a healthy drink that can add a good amount of vitamin C to your diet. “It has impressive health benefits such as boosting immunity, increasing antioxidant levels, improving iron absorption, to name a few,” she says. 

Squeezing lemon on dark green vegetables also helps the vegetables release the iron which can be further absorbed by the body. 

Talking about the ideal dose of vitamin C, Menon suggests having at least the juice of at least 2-3 lemons each day for beneficial results. 
 
The water-soluble vitamin can be obtained from a supplement or from citrus fruits. Apart from lemons, one can also consume oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries and even watermelons which are excellent sources of vitamin C. Basically almost any fresh fruit is good and an excellent source of the vitamin. 

Menon points out that consuming vitamin C does not have to be boring. “One can simply opt for homemade amla candies or amla shots mixed with a hint of pudina and mixed in water. These shots not only taste good but also aid in good gut health,” says the nutritionist.
 
Getting children to have vitamin C can be a tedious job, however, if you make them interesting and innovative, kids won’t say ‘no’. “Since some colourful fruits too are a rich source of vitamin C, you could blend some cold-pressed smoothies and juices, and reap optimum benefits,” she adds.  

Menon further says that a natural source of vitamin C is good for people with no illnesses and who are categorised as general functioning bodies. However, people with thyroid and other underlying health conditions should consult their doctors if they should have prescribed supplements. 

A few dos and don’ts

  • People with acidity issues need to be careful with concentrated lemon juice 
  • Sugar can be eliminated
  • Do not expose the lemons to extreme heat and sun
  • Lemons can be consumed in any form through the day
  • Add boiled ginger, turmeric, pepper to lemon juice for added benefits

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