An essential nutrient, vitamin C is required by our body for a variety of biological processes. Also, known as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid, it is present in certain food items and also available as dietary supplements. Vitamin C is used by our body for normal functioning of different enzymes, repairing of tissues, immunity, and for inhibiting oxidation. It may prove beneficial for scurvy and may be useful in curtailing the length of cold infections.  Found in abundance in variety of fruits and vegetables, vitamin C is also an integral ingredient in anti aging products and skin serums.
Gingivitis, immunity problems, bruising easily, poor iron absorption, increased susceptibility to infections and poor skin health are some of the conditions associated with vitamin C deficiency in the body. In Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are largely used for its detoxification properties. It is believed to reduce fatigue, enhance excretion of fluids in the lungs, promote bile flush out and help in removal of toxins from our system. In TCM peels of citrus fruits rich in vitamin C are used for respiratory and digestion related issues. 
Health Benefits Of Vitamin C
The Following are the 6 health benefits of Vitamin C:
1. Good For Our Immunity
Vitamin C is said to boost our immune health and often vitamin rich food items are advised to be consumed daily to keep cold and flu at bay. Appropriate levels of vitamin C may ease the symptoms and reduce the length of infection of the respiratory tract like common cold. Vitamin C intake can also protect you against malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea etc. by positively working on your immune system. 
2. Offers Antioxidant Benefits
Vitamin C, being an antioxidant, helps the body to work against free radicals, thereby reducing cellular damage and oxidative stress. This in turn may be beneficial in protecting you against as well as treating various chronic diseases like autoimmune disorders, cancers and heart disease. Studies have depicted a positive relationship between higher consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C and lesser possibilities of developing chronic disorders. 
3. Beneficial For Our Cardiovascular Health And Stroke
A study revealed that a rise in ascorbic acid levels in our plasma can bring down mortality related to ischaemic heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Plasma ascorbic acid levels of women and men in the age group of 45 to 79 was studied for a period of 4 years. An additional 50 grams (daily) intake of vitamin C through fruits and vegetables was found be associated with reduction in death risks by 20%.  A review of 13 randomized controlled trials revealed that vitamin C supplements in the dose of 500 milligrams a day when given for a month can bring about reduction in triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels in blood in people suffering from hypercholesterolemia.  Another study done on elderly people of the age 65 and above revealed that the risk of death from stroke was the highest amongst those whose vitamin C intake was the lowest. 
4. Good For Gout And Hyperuricemia Patients
An inflammatory and severely painful form of arthritis seen in adult male is gout. Vitamin C is said to be effective against high levels of serum uric acid and gout. The relationship between risk of developing gout and vitamin C was studied in 46,994 men over a period of 20 years. Over the years, it was seen that higher intake of vitamin C could bring down gout risks. It was concluded that supplemental Vitamin C proves beneficial for gout.  Another study evaluated how supplemental vitamin C affected the serum levels of uric acid in people suffering from either hyperuricemia or gout. Hyperuricemia occurs at the initial stages of gout and leads to inflammatory arthritis. Two groups were formed out of 30 male and female patients; 15 suffering from gout and rest from hyperuricemia. Vitamin C at the dose 500 mg daily in the form of chewable tablets was given for two months. Vitamin C was found to be effective in reducing uric acid levels in patients suffering from hyperuricemia. 
5. Beneficial For Our Skin
Vitamin C offers photoprotection to our skin i.e. it reduces the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation of sun on our skin. Its antioxidant properties are useful in this case. Topical application of vitamin especially in combination with vitamin E reduces UV rays’ immunosuppressive effects and inhibits cellular damage. By regulating collagen synthesis, increasing fibroblasts’ rate of proliferation, vitamin C can keep wrinkles at bay. It also promotes wound healing and that is why it is used orally for burns and bed sores along with zinc, vitamin E etc. Vitamin C topical application are also beneficial in reducing roughness of skin. Vitamin C when applied topically may lighten your skin by decreasing melanin synthesis and oxidation. 
6. Enhances Absorption Of Iron
Vitamin C is said to promote absorption of iron, thereby may prove beneficial for anemia. A study depicted that consumption of 100 mg of vitamin C along with your meal can give a boost to absorption of iron by almost 67 percent. 
Top 20 Vitamin C Rich Food Items
The following are the 20 Vitamin C rich food items:
1. Black Currant: You can get 203 milligrams of vitamin C from 1 cup of black currant.
2. Red Pepper: This supplies 190 milligrams from 1 cup.
3. Kiwifruit: One cup of kiwifruit gives you 164 milligrams of vitamin C.
4. Guava: You can get 126 milligrams of vitamin C from 1 guava.
5. Green Bell Pepper: 1 cup has 120 milligrams of vitamin C.
6. Orange: One large orange can provide you with 98 milligrams of vitamin C.
7. Strawberries: 89 milligrams of vitamin C is provided by 1 cup of strawberries.
8. Papaya: Consumption of 1 cup supplies you with 87 milligrams.
9. Broccoli: 81 milligrams can be attained from 1 cup of raw broccoli.
10. Kale: 1 cup of raw kale can supply 80 milligrams of vitamin C.
11. Parsley: You get 80 milligrams from 1 cup.
12. Pineapple: If you consume 1 cup of pineapple you get 79 milligrams of vitamin C.
13. Brussels Sprouts: Half a cup of cooked Brussel sprouts can give you 48 milligrams of the vitamin C.
14. Mango: One cup of mango has 46 milligrams of vitamin C.
15. Cauliflower: 46 milligrams can be obtained from 1 cup of raw cauliflower.
16. Lemon: A single lemon possesses 45 milligrams of vitamin C.
17. Grapefruit: 38 milligrams of the vitamin is present in half a grapefruit.
18. Honeydew: You can get 32 milligrams of vitamin C from 1 cup honeydew.
19. Peas: 1 cup of cooked peas provide you with 23 milligrams of vitamin C.
20. Tomatoes: 23 milligrams of vitamin C is present in a cup of raw tomatoes.
Do It Yourself Vitamin C Boosting Recipes
The following are the DIY Vitamin C Boosting Recipes:
1. Kiwi And Strawberry Smoothie
You need to blend half a banana with half cup strawberries, one kiwi and quarter cup each of raw organic yogurt and water. Once it reaches a smooth texture you can serve it as is or add green vegetable powder to give further boost to its nutrient content. 
2. Honeydew Sorbet
Ingredients required are 1 honeydew melon, 2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Cut the honeydew into chunks and freeze them for at least 4 hours. Take them out, add lemon juice, honey or maple syrup, little water and blend. Freeze the blended content again for half an hour. You can serve it then. 
3. Kale Chips With Coconut Oil
For this you need a bunch of chopped kale, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, one tablespoon lemon juice and quarter teaspoon sea salt. Take a large bowl, place all the ingredients and mix well. Keep it in a preheated oven and bake it for 12. 
4. Brussels Sprouts Roasted With Apple And Pecan
Ingredients required are 2 pounds of Brussels sprouts halved, 2 minced shallots, a cup of white wine, quarter cup of ghee, salt and pepper, zest of a lemon, pecan pieces 1 cup, a sweet apple diced, one teaspoon of freshly chopped thyme and half a cup of grated Zamorano cheese. Take a baking dish and mix shallots, Brussels sprouts, pepper and salt. Add white wine and ghee and place the dish in a preheated oven. After baking for half an hour, take it out from the oven and add the apple, lemon zest, pecan, Zamorano cheese and thyme. Mix and replace in oven for at least 15 minutes or till the time the apple becomes soft. 
5. Green Vitamin C Smoothie
You require 2 overripe guavas, 3 oranges, a quarter cup of papaya, half cup kale leaves and some ice. Juice the oranges and add in a blender along with guavas (remove all the seeds), papaya, kale leaves, ice cubes and half a cup of water. 
6. Vitamin C Fruit Salad
Ingredients required are 1 orange, 2 kiwis, 2 guavas and a cup of fresh strawberries. Remove the peel from the orange and kiwis and cut them into cubes. Cut the guavas and strawberries into small pieces. Mix all the fruits together and add lime or lemon juice. 
7. Vitamin C Vegetable Salad
You require 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 cup each of cherry tomatoes, fresh snap peas and kale leaves and a quarter head of Romaine or iceberg lettuce. Wash, dry and slit or rip the leaves. Deseed the bell pepper and cut them into strips and slit the peas into half. Put all in one bowl, add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. 
8. Vitamin C Rich Herbal Pill
For this, you need one tablespoon each of amla powder, rosehip powder, acerola powder, honey and orange peel powder. Mix the herbs well and add warm honey to it. The amount of honey has to be right enough to hold everything together and not make the pills too sticky or too moist. Make small pea sized balls and roll them into orange powder. Store it in an airtight jar and consume 1 to 3 a day. You will get approximately 45 pills out the mix. 
Dosage Of Vitamin C
RDA for vitamin C is 75 milligrams for women above 18 years of age and 90 milligrams for men above 18 years. Pregnant women need 85 milligrams a day whereas lactating mothers need 120 milligrams a day. Smokers need extra vitamin C i.e. 35 milligrams more as smoking reduces your vitamin C levels. 
Vitamin C when taken in recommended doses is considered safe. This is applicable for topical application, oral consumption and intravenous application. 
2. Upper Limit
However total intake of vitamin C should not be more than 2000 milligrams a day for an adult.
Higher doses are associated with diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache etc.
4. Kidney Disease And Stones
People with kidney disease have to be careful with consumption of vitamin C as it may boost the oxalate levels in the urine which may result in kidney failure. Chances of recurrence of kidney stones increases if a person who has had a kidney stone and is consuming more than 1000 milligrams of vitamin C daily.
5. Children And Adolescents
Children in the age group of 1 to 3 years should not consume more than 400 mg of vitamin C in a day. For children of 4 to 8 years the daily upper limit is 650 mg, for 9 to 13 years it is 1200 mg and for 14 to 18 years it is 1800 mg.
Higher alcohol intake can cause excess urinary excretion of vitamin C from the body. So, chronic alcoholics, especially those with other diseases need prolonged vitamin C therapy.
7. Alzheimer’s Patients
People suffering from Alzheimer’s should not be given vitamin C in combination with vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid as it could deteriorate their brain functioning.
8. Angioplasty And Weight Loss Surgery
Vitamin C supplements before and after angioplasty should not be taken without a doctor’s recommendation as it may interfere with healing. Vitamin C in large amounts is also not good post weight loss surgery as the body absorbs more oxalate during this time. Vitamin C also promotes excretion of oxalates. This may result in excessive oxalate in the urine.