We associate the need for vitamin C mostly with cold and flu season as it not only pumps up the immune system but also helps fight off some types of viruses. But the truth is vitamin C does much more than just prevent colds. Incorporating vitamin C into your daily diet can prove to be highly beneficial. It lowers risk of cataracts, reduces aging signs in the skin, encourages creation of while blood cells that helps the body to fight infection, stabilizes blood sugar in diabetics, dilates blood vessels that promote a healthy heart, encourages collagen production that helps wounds to heal fast, lowers uric acid in the blood thus helping to prevent a painful form of arthritis known as gout. Some of the health risks associated with vitamin C deficiency includes weight gain, frequent nosebleeds, slower metabolism, anemia, weakened immune system and more. Talk to your physician if you experience any of these symptoms. Research links vitamin C deficiency to higher rates of dementia and cancer as well. Researchers believe vitamin C could help reduce inflammation, which is believed to contribute to dementia and some types of cancer.
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Consuming foods naturally rich in vitamin C can be immensely useful. Some of the fruits and vegetables that are naturally high in vitamin C includes leafy greens like spinach and romaine lettuce; strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries; kiwi, papaya, pineapple, and mango; cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli; tomatoes and tomato juice. You can easily incorporate these into the soups or smoothies that you consume on a regular basis.
Health Benefits of Vitamin C Rich Diet for the Elderly:
Strong Immune System– Seniors are at an increased risk of contracting the cold or flu which can be attributed to decrease in immune cells with age which vitamin C can help maintain.
Increases Skin Elasticity– As one grows old, elasticity in the skin naturally starts to decrease causing wrinkles, drooping, and sagging. Vitamin C aids collagen production, which helps the skin retain its elasticity. Taking vitamin C regularly also helps the body produce more collagen, which can enhance the appearance of skin.
Faster Healing of Wounds– Vitamin C can help your senior loved one recover quicker if he or she becomes injured. Individuals who took vitamin C daily experienced a shortened healing time of fractured bones in comparison to those who didn’t take this vitamin. On the contrary, individuals who are deficient in vitamin C may have a difficult time recovering from surgery.
Slow Metabolism and Weight Gain– As per researchers, taking vitamin C increases metabolism by removing oxidative stress and helping seniors increase their metabolism and lose weight. A major reason behind weight gain during the senior years is because metabolism slows down with age which is just one of the many common issues in older adults.
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