According to various studies, vitamin C helps us reduce stress and improves cognitive processes. It achieves it in the first place, reducing the level of cortical in blood. Likewise, it also acts on the nervous system, since it favors the formation of myelin in neurons. In this way, it improves cell communication and optimizes processes such as memory.
The appreciation that these foods have had in our culture. So, in the past, and in order to face those harsh boat trips that our sailors carried out, among the basic cargo there were always citrus fruits to prevent scurvy.
Now, in our day to day almost always relate vitamin C as that key element to prevent colds and flu. However, it should be noted that this type of nutrient, by itself does not save, cure or prevent ailments. It helps us to prevent, to strengthen defenses. And to favor a series of basic processes that can mediate our well-being.
It is an essential nutrient and as such, should be in our diet. However, it is also interesting to know that vitamin C helps us to have a healthier brain.
Mechanisms by which vitamin C helps us reduce stress
A study by the Oregon University of Health and Science was the gateway to the world of an interesting discovery. It could be seen that, when a person has a deficit of vitamin C, GABA-type receptors stop functioning properly. Let us think that gamma-amino butyric acid has very important functions within the central nervous system:
- A low level of this neurotransmitter is associated with anxiety disorders, insomnia or depression.
- On the other hand, having a high amount of GABA favors processes such as relaxation, concentration, memory, reduction of the sensation of fear or alarm, etc.
In fact, it is also known that it favors the synthesis of several neurotransmitters. And that their presence is essential to convert dopamine into serotonin. And that in addition it modulates the release of neurotransmitters in nerve cells.
The brain needs vitamin C
Vitamin C helps reduce stress because it acts basically as a modulator. Thus, and although we are often told that we should raise the consumption of fresh fruit. And vegetables to have that essential nutrient, it is interesting to remember a curious aspect.
The part of our body that most seems to need vitamin C is the brain. In fact. It has been found that when the human body is deprived of vitamin C. This element remains in the brain for longer than anywhere else in our body.
Science still does not understand how many processes and mechanisms it can mediate. However, there is one that is known and that has been demonstrated: vitamin C reduces the level of cortical in the blood.
- Studies like the one carried out by doctors Oliveira J, de Souza VV and Motta V in 2015, showed that vitamin C helps us reduce stress and anxiety by regulating the production of this hormone.
- In addition, in this study we could see how a group of high school students scored better in tasks of memory and concentration, after a few months increasing their consumption of vitamin C
- Vitamin C, in addition, is essential for the synthesis of collagen. Thanks to this element not only take care of the health and resistance of the teeth or bones. Further, we improve the integrity and resistance of blood vessels, which is essential to optimize our cognitive processes.
How can we take care of our vitamin C levels?
Curious as it may seem, and as the specialists tell us, is very common to have an insufficient level of vitamin C. We always think that without this essential element. We will be more prone to suffer conditions such as colds or poor healing of wounds.
However, as we have pointed out, the organ that most seems to need vitamin C is the brain. Without it we will feel more overwhelmed. We will have concentration problems, as well as a greater sense of stress. Also, we must also remember that we need scorbutic acid or vitamin C to improve the absorption of iron.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is between 75 and 90 milligrams.
Instead of resorting to the classic supplements, it is always better to follow a proper diet rich in the following foods:
- Oranges and lemons
- Red peppers.
To conclude, we already know that vitamin C helps reduce stress. However, let’s not forget to improve our life habits. Avoid tobacco, perform some sport and integrate in the day to day adequate relaxation techniques and management of anxiety and stress will also help us.
What happens when there is vitamin C deficiency?
The shortage of this vitamin produces several symptoms related to a feeling of discomfort: pain and inflammation of the joints, muscle weakness, tiredness, mood swings, gingivitis (inflammation and bleeding gums), poor wound healing, bruising and loss of appetite.
If this situation is prolonged, it can lead to the development of scurvy, a disease characterized by the above symptoms, although anemia and depression also occur.
And if there is excess?
As it is water-soluble, excess vitamin C is normally eliminated through urine. But, in case of taking too high doses by means of supplements it could produce diarrhea, nausea, heartburn and abdominal pain.
On the other hand, regularly ingesting very high doses of ascorbic acid also increases the risk of kidney stones.
Among the benefits of vitamin C is the fact that it has antioxidant effects, is essential for the formation of collagen and favors the proper healing of wounds. It also strengthens the functioning of the immune system and helps the body to take advantage of iron from other foods.
So, regularly consume the necessary amount of this vitamin delays the aging of your skin, since it has a healthy impact on the formation of collagen bridges and fights free radicals.
Finally, vitamin C or scorbutic acid is one of the most important nutrients that we should include in our diet. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is used by your body to repair and maintain cellular tissues.