Vitamin C Helps Us To Reduce Stress

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that should therefore be included in our diet in sufficient quantities. However, it’s also interesting to know that this vitamin helps us have healthier brains. Let’s take a closer look at the data that supports this idea. 
Vitamin C helps us reduce stress

According to various studies , vitamin C helps us reduce stress and improve cognitive processes. It does this primarily by lowering the levels of cortisol in our blood. It also has an effect on the nervous system, as it promotes the formation of myelin in neurons. In this way cell communication is improved and processes such as memory are optimized.

Classic sayings praising the healthy effects of oranges, lemons and pomegranates, for example, give us a good example of the appreciation these foods had in our culture. Therefore, in the past, seafarers always had citrus fruits on board to prevent diseases such as scurvy.

Nowadays, vitamin C is almost always used as a key element in preventing colds and flu. It should be noted, however, that this type of nutrient in itself does not cure, alleviate or even prevent ailments. It only helps us to strengthen our immune system and to promote a number of fundamental processes that can in turn have a positive effect on our well-being.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that should be included in our diet in sufficient quantities. However, it’s also interesting to know that this vitamin helps us have healthier brains. Let’s take a closer look at the data that supports this idea.

stressed woman needs more vitamin C.

Mechanisms by which vitamin C helps us reduce stress

A study by the Oregon University of Health and Science opened the door to an interesting discovery. As part of this research, it was found that GABA receptors no longer function properly in the event of a vitamin C deficiency. So let’s remember that gamma-aminobutyric acid has very important functions in the central nervous system:

  • Low levels of this neurotransmitter can be associated with anxiety disorders, insomnia, or depression. 
  • On the other hand, a high amount of GABA receptors promotes processes such as relaxation, concentration, memory, reducing the feeling of fear or alertness, etc.

Doctor Henrique von Gersdorff, scientist and co-author of the study, points out that it is very likely that vitamin C plays a more important role in the health of our brain than we previously thought. 

In fact, it is also known that vitamin C can promote the synthesis of several neurotransmitters and that their presence is essential in converting dopamine to serotonin. In addition to this, it also modulates the release of neurotransmitters in the nerve cells.

Girl, with various connections on mind

The brain needs ascorbic acid

Vitamin C helps us reduce stress because it basically acts as a neuromodulator. Therefore, while we often state that it is important to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in order to get enough of this essential nutrient, there is an interesting aspect to consider.

The part of our body that needs the most vitamin C is the brain. It has been shown that when this vitamin is withdrawn from the human body, this element actually remains in our brain for longer than anywhere else in our body.

Science still does not understand exactly how many processes and mechanisms it can convey. However, one thing is known and proven: Vitamin C lowers the cortisol level in the blood.

  • Studies like the one carried out by doctors Oliverira J, de Souza VV and Motta V in 2015 showed that the vitamin helps reduce stress and anxiety by regulating the production of the hormone (cortisol) it needs.
  • This study also showed a group of high school students who, after increasing their intake of vitamin C for a few months, achieved better results on memory tasks and tasks that require high concentration.
  • In addition, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis. Thanks to this element, not only the health and resilience of our teeth and bones is taken care of. It also improves the integrity and resilience of our blood vessels, which is of course essential for optimizing our cognitive processes.

How can we take care of our vitamin C levels?

As strange as it may seem, and as the experts in the field tell us, it is very common that vitamin C levels are not high enough. We must always keep in mind that without this essential element we are more susceptible to illnesses such as colds and our wound healing will suffer as well.

As we have already pointed out, the brain is the organ that seems to need vitamin C the most. Without a sufficient amount of vitamin C, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. Difficulty concentrating and feeling more stressed are also common side effects.

What we also have to keep in mind is that we also need ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to improve our iron absorption. 

vitamin C

So let’s see what we need to do to improve our vitamin C levels.

  • The recommended daily intake of ascorbic acid is between 75 and 90 milligrams. 
  • Instead of resorting to the classic dietary supplements, it is always more advisable to follow a proper diet that is rich in the following foods:
    • Oranges and lemons
    • Mangoes
    • Pomegranates
    • Currants
    • Guavas
    • broccoli
    • Red pepper
    • Strawberries

In summary, we can once again point out that we already know that vitamin C helps us to reduce stress. However, we must not forget to improve our habits either. It is best to avoid tobacco, exercise regularly and integrate appropriate relaxation techniques into our everyday lives. All of this will also help us cope better with anxiety and stress.

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