Over time, no matter how careful you are, your skin is going to take on some sun damage and wear and tear. Free radicals, which are produced when you digest food or are exposed to pollution, cigarette smoke or radiation, also cause damage. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent that damage. Not only is vitamin C an antioxidant, it helps to regenerate other antioxidants in the body, including vitamin E. When applied topically, vitamin C also helps protect your skin against the damaging effects of UV rays.
Your skin is like a blanket draped over a statue -- the appearance of the outer "shell" largely depends on the shape and firmness of the structure beneath it. Collagen is the structural element of your skin that provides for shape and firmness. Vitamin C intake improves the firmness and production of collagen, giving your skin a more firm and youthful appearance. This connective tissue is also important for healing wounds.
Vitamin C has cancer-preventing qualities and appears to reduce the odds of developing cardiovascular disease. Additionally, some studies have suggested that vitamin C delays or even prevents the formation of age-related cataracts and macular degeneration.
Fruits and veggies (especially citrus and potatoes) are excellent natural sources of vitamin C.
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