Monday, July 18, 2011

Vitamin C May Boost Eye and Brain Health

It's not like we need a scientific reason to eat more strawberries, kiwis or citrus fruits - the sheer facts that they're perfectly and guiltlessly delicious and make a perfect summer fruit salad are quite enough for most people. But just as an added plus, it turns out that snacking on these fruits and other foods that contain vitamin C may actually boost our brain power in addition to helping us see more clearly!

Ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin c is normally revered for it's capacity as an antioxidant, as well as for it's role in maintaining the integrity of collagen, that keeps teeth and gums healthy, as well as our skin and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also essential for optimal iron absorption for the formation of healthy blood cells. And now, according to a new study from the Oregon Health and Science University, vitamin C may be a key player in maintaining healthy and properly functioning retinal cells in eyes. This new discovery may also give us clues about the healthy functioning of other parts of the nervous system.

The researchers found that, in order to work at their optimal capacity, retinal cells need to be "bathed" in vitamin C, inside and out. They reported that in the absence of vitamin C, the receptors responsible for optimal retinal functioning no longer responded or functioned properly. Because of the surprising findings, the researchers believe that vitamin C may play an even greater role than initially thought in the entire central nervous system (CNS).

Some great sources of vitamin C, in addition to those noted above are bell peppers, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and pineapples.