The current health crisis along with changing seasons makes is imperative that we focus on our diets and fitness. To keep healthy, one needs to exercise regularly, sleep well, drink adequate water and have a diet which is rich in all nutrients and also powerful antioxidants, especially vitamin C, says Sushant Raoranem, co-founder-director, Adroit Biomed Pvt Ltd. A recent study by Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science (IISC) suggests that vitamin C encumbers and kills Mycobacterium smegmatis, a non-pathogenic bacterium. In addition to health problems, vitamin C also helps combat any fungal infections of the skin and nails. It is prudent to consume, therefore, at least 500mg of vitamin C on a day-to-day basis as it helps in advancing immunity, and plummeting the brutality and duration of common cold, flu and infections from viruses, he advises.Reduces the risk of chronic diseases Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defences. Antioxidants are molecules that boost the immune system by protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. When these free radicals gather, they can endorse a state known as oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases. Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30 per cent, which helps the body’s natural fortifications fight inflammation.Restoring Immunity One of the main reasons people take vitamin C supplements is to boost or restore their immunity.It helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infections. * Vitamin C helps white blood cells function more efficiently while shielding them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals.* Studies have also shown that vitamin C may shorten healing time for wounds.Low vitamin C levels have been linked to poor health outcomes. People who have pneumonia tend to have lower vitamin C levels, and vitamin C supplementations have been shown to curtail the recovery time.Vitamin C for your skinAs far as your skin is concerned, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals. It is an essential part of the skin’s defense mechanism. It’s vigorously transported to the skin, where it acts as an antioxidant and helps reinforce the skin’s barrier. But, its skin-saving benefits aren’t limited to its antioxidant properties. It has plenty of other skin-healing properties that make it worthy of a permanent place in your medicine cabinet. For one, it’s highly acidic, when used topically and the skin is triggered to heal itself by accelerating the production of collagen and elastin.One of the easiest ways of increasing your immunity against infections is enhancing vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that must be obtained from the diet or supplements. It has been allied to many remarkable health benefits, such as boosting antioxidant levels, lowering blood pressure, boosting immunity, protecting skin from infections and many more. “Vitamin C supplements are a great and simple way to boost one’s immunity. It is recommended to use these, should there be a deficit of this antioxidant in your diet,” said Raoranem.