At NatureSweet, we pride ourselves in offering high quality products like our new Eclipse tomatoes. Eclipse tomatoes are packed with both flavor and nutrients like vitamin C. Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting powers, but it’s also needed to keep skin healthy.
Healthy skin layers are full of vitamin C, where it’s used as an antioxidant to help protect against damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, and as a molecule that assists in the production of collagen.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, which means that our bodies can’t make it on its own. Getting enough in your daily diet is important to prevent disease and to help keep our skin and bodies healthy and youthful over time.
Vitamin C and UV Protection
Without protection from the sun’s UV rays, our skin’s defenses can be overwhelmed, leading to permanent changes in its structure. These changes are often referred to as photodamage, a major cause of premature wrinkling.
Researchers have discovered that vitamin C plays a significant role in UV protection as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are molecules that capture free radicals, or unstable particles that would otherwise damage healthy cells.
Free radicals are made naturally as waste materials when our bodies metabolize food. In our skin, they can also be caused by toxic environmental factors like cigarette smoke, pollution, and the sun’s UV rays.
When UV light reaches the skin, vitamin C uses its antioxidant talents to defend skin cells. It protects the cells’ DNA, their fatty outer layers, and ultimately helps keep skin cells from being destroyed by free radicals.
Exposure to ultraviolet light also causes a decline of vitamin C in your skin after sun exposure. The longer you’re exposed to the sun and the more intense it is, the more vitamin C is depleted.
The best way to avoid sun damage is to keep your skin covered by shade, clothing, or sunscreen. And on days when you’re in the sun longer, you might want to add a few extra tomatoes to your salad. While tomatoes won’t protect you from a sunburn, they can help!
Vitamin C and Collagen
Collagen has been a popular buzzword in the nutrition industry for the last few years, especially when it comes to improving the look of skin. But what is collagen and what is vitamin C’s role in building it?
Collagen is the general name for several types of proteins found throughout our bodies. Collagen is the most abundant protein we make, and is found in skin, blood vessel walls, bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. It’s often called the body’s scaffolding because it’s responsible for giving these tissues their strength and structure.
Collagen is made by cells called fibroblasts, which live within the collagen-filled dermis layer of the skin. Fibroblasts first make tiny pieces of collagen. Then enzymes work together with vitamin C to bond those pieces together, ultimately making strong chains of collagen fibrils.
Without vitamin C, the fibrils can’t stick together, and the tissues fall apart. In fact, a severe vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy, a condition in which our tissues fall apart with symptoms of spontaneous bleeding, bruising, pain, and ulceration of gums.
In the skin, collagen is what keeps skin youthful looking, providing firmness. As we mature, wrinkles and sagging in the skin are the result of damaged and lost collagen. Getting enough vitamin C in your daily diet can help protect collagen’s integrity over a lifetime.
If you want to add a vitamin C boost to your skin, try our colorful NatureSweet Eclipse tomatoes. Along with robust flavor, they offer 25% of your daily requirements of vitamin C compared to 15% from the average tomato. For even more vitamin C punch, slice up some NatureSweet Mini Sweet Peppers, which pack a whopping 150% of your daily needs!