The important sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits such as oranges and grapes.  Strawberries, raspberries, cabbages, cauliflowers, other leafy vegetables, red peppers, potatoes, broccoli, chilies, watercresses, parsley, brussels sprouts, cantaloupes, mange touts, and kiwi fruits are also rich sources of this vitamin. Cooking food at low temperatures and for a shorter period is important to keep the vitamin C preserved and beneficial.
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
The health benefits of this amazing antioxidant are explained in detail below:
Scurvy is caused by an insufficient intake of ascorbic acid. The symptoms of scurvy appear due to the weakening of connective tissues, bones, and blood vessels that include collagen.  Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is required for the production of collagen.
Treats Common Cold
A 2013 report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews suggests that ascorbic acid enhances the immune system of our body, which protects us from cold and cough.  The study also showed that when administered regularly, vitamin C reduces the duration of colds. Besides, it facilitates the absorption of iron and, therefore, strengthens the body’s resistance to infection. It also fights against viruses.
Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
People with hypertension are at high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. According to a 2012 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin C intake helps in lowering the body’s blood pressure in the short term. 
Acts as a Potent Vasodilator Antioxidant
Treatment with vitamin C has effectively resulted in the proper dilation of blood vessels in the cases of atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, angina pectoris, and high blood pressure. Dr. Melissa A. Moser, University of Connecticut, USA, in her 2016 report published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, carried out epidemiologic research on vitamin C to study its potential role in cardiovascular diseases.  Results have found that the supplements of this vitamin improve blood vessel dilation and protect cardiovascular health.
Treats Lead Toxicity
Lead toxicity is a severe health problem found mostly in children, especially in urban areas. Abnormal development and growth have been found in some children who are exposed to lead. They develop behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and also tend to have a low IQ. It may damage the kidneys and increase blood pressure in adults.  Vitamin C supplements can reduce the blood lead level.
Treats Cataracts (Eye Disorder)
Cataracts are the most common conditions of visual problems. A decrease in the level of vitamin C in the lens of the human eye has been found more common when cataracts are present. Excessive intake of ascorbic acid increases the blood supply to the ocular areas of the body. According to the American Optometric Association, when Vitamin C is consumed with other essential nutrients, it can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and visual acuity loss. 
According to the National Cancer Institute, some clinical trials have shown that when cancer patients are given a high dosage of vitamin C, they show improved quality of life and fewer side effects.  However, other studies say that it is better to abstain from this treatment until the effects are fully studied. 
Vitamin C helps in reducing the risk of stroke, a type of cardiovascular disease. A diet full of vegetables and fruits supplies a good quantity of this vitamin, which maintains an appropriate blood pressure level.  It also protects the body from free radicals which could be the reason for the stroke.
Improves your Mood
Vitamin C plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine. They affect the mood of a person and are critical to the proper functioning of the brain. A 2013 study conducted by Canadian researchers revealed that short-term therapy with vitamin C improves mood and reduces psychological distress in those acutely hospitalized patients with a high prevalence of suffering from hypovitaminosis.
Immunity is another important benefit of this vitamin. Vitamin C is widely known for its contribution to the immune system and its stimulation of white blood vessels in the body. 
Vitamin C helps repair wounds. It facilitates the growth of the connective tissues, which speeds up the process of healing wounds. 
Ascorbic acid helps reduce the symptoms of asthma. It helps to protect against the harmful effects of pollution on the human body, which often results in asthma-like symptoms. EDITOR’S PICK
According to a report  published by the Indian Journal of Medical Research, results show that daily intake of 1000 mg supplementary vitamin C can be beneficial in reducing blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, reducing their risk of complications.
Prevents Heart Diseases
An adequate amount of ascorbic acid is essential for the protection of blood vessels from the damage that free radicals can cause them. This could be a major cause of a heart disease called atherosclerosis.  Vitamin C acts as a preventative agent against this heart disease, as well as various other cardiac problems.
Calcium-magnesium-zinc supplements may offer a host of benefits.
While research on the combined supplement is lacking, studies on the individual minerals are clear and well established.
Keep in mind that calcium is consistently linked to only one of the benefits described below — bone health. Yet, research is ongoing, and taking it alongside zinc and magnesium is perfectly safe.
May support bone health
Calcium, magnesium, and zinc help strengthen your bones in a variety of ways.
Calcium is the main mineral in your bones, which holds more than 99% of your body’s calcium stores. Your body is constantly regenerating its bone tissue, so it’s important to consume an adequate amount of this mineral daily (1).
Zinc also helps comprise the mineral portion of your bones. In addition, it supports bone-building cells while inhibiting the formation of cells that encourage bone breakdown (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
Finally, magnesium plays a key role in converting vitamin D into its active form, which aids calcium absorption (4Trusted Source).
May elevate your mood
Magnesium and zinc are fundamental to brain signals and processes (5Trusted Source).
If you don’t meet the daily recommendations for these minerals, taking supplements may help elevate your mood.
A review of 18 studies suggests that taking magnesium may reduce feelings of anxiety among people prone to this condition. That said, researchers pointed out that none of the studies used a validated measure of subjective anxiety symptoms (6Trusted Source).
Furthermore, a recent analysis of depressive symptoms noted that magnesium supplements had little effect in controlled studies despite showing promise in observational studies (7Trusted Source).
Meanwhile, a study in over 14,800 people revealed that people who met the recommended zinc intake were 26% less likely to have depression than those who didn’t meet this intake (8Trusted Source).
Due to conflicting findings, more research is needed in this area.
May strengthen immunity
Magnesium and zinc may boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. While inflammation is a normal immune response, chronic levels of it can damage your health and promote illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
Supplementing with magnesium has been shown to reduce markers of chronic inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Conversely, magnesium deficiency has been linked to chronic inflammation (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
Zinc plays an important role in the development and function of many immune cells. Supplementing with this mineral may help combat infections and aid wound healing (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
May help control blood sugar levels
Magnesium and zinc may also regulate your blood sugar levels.
An analysis of 32 studies in 1,700 people revealed that taking zinc significantly reduced levels of insulin, fasting and post-meal blood sugar, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) — a marker of long-term blood sugar control (15Trusted Source).
Another analysis of 25 studies in over 1,360 people with diabetes found that supplementing with zinc reduced HbA1c as much as metformin, a common diabetes drug (16Trusted Source).
Moreover, research suggests that magnesium may aid blood sugar control in people with diabetes by enhancing your body’s ability to use insulin — a hormone that moves sugar from your blood into your cells (17Trusted Source).
An analysis of 18 studies in people with diabetes indicated that magnesium supplements were more effective at reducing fasting blood sugar levels than a placebo. Plus, blood sugar levels dropped significantly in those at risk of this condition (18Trusted Source).
May improve sleep quality
Both magnesium and zinc may improve your sleep quality.
Studies show that magnesium helps stimulate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you feel calm and relaxed (19Trusted Source).
Plus, human and animal studies associate zinc supplements and higher blood zinc levels with improved sleep quality (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).
A small 8-week study in older adults with insomnia revealed that a daily regimen of zinc, magnesium, and melatonin — a hormone that regulates your body’s internal clock — helped people fall asleep faster and enhanced sleep quality, compared with a placebo (22Trusted Source).
Research suggests that calcium, magnesium, and zinc may improve several aspects of your health, such as bone strength, mood, immunity, blood sugar regulation, and sleep quality.
However, studies showed that not all residents of “well fed” communities are healthy. Nutrient deficiencies are also common in the U.S.
One research conducted in 2018 under the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) suggested that both children and adults in the country have high cases of vitamin deficiencies.
Researchers found that 31 percent of the entire population was at risk for one vitamin deficiency. Many Americans have been following diets high in calories but low in nutrients.
Heather Moday, an allergist and immunologist from Moday Center for Functional and Integrative Medicine, has been treating many patients who experienced deficiencies. But she noted Americans lack three common vitamins due to Western diets. And they are as listed below:
It plays an important role in the body and supports 300 biochemical reactions. Moday recommended that people consult their doctors to take some supplements.
“It’s an electrolyte that we don’t readily get back into our bodies, and we don’t find it a lot naturally in foods,” she told mindbodygreen. “So that one I tend to supplement a lot with.”
Video: 3 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Magnesium (Reader’s Digest)Click to expand
Moday said many of her patients lacked vitamin B. This could be surprising since people can get all forms of B vitamins from plant- and animal-based foods.
She explained that the body easily loses the vitamin because it supports multiple functions, including the nervous system, detoxification system and immune system. However, the Western diet might not provide enough amounts of vitamin B to meet the body’s needs.
Moday said problems with gut health might also contribute to vitamin B deficiency.
Moday said zinc is one of the most common vitamins not available in the diet plans. Zinc mainly supports the immune system and helps the body prevent the spread of potentially harmful bacteria and viruses.
“If I had to pick a deficiency that a lot of people have outside of vitamin D, it would be zinc,” she said.
Moday said eating more seafood could help treat the vitamin deficiency. Some zinc-rich foods are oysters and mollusks.
Vitamin D. Especially important for people living in places where sunlight is limited.
B-complex Vitamins: Biotin, niacin and cobalamin are among the most popular B-complex vitamins that help restore shine and thickness to strands.
Iron. It carries oxygen to hair and promotes growth.
How to grow longer hair…
Remember that it can’t grow overnight. Unless your scalp unleashes new strands like a Chia Pet, gaining new length is going to take time. “Hair typically only grows about a quarter of an inch — to a half an inch max — a month,” says celebrity hair stylist Mark Townsend, who helped Ashley Olsen grow out her asymmetric bob to past her waist. “And that’s only if it is super-healthy and doesn’t have a ton of split ends.” The bottom line: Practice patience.
Ironically, scissors are your friend. Although getting regular trims to snip splits won’t make your hair actually grow faster, it will keep tips looking healthy and prevent splits from working their way up strands, requiring you to chop hair off more often. “If you wait so long that splits are causing your hair to break off high up on the strand, your hair will actually be shorter than if you get consistent trims,” Townsend says, who suggests asking your stylist to take around just an eighth of an inch off every 10 to 12 weeks to prevent extreme split ends before they start.
Use conditioner every time you shampoo. “If your hair is wet, that means you have to condition it,” Townsend says. “Over time, from coloring and heat styling, strands start to get thinner at the bottom.” Conditioner helps replace the lipids and proteins inside the hair shaft, “as well as seal the cuticle to help prevent more damage from happening so that you can get your hair to grow longer and look healthier,” he says.
And don’t shampoo every time you shower. “It’s shocking to me how many women skip conditioner when showering, which is the worst thing you can do for your hair — especially when you’re trying to grow it long — and it’s actually shampoo that you should be skipping as much as possible,” Townsend says. Here’s why: The purpose of shampoo is to wash away dirt and product buildup, but it can also take essential natural oils that keep strands soft and healthy along with it. When you really do need shampoo, be gentler on your hair by only lathering up at your scalp and then simply letting the suds slide down strands, hitting the rest of the hair as the water rinses it away.
Do a cold-water rinse at the end of each shower. “This really does help to grow hair and keep long hair healthy for longer,” Townsend says. “Cold water lays down the outer layer of hair more smoothly, which helps prevent moisture loss, snags and heat damage — you only need to do it for a few seconds, but this one extra step over time can make a huge difference.”
Apply an oil or mask treatment weekly. Hair that touches your shoulders or beyond can be several years old and most likely needs more TLC than normal conditioner. Townsend suggests using moisture-based masks and oils weekly. “I make a natural oil treatment and give it to all of my clients to use pre-shampoo,” Townsend says. (His easy recipe: 1 cup of unrefined coconut oil mixed with 1 tablespoon each of almond, macadamia, and jojoba oils.) Because oils can leave a residue on hair, he says to apply it to damp hair, leave it on for 10 minutes, then shampoo and condition like normal. “These oils are able to fill strands up with fatty acids and then, when rinsed out, using regular shampoo helps seal them inside hair,” Townsend says, adding that Kate Bosworth, Diane Kruger, and Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are fans. Not into DIY? Try an oil-based hair treatment instead.
Consider trying hair-boosting supplements. Your body requires many vital nutrients to create new hair, from ample protein to a slew of essential minerals. So take a look at your diet — because while eating a balanced diet helps, you may not be getting the proper amount of all the hair-building nutrients needed to create healthy hair that can grow super-long and withstand damage. “I take Viviscal Extra Strength and biotin tablets every day and tell my clients to do so as well — especially if they want to grow their hair and make it healthier as soon as it comes out of the follicle,” Townsend says. Before starting to take supplements, it’s best to check in with your doctor to make sure that you take the right amounts and that they won’t interact with any medications you’re currently taking.
Brush your hair like it’s spun from gold. Constant brushing can cause physical harm to your hair. “When you detangle wet hair, be sure to start from the bottom and work your way up — we often instinctually go from the scalp down, but that just brings small tangles into one large knot and can cause you to lose a lot of hair,” Townsend explains. He also suggests reaching for the Sheila Stotts Natural Boar Bristle Brush, as boar bristle brushes are good at distributing your scalp’s natural oils down your hair and being extra-gentle on strands too.
Ditch your cotton pillowcase. Townsend recommends switching to a silk or satin fabric, because it has a softer surface that won’t cause friction the way that regularly woven cotton does with your hair. That way, you’ll wake up with fewer tangles.
Never, ever wrap your hair in a massive towel again. What could be so bad about putting hair in your super-soft bath towel? A lot. “It causes so much breakage,” Townsend says. “Your hair gets caught in all the woven fibers and since most women almost always wrap it too tight around their face, all those tiny, fragile strands around your face are more prone to break.” Opt for the super-thin and soft microfiber hair towels instead (like Aquis microfiber hair towel), which are totally OK to wrap into a turban.
Switch up your pony placement. It’s an easy move that can help maintain the integrity of your strands wherever you tend to secure your ponytail all the time, which means they’ll continue to grow out strong and damage-free.
If you have bleached (or dry, super-fragile) hair, skip putting it up with a hair tie at all. One ponytail — one! — can give you what stylists refer to as a “chemical cut.” This is where your hair literally breaks off at the point of tension where the elastic ends up being wrapped around your hair to hold it into place. Instead, if you’re looking to work out and want your hair off your neck, gently twist your hair into a bun and clip it with a tiny claw clip, bobby pin, or larger pin.
Give your hair a break when it comes to hot tools, chemical relaxers, or any other tool or service that causes a lot of damage to your hair. The healthier your hair is, the longer it will grow.
Ways to grow thicker hair…
Regular protein treatment is essential to enjoy stronger and thicker hair. For a protein hair treatment, the best ingredient is eggs.
Take one or two eggs, depending on the length of your hair, and beat it properly. Apply the egg on wet hair and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. Wash your hair with lukewarm water and shampoo. You can use this protein treatment once or twice a week.
Another option is to mix together one egg yolk, one tablespoon of a hair oil of your choice and two tablespoons of water. Use this mixture to massage your scalp thoroughly. Follow this remedy once a week to enjoy thicker hair.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil will also add body to your hair. Plus, it will help soften and strengthen your tresses.
Massage your hair and scalp with warm olive oil and leave it on for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Rinse it out thoroughly and wash your hair using a mild shampoo. You can also leave the oil on your hair overnight and then shampoo your hair the next morning.
Another option is to mix olive oil with some honey and apply the mixture on your hair. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and then wash your hair.
Use either or these remedies once or twice a week.
Avocado can also be used to get thicker hair as it moisturizes and adds body to your hair. Plus, the vitamin E in this fruit contributes to the overall health of the hair shaft.
Make a mixture of one mashed avocado, one mashed banana and one tablespoon of olive oil. Massage it on your scalp and leave the mixture on your hair for about 30 minutes so that the nutrients are absorbed by the scalp. Finally, rinse it out and shampoo your hair.
You can also make a hydrating hair mask by mixing two tablespoons of wheatgerm oil with half of a ripe mashed avocado. Apply this hair mask on freshly shampooed hair and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly and then shampoo your hair.
Use either of these avocado hair masks once a week.
Fenugreek seeds can also be used to prevent hair loss and enjoy better hair growth.
Soak two to three tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in water for eight to 10 hours. Grind the soaked seeds to make a fine paste. You can also mix two teaspoons of coconut milk in it. Apply the paste on your hair and scalp and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes before washing your hair with lukewarm water. When done weekly on a regular basis, this remedy will prevent dry scalp and help you enjoy thicker hair.
Another option is to use the water that the fenugreek seeds soaked in overnight as a hair rinse. This will encourage hair growth and help you to get rid of dandruff. Use it once or twice a week.
5. Indian Gooseberry
The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and exfoliating properties present in Indian gooseberry can help a lot in maintaining a healthy scalp and better hair growth rate.
Mix one tablespoon of Indian gooseberry or amla powder in two tablespoons of coconut oil and heat until boiling. Strain the oil and massage it onto your scalp before going to bed. The next morning, shampoo your hair as usual. Do this on a weekly basis.
Another option is to mix one-quarter cup of warm water in one-half cup of Indian gooseberry powder and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Apply the paste on your hair and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off. Do not shampoo your hair for a few hours. Follow this remedy every few weeks.
You can also take the Indian gooseberry fruit and its extract as a dietary supplement for healthy hair.
6. Castor Oil
Massaging your scalp regularly with cold-pressed castor oil is one of the easiest ways to get thicker hair naturally. Due to its high viscosity, it coats the hair thoroughly and protects against hair fall. Plus, being high in vitamin E and fatty acids, it promote hair growth.
Heat a mixture of equal parts of castor oil and coconut oil. Simply using castor oil will also work but it tends to be too thick.
Apply it on your head and scalp and massage in circular motions.
Comb your hair to distribute the oil throughout your hair and remove tangles.
Cover your hair with a towel moistened with warm water.
Leave it on for at least one hour and then shampoo your hair as usual.
Follow this remedy once a week to enjoy lustrous and thick hair.
7. Aloe Vera
Another very popular ingredient that can be used to enjoy thicker hair is aloe vera, thanks to its moisturizing quality. It will also help restore the pH balance of the scalp.
Extract the gel from one or two aloe vera leaves and rub the gel onto your scalp. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing your hair with lukewarm water. Do this once once or twice a week on a regular basis.
Another option is mix two teaspoons of coconut milk in fresh aloe vera gel and apply it to your scalp. Leave it on for about half an hour before rinsing it off and shampooing your hair. Repeat once or twice a week.
You can also consume one tablespoon of aloe vera juice daily on an empty stomach to enjoy better hair growth and overall health.
8. Henna Leaves
Another easy way to get thicker hair naturally is to apply henna. Henna leaves will give your hair a rich natural color and make it thicker, softer and less prone to breakage .
Grind a handful of fresh henna leaves with a little water to make a fine paste. Let it sit for two hours and then apply it to your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap. After a few hours, wash your hair thoroughly and shampoo your hair.
Another option is to mix sufficient water in henna powder to make a paste with a yogurt-like consistency. Instead of plain water, you can also use green tea for better conditioning. Keep the henna paste aside overnight. The next day, add one raw egg and two teaspoons of lemon juice to this mixture. Apply it to your hair and leave it on until it dries completely. Finally, wash it off and shampoo your hair.
Note: Make sure to wear your gloves when using henna and apply the paste using a hair brush to avoid staining.
Being rich in omega 3 fatty acids and protein, flaxseed can also help in promoting thicker naturally.
Soak one-quarter cup of flaxseeds in water overnight. The next morning, boil the flaxseeds in two cups of water over high heat while stirring occasionally. When the thickens to a consistency of foamy jelly then turn off the heat and strain the gel. You can also add a few drops of an essential oil to it. Allow it to cool and then use it as a hair gel. This flaxseed gel is particularly good for those with curly or wavy hair.
Even eating freshly ground flaxseeds can help promote shiny and thicker hair. You can also take flaxseed oil.
10. Healthy Diet
A healthy diet rich in protein and various vitamins and minerals is an essential prerequisite for healthy and thicker hair. Protein and B vitamins, in particular, promote thicker and longer hair.
So, include more milk, eggs, Greek yogurt (has more protein than the regular yogurt), poultry, fatty fish, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fresh green vegetables in your diet.
Follow these remedies religiously and you will notice improvement in your hair texture and thickness in a matter of weeks.