With winter almost here, now is a good time to give our immunity a boost before the inevitable coughs and colds arrive.
Ensuring we have enough vitamin C in our diets is a good place to start as it's vital for the maintenance of overall health. The human body cannot produce or store it, so it's essential we consume plenty of vitamin C-rich foods every day.
Children require vitamin C just as much as adults. Get into the habit of giving your kids a daily supplement, and ensure they're eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. If your family turn their noses up at veges, try grating them to hide in pasta sauces, fritters and casseroles.
One serving of kimchi – a traditional Korean dish made of fermented cabbage – provides about half your recommended daily value of vitamin C.
Sauerkraut is also a good option. In addition to vitamin C and other vitamins, kimchi and sauerkraut also contain gut-strengthening probiotics. It's a win-win!
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is found in lots of different foods. Tomatoes, capsicums, broccoli and kiwifruit are the best source, but berries, citrus fruit, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are also excellent options.
Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, so team red meat with broccoli or leafy greens such as kale and spinach to ensure you're getting the maximum benefit.
A single guava contains a whopping 126mg of vitamin C or 140% of the daily recommendation. A six-week study involving 45 young, healthy people found that eating 400 grams of peeled guava per day significantly lowered their blood pressure and total cholesterol levels.
There are many benefits of adequate vitamin C levels – it aids our immunity, nervous system, skin, muscles and energy stores. It's also one of those antioxidant nutrients, working hard to stop the kind of damage to individual cells and arteries that can lead to cancer and heart disease over time. Vitamin C deficiency is rare but can result in bleeding gums, frequent bruising and infections, poor wound healing, anaemia and scurvy.
Eat your fruits and veges raw whenever possible. When you cook them, you strip the food of some of its vital nutrients. Aim to have raw sliced capsicum and broccoli florets at least once a day – dip them into hummus for a healthy, vitamin C-loaded snack.
Herbs such as parsley and thyme are surprisingly high in vitamin C. Sprinkling fresh herbs over your meals is an easy and delicious way to boost your intake.
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