While it may feel like catching some form of illness is inevitable during winter, making sure you have enough vitamin C can go a long way to help keep bugs at bay
As we approach the winter months, it might feel like catching some form of illness is inevitable. Whether it’s the common cold, the flu, or Covid, our vulnerability to infections increases during this time of year.
While there’s no denying it’s a challenge to completely avoid seasonal illnesses, there are certainly some steps you can take to limit the risk of contracting them. One effective approach is through managing our vitamin intake, in particular vitamin C which offers a wide range of health advantages. These include bolstering the immune system, supporting psychological function, alleviating tiredness and fatigue, shielding cells from oxidative stress, and ensuring the well-being of the skin, blood vessels, bones, and cartilage.
Samantha Greener, wellness expert at Simply Supplements, spoke with Express.co.uk to explain more. She said: “With the chillier weather and shorter days here, making sure you have a balanced diet will certainly improve overall health and help you get all those immunity boosting vitamins and minerals.
“Oranges are always connected with vitamin C, but adding seasonal vegetables like brussels sprouts will see you boosting your intake too. If people struggle to eat enough fruit and vegetables, it is worth looking at vitamin C supplements as an alternative option.”
Here, she shares her top ten fruits and veggies that are bursting with vitamin C – and really deserve a place in your diet.
Absolutely rammed with vitamin C. Samantha said: “Try adding this tasty fruit to your breakfast cereal or making a juicy fruit salad. As well as vitamin C, oranges are also rich in folate, calcium and magnesium.”
“Add tomatoes to salads, to pasta and soups to increase your vitamin C,” she said. They’re also rich in potassium and folate.
While we commonly boil or roast this versatile vegetable, Samantha says the best way to extract the vitamin C is to eat it raw or steamed. “It’s the perfect vegetable accompaniment, also consider using in stir-frys, soups and salads,” she says.
Peppers are great for vitamins E and K, as well as a source of fibre.
“Berries are a great tasty treat to increase vitamin C in your diet,” Samantha said. “Add to breakfast cereal, or simply eat them, once cleaned, straight from the punnet.”
Often heralded as a ‘superfood’, Samantha says Kale is “packed with vitamin C and E which both support a healthy immune system.”
Such a divisive vegetable, but there’s no doubting it packs a punch when it comes to nutrition. “This love it or hate it veg is a great source of both vitamin C and K. Try roasting them for something different, add to a stir fry or try raw in a salad.”
Never the first vegetable you’d think of when it comes to vitamin C, but the humble spud is actually a great source of it – as well as B6, potassium and fibre, says Samantha.
She said: “These tiny, unassuming berries are full of vitamin C. Add to cereals, in a fruit salad or in yoghurt for a tasty snack.”
Packed with vitamin C, kiwi fruit is also a great source of vitamin K and fibre. “A great addition to Greek or natural yoghurt or add to a smoothie,” she added