Winter brings with it lovely surprises in the form of ills and chills…you know the drill! A healthy immune system is our body’s natural army to defend us from invaders. There are certain nutrients which can really boost our immunity (keep our immune army fighting strong) and humble Vitamin C is one of them.
What it Does
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. This means on a mirco-level it combats the free radicals in our body which threaten our cells and consequently weaken our defences. This vitamin also assists the body’s natural healing process which means when we do get sick, it helps us get back on our feet quicker.
To get this germ-fighting vitamin into you and your monkeys these best foods are your citrus fruits so stock up on lemons, kiwi-fruit and oranges. Berries, while not a citrus fruit, are also a powerful source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. You may also be surprised to know that your green leafy vegetables (everyone’s favourite right!) are also really high in Vitamin C. Check out the recipes below for some different ideas of how to include these.
The Question of Supplementation
The question of supplementation is never a black and white answer. Supplements cannot make up for a diet high in processed foods and they are not as bio-available (absorbed as well) as natural food sources. However, there are certain times when supplements can be very helpful, winter being one of them – especially for families. As a mum you do not get sick leave – there is no ‘day-off’ – so keeping our immune systems as rock solid as possible is crucial. Equally when littles ones get sick the household just stops. Using certain supplements to help prevent this or off-set illness is beneficial. Vitamin C supplements are one of the few that I recommend to parents for the very reasons above – it is really going to help ward off those nasty winter germs!
Personally, I love Red Seal’s Vitamin C’s range, which is available in your local supermarket. You can get this in a family pack which both adults and little ones can have and even better it is chewable – the easiest form to take. You will have to try Red Seal’s new Blackcurrant flavour as is just so tasty!
In winter I use smoothies a lot, especially when the children are sick as they often do not want proper food and a smoothie can be really nice on a sore throat. Plus sneaking those green leafy vegetables in is really easy. Below are two smoothies rich in Vitamin C for you (just click on the links)
Here is to the humble Vitamin C and to keeping well this winter!
xxx Dr Julie Bhosale
Note: When taking supplements always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet.