Winter blues and vitamin C


28-11-2016 -

Rain, storm and cold, there seems to be no end to it. Not my favourite time of year. Everybody coughs and splutters and the flu is rampant again. The magic word in all these ailments is often Vitamin C, but does an extra shot of vitamin C actually help to prevent cold and flu?


Vitamin C

What is vitamin C, anyway? Vitamin C is also referred to as ascorbic acid and is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin C supports a good resistance, and healthy bones, teeth, skin and blood vessels. In addition, it plays a role in a well-functioning nervous system, and it contributes to the energy supply.


Vitamin C is also an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants protect the body in cooperation with vitamin E, against free radicals. Not the least, vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron. Iron is important in the formation of haemoglobin (part of red blood cells), which is necessary for oxygen transportation in the blood and for the metabolism.

It is clear that Vitamin C is essential for a healthy body. It helps improve your resistance against flu and colds so indeed vitamin C plays an important role.

But does it really help against the flu and colds?

That really depends on whether you have enough of vitamin C intake in your diet. For example when for some time you get in too little vitamin C, taking additional vitamin C has a beneficial effect on the duration and severity of colds. There are several studies showing that taking 75 mg of vitamin C per day (the recommended daily amount) can reduce the symptoms of the flu and duration of flu or cold by about one day.

But if your intake of vitamin C through your diet is enough, it makes little sense to take extra. Too much is not good for you and can cause stomach and intestinal complaints. A lack of vitamin C is not very common, if you eat two ounces of vegetables and fruit twice a day you will easily reach the daily recommended amount.

Vitamin C is found mainly in fruits and vegetables.

Now it is known that oranges and kiwis are main suppliers of vitamin C, but what are other good suppliers for vitamin C? Underneath fruit and vegetables contain large amounts of vitamin C:

  • orange 1: 61 mg
  • 1 kiwi: 59 mg
  • 1 tangerine 22 mg
  • 1 apple: 4 mg
  • bell pepper: 1 piece 150mg
  • brussels sprouts, 1 ladle: 92 mg
  • kale, 100 g cooked: 40 mg
  • raw cabbage 1 ladle: 9mg
  • lamb's lettuce (15 mg): 6 mg
  • avocado (half): 5 mg
  • small potato: 4 mg

As you can see getting enough vitamin C is not that difficult. Are you still caught with the flu or a cold than unfortunately it is a matter of letting time pass and you will get better.

But the good news is; it's March! We go back to the light. The sun will start to shine more and that is a great prospect. Pure vitamin D. I cannot wait.

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