If you reach for the orange juice every time you start sniffling, chances are you’re not the only one. And, while studies show that consuming vitamin C doesn’t prevent cold and flu, increasing your intake can help shorten the length and severity of symptoms. But despite their reputation as the go-to nutrition boost, a medium orange only packs 69.7mg of vitamin C.
To pack the ultimate punch, try these five fruits and veggies instead:
A single cup of chopped red pepper provides a whopping 190mg of vitamin C - almost three times more than an orange. And, while green and yellow varieties contain less than their red counterpart, at 120mg, they still provide 200 per cent of your RDA. Peppers are also a great source of vitamin A, which promotes eye health, vitamin B6, vitamin E, fibre and potassium.
One serving of kiwi (about two fruits) boasts an impressive 137mg of vitamin C – almost twice that of an orange. Kiwis are also rich in vitamin K, providing 31 per cent of your RDA, plus potassium, manganese, copper and dietary fibre. An excellent source of antioxidants, kiwi is thought to benefit everything from free radical damage to heart health.
A cup (about one serving) of these summer favourites contains just shy of 85mg vitamin C, plus a whole host of other essential nutrients. Also full of folate, which promotes red blood cell formation necessary for oxygen transportation, strawberries are a useful source of fibre and low GI carbohydrate. Another unexpected benefit of strawberries? They’re thought to help naturally whiten teeth!
4. Brussels sprouts
Not just for Christmas, these little cabbages are high in sulphur-containing compounds responsible for their distinctive smell and have long been recognised for their protective effects on cancer, explains Nutritionist Rob Hobson. Plus, vitamins B and K, phosphorus, protein and folate in addition to 75mg vitamin C.
Just one serving of this leafy green favourite contains 80mg of vitamin C, and is a certified ‘powerhouse’ when it comes to other nutrients. Unusually rich in bone-friendly vitamin K, jam-packed with fibre and omega 3, plus 200 per cent of your RDA for vitamin A, kale is also a source of more than 45 different antioxidant flavonoids and cancer-protecting glucosinolates.