Burning the candle of both ends always ends in illness for me.  I had the most amazing time over the holidays but got hit with a flu bug all last week. My body was screaming for major rest and thankfully I’m back to my vibrant self.

Since there’s something nasty floating around, today let’s talk prevention with Vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid). Below is a list of my top 5 Foods filled with vitamin C but first let’s dive into why Vitamin C is a nutrient powerhouse.

Vitamin C helps support your immune system as it helps fights off viruses and calms inflamed tissues. It’s benefits range from immune booster, cold fighter, detoxifier, cardiovascular and joint protection, and can also enhance your beauty and happiness. Not to shabby.

In addition, has anti-oxidant properties which helps combat free radicals from doing damage to your system. It’s best absorbed through food sources and there are plenty of yummy foods to help you get your daily recommendation to stay well.  Of course supplements are also an options but and it’s a water-soluble vitamin so toxicity is rare (you pee out the excess). I do take a vitamin C supplement when I feel a cold coming on in addition to boosting my favorite vitamin C foods.

So, how much do you need?

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) varies depending on lifestyle factors:

  • Men: 90 mg/day
  • Women: 75 mg/day
  • Pregnant women: 85 mg/day
  • Breastfeeding women: 120 mg/day

If you do go the supplement route be aware of powders, tablets and commercial juices. They can be filled with excess sugar, artificial colors and flavors which can cause your body to work harder.

Stay well by going to bed earlier, cutting out excess activities and drinking lots of water.

AND… boost up your intake of my top 5 Vitamin C Food Sources (and how to add to your daily routine)

  • Medium Orange = 70 mg (perfect for a snack, blended in a smoothie  or on top of salad greens)
  • 1 cup Kale = 80mg (sauteed, blender and used as lettuce for a salad)
  • 1 cup Broccoli = 81mg (sauteed or steamed and paired with brown rice)
  • 1 cup Strawberries = 87mg (alone as a snack, on top of oatmeal, salads or blended in smoothies)
  • ½ cup Red Bell Pepper = 157mg (roasted as a sandwich filling or raw paired with hummus)

Other great sources: Brussels sprouts, kiwi, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, mangos, papaya, and leafy greens

If you do eat sick, keep it simple. I paired brown rice with steamed broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms, then topped it with tahini and Bragg’s liquid aminos.  Give your body a couple days to heal without overloading it with excess food.

Wishing you a healthy week,