A promising way to strengthen the immune system is to regularly consume vitamin C, which is considered an effective way to prevent colds. An expert explains which foods contain particularly high levels of this vitamin.
Silke Raffeiner, nutrition expert at the South Tyrol Consumer Center, explains in an article which foods contain a lot of vitamin C and why this nutrient is important.
The intake of vitamin C does not make an existing cold go away. However, an adequate supply of this nutrient does contribute to a functioning immune system.
In addition, the human body needs this water-soluble vitamin to build connective tissue (including tendons, ligaments, fascia), bones and teeth, as well as for wound healing.
Vitamin C also has an antioxidant effect and protects cells from free radicals.
Great vitamin C suppliers
“The symbol par excellence for vitamin C is the lemon,” says Silke Raffeiner. “In fact, citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, tangerines and grapefruit provide relevant amounts of vitamin C. But there are fruits that have significantly higher levels.”
Particularly worth mentioning here are rose hip (1,250 mg/100 g), sea buckthorn (450 mg/100 g) and black currant (170 mg/100 g).
Apple, banana, strawberries and kiwi are also good sources.
Vegetables such as parsley (160 mg/100 g), red pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, spinach or tomatoes don’t have to hide in this regard.
Unhealthy lifestyle increases the need for vitamin C
The nutrition societies in Central Europe and Austria recommend an intake of 110 milligrams of vitamin C per day for adult men and 95 milligrams of vitamin C per day for adult women. Just half a red pepper (approx. 75 g) and a small glass of orange juice (125 ml) provide this amount.
Certain factors such as chronic stress, smoking, alcohol abuse and some illnesses increase the need for vitamin C.
A vitamin C deficiency leads, among other things, to poor wound healing, increased susceptibility to infections, bleeding of the skin and mucous membranes, and tooth loss. In industrialized countries, however, true vitamin C deficiency almost no longer occurs.
Sensitive to heat and light
Like other vitamins, vitamin C is very sensitive to heat and light. While 100 grams of raw red peppers contain 140 milligrams of vitamin C, after steaming there are only 110 milligrams of vitamin C. It therefore makes sense to eat unheated fruit and vegetables every day and to only steam vegetables briefly. (ad)