Vitamin C foods boost immunity – Add these fruits and vegetables to your diet

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While the novel coronavirus outbreak has the entire world come to a standstill, all 195 countries and territories globally have reported more than 380,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 affected while the loss of life is pegged at more than 16,000, barely three months after it broke out in a ‘wet market’ China’s Wuhan.

If there is a chance that we do catch the SARS-CoV2 virus, our immune system is responsible for fighting it and though it may present several uncertainties, what we can do it eat as healthy as possible along with a slew of measures that the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments across the globe are asking us to do. Research shows improving nutrition helps support optimal immune function.

When your body is fighting a disease, it experiences what’s called oxidative stress which then leads to the production of free radicals which can pierce cell walls, causing the contents to leak into tissues and intensifying inflammation.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a common remedy that some people believe will cure a common cold and flu. Although it helps us maintain good immune function, there’s little evidence that it can prevent either of these diseases. But in the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak, some “influencers” are claiming that taking mega-doses of vitamin C can cure COVID-19.

Vitamin C though helps clean up this cellular mess by producing specialised cells to mount an immune response, including neutrophils, lymphocytes, and phagocytes.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required by the body for the development and maintenance of scar tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage. Include these five food items in your diet as Vitamin C sources:

1. Oranges: Oranges and orange juice are also good sources of potassium, folate, lutein and vitamin A. Whole oranges are also a good source of fibre, but most of the fibre is lost when you drink the juice.

2. Green peppers: Although rich in vitamin C, green bell peppers can also deliver your daily need for vitamins A, K and B6. Whole green bell pepper contains just 24 calories. Sliced or chopped and added to a salad or used as an ingredient in a variety of dishes, choose peppers that are bright green in colour.

3. Strawberries: Who doesn’t like strawberries? They are sweet, juicy, and loaded with vitamin C. Strawberries are also an excellent source of fibre and folate and a good source of potassium10 and magnesium. Add strawberry slices to oatmeal, cold cereal, or yogurt for a healthy breakfast.

4. Broccoli: One cup of raw chopped broccoli contains 81 mg of vitamin C. A big serving of raw broccoli provides most of the vitamin C you’ll need for one day. The amount of vitamin C reduced will vary depending on the cooking method. Broccoli is also an excellent source of calcium, potassium, fibre, vitamins A and K, and lots of antioxidants.

5. Kiwi: The luscious green kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C. One small fruit has more than 60 milligrams. It is also rich in potassium and fibre and very low on calories. Mix it with other fresh fruits and nuts to make a healthy fruit salad.

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