American College of Nutrition Certified Nutrition Specialist | Author | Professor of Nutrition


How to Avoid Getting Sick this Winter – a Checklist!

beautiful vegetables You can cut your chance of catching a cold in half this winter just by eating two Vitamin C rich foods each day. It doesn’t seem to be just the Vitamin C, but the synergy of all the nutrients in these foods working together that supercharges our immune systems.

Vitamin C rich foods also seem to help us fight off the flu, which has been brutal this year. Every weapon we can use against getting the flu is worthwhile.

So which foods are the highest in Vitamin C? The usual suspects like citrus fruits and some surprise players like broccoli. Here’s the list:

  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries, all kinds
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale and most dark, leafy greens
  • Papaya

Here is a handy checklist for you to check off your two foods each day: Click here to download it.

Checklist for Vitamin C rich foods

Frozen fruits and vegetables are as good as fresh as far as Vitamin C goes. One easy tip is add frozen berries to your oatmeal in the morning – they will thaw beautifully in the hot cereal. A smoothie is another good option – you can get greens and fruit at the same time!

Cooking the vegetables does destroy a little of the Vitamin C, but not enough to keep them from being a good source. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice before serving not only helps the flavor, it also adds another boost of Vitamin C.

An easy way to enjoy veggies like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower is to roast them! Cut them into 1-inch or so pieces, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper on a sheet pan, and roast in a hot (400 – 425 degree) oven until they are browned. Make sure they get some good color on them, that’s when they are the most delicious. Season with whatever you like (garlic, lemon, hot pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, etc.) and enjoy!

PS – Burning a scented candle gets rid of the vegetable smell that may linger in your kitchen.

Good food keeps us healthy, and helps us fight off these infections if they come around. I hope this helps you stay healthy this winter. What is your favorite way to get your fruits and vegetables?

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