It’s no secret that a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies can deliver important vitamins and nutrients for better health, but many of your favorite foods can actually help support your immune system, too.
In addition to precautions like avoiding people who are sick and washing your hands often, you can influence your immune system through what you eat and drink.
Stay hydrated eeping well hydrated can be difficult during the winter months, especially if you spend most of your time indoors. A warm drink like this flavorful Orange Spiced Tea provides a strong dose of vitamin C along with a delicious dose of hydration.
Keep the produce going strong
Fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies often come to mind during warmer months, but produce like citrus, leafy greens and root vegetables are plentiful during cold and flu season, too.
“Consuming the whole fruit is the best way to ensure you gain the maximum nutritional benefit,” Dr. Poonam Desai said. “When speaking with patients, I recommend seeking nutrients like vitamin C from whole food sources, rather than supplements, especially with a vitamin C-rich fruit like California oranges.”
Get a natural boost of vitamins
Vitamins A and C, found in fresh citrus, are two key nutrients that support your body’s natural line of defense, your immune system. Just one orange offers 90% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, and California Navel oranges are in their peak season – just in time for the height of cold and flu season.
Get inspired with more ideas to boost your immune system with essential vitamins and nutrients at califor
Ways to get more vitamin C
Pick heavy fruit. When shopping for citrus, choose fruit that smells fresh and feels heavy for its size. The heavier the orange, the juicer it’s likely to be.
Explore versatility. Fresh citrus like California Navel oranges make a nutritious addition to sweet and savory dishes, beverages, cocktails, sauces and more.
Use the whole fruit. Reduce food waste by consuming the flesh, juice, zest and peel. Try squeezing juice and grating zest into a smoothie, using orange segments for a vibrant salad or combining diced Navels with red onion, cilantro and jalapenos for a zesty salsa.
Retain vitamin C content. Vitamin C is water soluble, so to retain as much as possible, eat citrus fresh, avoid overcooking and use minimal amounts of water.
Refrigerate for longer shelf life. Keep your citrus fresh longer by storing it in the refrigerator at a temperature below 42 F. To get the most juice out of the orange, bring it to room temperature before cooking. (Family Features)