Vitamin C and Your Immune System
A healthy immune system is key to longevity and wellness – it helps defend your body against viruses and the flu, keeping you well and healthy. Think of it as your body’s natural defence system. These days it’s especially important to follow healthy habits that support and maintain a strong immune system. Though it’s multi-factorial, and you have to account for exercise, sleep, and stress, nutrition plays a huge role in doing this – one key nutrient to ensure you get adequate amounts of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, which means your body can’t produce it – you must get it from your diet! It supports the immune system in several ways: it helps grow and repair tissues, acts as a powerful antioxidant to help your body fight against damage, helps absorb iron, promotes healthy aging, amongst other benefits. There is current research into the role it may play in cancer prevention. The recommended intake for Vitamin C is 75mg for adult females and 90mg for adult males.
Vitamin C Foods
To reach this, you should incorporate Vitamin-C rich foods in your diet on a daily basis. Contrary to popular belief, this extends beyond just oranges – bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, grapefruit, and spinach are all good sources of Vitamin C. An easy rule of thumb to follow is the “half your plate” method – during mealtimes, fill half your plate with at least 2 different types of vegetables and/or fruit.
Should you Supplement?
Whether or not you should take a Vitamin C supplement depends on your current diet, barriers towards integrating more into your life, and/or medical conditions that increase your Vitamin C requirements. TAPfit has launched Natrifi, a supplement containing Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Zinc (other nutrients which are also essential to immune health), echinacea, elderberry).
Here’s an easy, family-friendly recipe that is packed with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C-Rich Bean Salad (serves 4)
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 cup spinach
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: ¼ sliced avocado, ¼ cul olives, ¼ cup chopped nuts
- In a large bowl, mix together the beans and prepped vegetables.
- In a small dressing bowl (mason jars work great), whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix. Add optional ingredients as needed.
**This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. This salad has Vitamin C, protein, and fibre. It goes great as a light lunch, or as a side to a main course.