WHILE many of us turn to large doses of vitamin C to avoid catching colds in winter, there is no scientific evidence to support this practice.
Large doses (up to 1g or 1000mg/day) of vitamin C may help to reduce the duration of a cold but they do not protect people from catching colds in the first place … unless, of course, their diet was already lacking in vitamin C.
Vitamin C is found in abundance in fresh fruit and vegetables. However, the consumption of fruit and vegetables often decreases in winter months.
For instance, it may be difficult to think of eating a nice cold, crisp apple on a cold and rainy winter day.
Research tells us that a dose of 90-100mg of vitamin C daily is sufficient for optimal protection against diseases.
For most people, extra vitamin C that the body doesn't need just passes through.
If you are thinking of taking a vitamin C supplement, you might want to talk to a dietician or doctor first.
Some people - such as those with kidney disease - should avoid vitamin C supplements.
University of the Sunshine Coast dieticians Libby Swanepoel and Judith Maher, recommend that the easiest way to increase vitamin C intake is to increase the daily doses of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Winter fruits high in vitamin C include strawberries, oranges, mandarins and kiwifruit.
Eating fresh food will also give you the added bonus of consuming all the other antioxidants, energy and the B group vitamins that your body needs.
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