Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for skin, bone and immune health. In addition, clinical studies show it can shorten the duration of a cold and soothe symptoms. If you're feeling under the weather, try one of these C-rich recipes.
Vitamin C Smoothies
Try this green smoothie recipe that's packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants for breakfast or a quick snack.
- Puree 1 3/4 cup cubed mango, 1 cup cubed cucumber, 1 cup baby spinach and 1/2 cup chopped broccoli.
- Add 1 cup unsweetened green tea, 1/2 cup mint leaves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tsp. ginger and a pinch of turmeric.
- Continue blending until you reach your desired consistency; serve chilled.
The mangos and green veggies are the vitamin C stars here, so grab a few extras for snacks.
Raw Kale Salad
Kale is an ideal source of vitamin C, and eating it raw preserves its nutrients.
- Wash about a 1/2 pound of Tuscan kale, or one large bunch.
- Remove the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Place in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, smash one large garlic clove into a paste along with about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice and a dash of red pepper.
- Whisk the dressing and toss with the kale. Serve immediately.
This rich yet light dressing will win over those who dislike kale's bitterness. As a bonus, the lemon also contains vitamin C.
Baked Salmon With Raw Vegetables
You can easily adapt this versatile recipe to your tastes and seasonal produce availability.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- Chop a medley of your favorite veggies that feature vitamin C. Some of our top picks include broccoli, red bell pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
- Season salmon filets with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place skin-side down on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
You'll know when the salmon is done because you can flake it easily with a fork. Dress the veggies simply with a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper.
This recipe gives classic baked chicken breasts the flavor and vitamin C infusion of tart citrus. You can leave the skin on or keep it off depending on whether you prefer to follow a low-fat diet.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan.
- Add 3 tablespoons of minced garlic to the olive oil and saute until golden brown (about 60 seconds).
- Turn off the heat and add 1/3 cup of either dry white wine or chicken broth to the pan.
- Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves.
- Pour the sauce into a 9 by 12-inch baking dish and top with four boneless chicken breasts.
- Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add eight lemon wedges between the chicken pieces.
- Bake for about 40 minutes. The chicken must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit before it is safe to eat.
- Cover the dish with foil and rest for 10 minutes before serving.
To make the most of the delectable lemon sauce, pair the chicken with whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.The recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for adults is about 65 to 90 mg a day, but you can safely take up to 2,000 mg when you have cold symptoms. Supplements can help meet this target since it can be difficult to get enough of this important nutrient from food.