Vitamin C is essential throughout the winter, as well as the summer, spring and autumn, to support good health year-round. It is an enormously important vitamin. It is an antioxidant, protecting cells against free radicals, which may contribute to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Vitamin C also has antiviral properties with a particularly vital role in warding off colds. Did you know that because lemons are high in vitamin C they can prevent the disease scurvy which was common among sailors stuck on ships for months? Even today, the British Navy requires ships to carry enough lemons so that every sailor can have one ounce of juice a day.
The health benefits of the vitamins, also found in lime, orange, passion fruit and grapefruit include weight loss, skin care, improved digestion, relief from constipation, eye care, and treatment of scurvy, piles, peptic ulcer, respiratory disorders, gout, gums and urinary disorders.
Finally, ruby grapefruit has a huge additional nutritional bonus in lycopene, which gives the ruby red its distinctive colour. A member of the carotenoid family of plant-based pigments, lycopene is a powerful antioxidant in its own right. Antioxidants fight the free radicals believed to be responsible for disease and age-related cell damage.
The recipes below are delicious and moreover, all these recipes are contain citrus fruits with plenty of vitamin C. So tuck in and brighten up your health this winter.
Greek Lemon Delight
This light, fresh and fruity dessert is perfect all year round. The fat-free Greek yoghurt makes it a option healthier.
300ml 0% Greek yoghurt
A few drops of Stevia to taste
50ml white wine
Zest and juice from ½ lemon
A handful of blueberries, to serve
Whip the yoghurt and Stevia together until well mixed. Stir in the wine, most of the lemon zest and the juice. Spoon into glasses or bowls, sprinkle with the remaining zest and serve with blueberries scattered over each portion.
Lime and Coriander Rice
When you want a delicious side dish with a zesty kick, try this fabulous rice recipe. You add the lime after cooking so the Vitamin C content remains intact.
300g basmati rice
3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
2 limes, zest and juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dash of olive oil
Cook the rice according to the packet instructions and then stir in the coriander, lime zest and juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper and olive oil. Spoon into a bowl and serve.
Kiwi, Lime and Mint cooler
125ml boiling water
4 gold and 4 green kiwi fruit
80ml lime juice (from 3-4 limes)
A handful of mint leaves
10 ice cubes
250ml sparkling wine or water
A few drops of Stevia Clear to taste
In a large jug, add the Stevia to in 125ml of water, then place in the fridge to chill. Peel and roughly chop 4 gold and 4 green kiwi fruit, then blend until smooth with the cooled syrup, lime juice, mint leaves and ice cubes. Pour into a jug and top up with the sparkling wine or water. Serve with extra mint.
Passion Fruit and Mango Sorbet
This light sorbet makes a perfect pudding and shows off the very best of passion fruit, with plenty of mango to men you need no added sugar.
1 cup mango and orange juice
12 passion fruit, pulp only
1 cup diced mango
2 egg whites
- Combine the juice, passion fruit pulp and diced mangoes into a freezer-safe container. Freeze for an hour.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the fruit mixture. Freeze for another hour.
- Mix the sorbet, and return to the freezer until desired consistency has been reached.
Passion Fruit Party Sticks
Try these tasty fruity treats, ideal for a refreshing taste of summer during the winter months.
100g orange segments, halved
100g kiwi chunks
100g pineapple chunks
100g strawberries, halved
100g black grapes
For the drizzle
Juice 2 limes
4 ripe passion fruits, halved with the seeds scraped out.
- Mix the drizzle in a small bowl. If you want the sauce to be smooth, pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds, or leave them in if you prefer.
- Skewer the fruits onto wooden skewers and drizzle half the sauce on top. Put the skewers in the freezer for 45 mins, until just starting to freeze. Serve with the leftover drizzle.
Salmon and Chickpea Citrus Salad
½ pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented
1 lemon, juice only
1 lime, juice only
½ tsp caster sugar
salt, to taste
4 tbsp olive oil
For the salad
A handful butterhead lettuce, roughly torn
4 tbsp cooked tinned chickpeas
100g/2oz cooked salmon, flaked
1 tbsp fresh chervil leaves
1 red onion, sliced
Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Pile the salad leaves on a plate, pile on the salmon, scatter over chickpeas and slices of red onion, then the dressing.
Orange, Pomegranate, Walnut and Rocket Salad
This is a truly delicious vegetarian salad, bursting with vitamin C thanks to the fresh orange and pomegranate. Plenty more nutrients in the walnuts and rocket too: walnuts contain omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid unique and powerful antioxidants, plus vitamin E, folate and melatonin, whilst rocket is full of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium and more vitamin C.
2 large ripe oranges
1 handful of walnuts, shelled and halved
- Peel and segment the orange, removing all skin and pith. Break segments into pieces.
- Cut the pomegranate in half and tap out the seeds by bashing each half with a wooden spoon.
- Lay the rocket in a large bowl. Scatter over pomegranate seeds, the orange pieces and the walnuts.
- Drizzle with olive oil, season and serve.
Vitamin C: Stay Healthy Through 2016
To make sure you enjoy some of the most nutritious treats all year long, eat plenty of the most Vitamin C rich foods.
Vegetables that are high in Vitamin C are:
Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Green Pepper, Kale, Rocket, Swiss Chard.
Fruits that are high in vitamin C are:
Blackcurrants, Breadfruit, Grapefruit, Guava, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Lychee, Mango, Mulberries, Orange, Papaya, Passion fruit, Pineapple, Strawberries.
These delicious, nutrient-rich foods will keep you brimming with energy and vitality, so tuck in and max out on your Vit C!