The vitamin C packed superfoods that will help you fight off colds

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Chefs who ensure their recipes are packed with vitamins and micronutrients ensure that you, the diner, will feel a deep sense of well-being and experience a boost to your health, as well as satisfying your taste buds and appetite.

This is particularly important for those who have very busy lives, whether for work or social reasons, and really need to recharge at the cellular level during leisure time. There are lots of great choices if you want meals packed with vitamin C and nutrients, whether you’re eating out or at home.

Dining out

Not only do today’s truly great hotels and restaurants combine fine dining with highly nutritious ingredients, these establishments often have their own organic gardens, or at least ensure they source their organic vegetables and fruits locally.

This isn’t just great for the planet: produce grown without pesticides and insecticides and transported shorter distances has been proven to contain a greater vitamin and micronutrient content. As the body is unable to store vitamin C, it’s wonderful to have gourmet health options when dining out, as well as a choice of traditional, warming comfort foods.

A wide range of leaves and vegetables thrive even in the British winter, and restaurants that respect seasonality and the health of their patrons capitalise on the taste, aesthetics and variety that nature offers on our very own doorstep. Discerning chefs can optimise gourmet superfoods even in desserts, by combining ingredients such as pomegranate, clementine, apple and pear, with a lemon, honey and Cointreau syrup, to create a winter fruit salad.

Meals on vacation

It’s not just calories and superficial satisfaction to taste buds that today’s discerning diner is seeking; and for those who treat their body like the temple it is, it’s worth going one step further and investing in a detox holiday, with green juices and seasonal salads.

Winter breaks to distant destinations can ensure a ready supply of exotic fruits, such as papaya, mango and passion fruit, and salads bursting with antioxidants and alkalising properties. However, once back under cloud in the UK, there are still plenty of ways to top up your health levels with fresh foods packed with vitamin C.

Eating at home

So, rather than confine your search for superfoods to packets and bottles in the health food shop, here are just a tiny selection of the tasty options that can provide a boost to mind and body in the colder months: warm red cabbage salad, Scandinavian beetroot and potato salad, roasted squash, beetroot hummus, beetroot soup with garlic and lemon, and Asian broccoli salad.

Dark green leafy vegetables

It’s common knowledge that foods high in vitamin C, such as dark green leaves (particularly if eaten raw), help prevent colds and flu and generally boost the immune system. Lesser known benefits include: regenerating tissue, bones and blood vessels and aiding the body’s ability to absorb calcium. A swinter salad of dark green, colourful leaves and herbs might consist of any or all of the following: land cress, watercress, rocket, spinach, chicory and parsley, to name just a few!

So it’s worth looking out for recipes and restaurants with true imagination and packed full of vitamin C as we approach the festive season – it’s good for mind, body and planet alike!