- Health & Wellness
Get A Shot Of Vitamin C To Boost Your Immunity
You need to have this vitamin every single day to stay protected
The role of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) as an immunity booster is a longstanding and widely known one. When consumed regularly, it is observed that the frequency and severity of infectious diseases remains low. This connection was first established in the case of the common cold, but in due course, the same correlation was observed in the case of many infectious conditions.
The food sources of vitamin C are known. Indian gooseberry (amla) tops the list, with its high content of vitamin C (250 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of fruit). This is more than six times our daily requirement of the vitamin, which is 40 mg. Interestingly, it is guava and not orange that is a close second to Indian gooseberry in terms of its vitamin C content. While citrus fruits are commonly known as good sources of vitamin C, it is important to note that not everything that is sour, is rich in the vitamin. For example, tamarind is sour but it is not a good source of vitamin C. Other good sources of vitamin C are mango, papaya, karonda, black grapes, lemon, kinnow, pineapple, and all the edible green leaves.
With an abundance of foods rich in vitamin C, it is indeed surprising that many of us fall short on this nutrient. A reason for this is that vitamin C is a fairly delicate vitamin and is easily destroyed by heat and prolonged storage. Therefore, simply eating a good source of vitamin C may not be enough—we will also need to pay attention to our cooking methods and storage practices.If you don’t have access to fresh fruit and veggies, especially during this lockdown period, then sprouting is a trick that can work wonders. Did you know that whole pulses (sabut dals) contain no vitamin C, but upon sprouting them, the vitamin C content becomes significant? Pulses are popularly used for sprouting, but you can also sprout many cereal grains and seeds for enhanced benefit.
Recipe: Cottage Cheese & Sprouted Fenugreek Salad
For this recipe, you can sprout the fenugreek (methi) seeds by soaking them overnight, draining the water and tying the seeds in a muslin cloth. Alternatively, you could leave the damp seeds undisturbed in a covered vessel that allows for air circulation. The fenugreek sprouts should be ready in two days at the temperatures of today. Sprouted fenugreek seeds make for an excellent snack and can be added to salads and stir-fried veggies.
To preserve the vitamin C content of the seeds, make sure to consume them raw or cooked very lightly. High temperatures and long cooking periods will destroy the vitamin C in the seeds.
This recipe is wholesome, tasty and delivers ample vitamin C (present in the sprouted fenugreek seeds and mint leaves).
Ingredients: 1 cup cottage cheese, cubed
1 tbsp yogurt (thick)
3 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
3 tbsp fenugreek seeds, sprouted
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp chaat masala
Salt to taste
Method: Take the yogurt in a pan and add the spices, mint leaves and salt to make a smooth paste.Add the cottage cheese cubes and the fenugreek sprouts to it and stir lightly to coat evenly with the yogurt paste. Take care not to break the cottage cheese cubes. Serve chilled.
Notes: For some variation in taste, you could pan fry the cottage cheese instead of using it raw. Any seasonal fruit that is available (papaya, melon or pineapple) can be added to the salad for more diverse flavours and nutrients.
Neelanjana Singh is a nutrition therapist with 30 years experience and the author of Our Kid Eats Everything.
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