• Are citruses simply a home remedy or is there really scientific evidence to back up the idea that vitamin C helps fight colds? Citruses and cold, myth or reality?

    Anyhow, numerous health benefits are associated with vitamin C. Some people even take supplements of this nutrient to avoid getting colds. Discover the effects of this vitamin, also known as ascorbic acid, on colds!

    SIMPLY DELICIOUS: Love citruses? Prepare this salad with orange segments or this spiced orange juice!

    Citrus Family 

    Citruses are a big family of fruits with varying characteristics. Indeed, some taste sweet, while others are bitter or sour. Besides, these fruits are usually cultivated in tropical countries and grow in flowering trees or shrubs.

    Citruses are also characterized by their flavoured peel which are often used to make zest thanks to the natural essence of the glands. Under the skin is a white spongy layer that protects the flesh of the fruit and divides it into segments.

    Here are popular types of citruses: 

    • Oranges
    • Tangerines
    • Lemons
    • Limes
    • Grapefruits

    Reasons to eat citruses

    Citruses are filled with vitamins! In fact, they are most known for their high vitamin C content. That being said, they provide many other vitamins and minerals as well.

    Among other things, citruses also contain vitamin B, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and many other interesting nutrients!

    Did you know that…

    eating one orange a day nearly fulfills your daily vitamin C need?

    Citruses also provide a significant amount of fibers. For reference, a medium size orange provides 4 g of fibers. Besides, fibers are essential to our diets since they help regulate the intestinal transit. They also increase the sensation of satiety.

    These fruits also have a low energy density, which means they have few calories for their weight. Indeed, an orange only contains about 70 calories while a pink grapefruit has about 75.

    The Myth of Citruses for Cold

    Have you ever been told to eat more oranges to avoid getting a cold in winter? Quite probably! If not, you’ve at least heard some discussions on the matter.

    Well, surprisingly, no literature supports the idea that vitamin C reduces chances of having a cold. It’s a myth… and a persistent one!

    If for example someone usually catches two colds a year, eating more foods containing vitamin C (such as oranges or supplements) will not reduce this statistic to once a year.

    Disappointed? Goodbye home remedy…

    The recommended vitamin C nutritional intake of an adult is of 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.

    Health benefits of citruses

    Thought eating an orange in the morning with your bowl of cereal helped you stay away from the tissue box? Don’t worry, it’s not entirely false!

    Indeed, a systematic review of more than 11 300 participants showed that a daily vitamin C supplementation helps reduce the duration of a cold by 8% for adults and 14% for children.The severity of the cold also decreases thanks to the supplements.

    While the searchers did not mention any results concerning vitamin C provided by food, the same health benefits than that of supplements can be expected.

    Which Foods Provide Vitamin C?

    Fruits and vegetables are the best food source of vitamin C. And don’t worry, it’s super easy to include this vitamin in your diet! In fact, most fruits and vegetables contain some, which means if you eat a variety of those, your vitamin C needs are probably fulfilled.

    Other than citruses, here is a list of foods containing a significant amount of vitamin C:

    • Broccolis
    • Snow peas
    • Red cabbages
    • Bell peppers
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Kale
    • Arugula
    • Kiwis
    • Mangos
    • Peaches
    • Papayas
    • Strawberries

    Besides, it’s always better to rely on food products to fulfill your ascorbic acid needs. Indeed, the latter will provide many other nutrients, unlike vitamin C supplements.

    Health benefits of fruits and vegetables

    Tired of always hearing “eat more fruits and vegetables”? Well, science is ever evolving, and nutritional recommendations often change with new facts brought to light by literature.

    A good example would be that of cholesterol, which was massively avoided two decades ago but is now considered harmless. These changes sometimes make the population doubt the science of nutrition.

    Yet, if there is one recommendation that remains steady, strong, and solid through all the studies and years, it’s that of the health benefits associated with the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

    Indeed, they are known to improve cardiovascular health and help prevent cancers, among other things. The decreased duration and severity of your cold is just a little bonus!