Vitamin C classic hero for strong immunity

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, and although available throughout the year, they are in season and at their best from winter through early spring.


Vitamin C is a great way to fight colds when you catch one, but stocking up on these much-needed vitamins when you’re not sick can help prevent it in the first place.

Every year it’s another cold or flu, and though they are two different things, the only way to help prevent it is to build up your immunity by making sure you’re as healthy as can be.

Registered dietitian Helene Charlebois, BSc, says vitamin C isn’t the only vitamin that helps prevent colds.

“You need to have a very good variety of vitamins and minerals in general, because if you’re deficient in other vitamins and nutrients as well, not only vitamin C, your immune system will take a beating,” says Charlebois.

And that means eating well — breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try to get at least two to three fruits per day, including oranges or grapefruit.

A glass of 100 per cent orange juice is always good to get in there too since it’s natural, pure, there’s no extra sugar added and it has a lot of nutrients outside of vitamin C.

“And you know that four o’clock pick-me-up boost? Most people reach for coffee and I say ‘No, have a cold glass of Florida orange juice,’” she says. “It’s just so effervescent and just gives you that energy you need to finish your work day.”

According to Charlebois, vitamin C helps lessen the severity and the length of the common cold. Because the vitamin C content is intracellular and it is a water-soluble vitamin, it actually helps to clean out the cells and helps replenish the water in your cells to get everything healthier.

“So they always say when you have the cold or flu to drink lots of fluids because it will flush it out of your system,” says Charlebois. “And since vitamin C is water soluble it will help to flush things out of your system more quickly.”

Once you have a cold, Charlebois says if you’re eating better you’re just going to feel better generally, especially if it’s a glass of something cold like orange juice. Vitamin C also helps boost your immune system because it’s a powerful anti-oxidant, which helps in cell regeneration.

So the next time you’re feeling a little low on energy, instead of reaching for a cup of coffee, try a glass of orange juice instead. For more info, visit

fast facts

• One 8-ounce glass of pure Florida orange juice contains 120 per cent (more than a day’s worth) of the daily value for vitamin C.

• Vitamin C may help lessen the severity and shorten the duration of cold and flu.

• Vitamin C helps keep cells and tissues healthy.

• May help boost the immune system, which can help the body be more resilient to illness, germs, bacteria and viruses.

Grapefruit cheesecakes


  • 36 vanilla wafers

  • 3 cups grapefruit sections

  • 4 tbsp grapefruit juice (reserved from sectioning)

  • 2 pkgs (each 250g) cream cheese, softened

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 cups strawberry glaze

  • 36 paper muffin cup liners

  • Whipped cream


Place paper liners in muffin tins. Put 1 vanilla wafer in each. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs and grapefruit juice and beat until smooth and creamy. Fill each muffin cup 1/2 full with cream cheese mixture. Bake in a 180 C oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool thoroughly. Gently fold grapefruit sections and strawberry glaze together. Top each cheesecake with grapefruit mixture and chill. Serve with whipped cream. Makes 36 cheesecakes.

Orange cider

Florida orange juice and spices add just the right flavours to this warm pick-me-up.


  • 3 cups 100 per cent pure Florida orange juice

  • 1 cup apple juice

  • 2 inches stick cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves


In a saucepan combine orange juice, apple juice, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Sieve to remove cinnamon and cloves. Serve warm. If desired, float Florida orange slices on top. Makes 4 servings.

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