»Bring vitamin C and a good immune system«, answers a friend when I ask her what I can bring to the meeting at the weekend. Although she says this with a twinkle in her eye, there is clearly something behind it. The first winter crises among family and friends are over, but the cold season is still booming. This is reason enough to investigate how one can back up one’s own defences with plenty of citrus vitamin C.
Citrus fruits are everyday companions for me and, in the cold season, my favourite vitamin supplier. I do not really have any special preferences. Freshly squeezed juice for breakfast, half a grapefruit or orange marmalade on a nice piece of bread.
I also like clementines. I frequently stroke my fingertips over the shiny peel shortly after leaving the checkout stand. Sort of like an immediate reward for my purchase. Where the fruit hung on the tree is where my finger plunges in and draws the peel slowly away to free the flesh. Fillet after fillet migrates to my mouth until the last piece of fruit has been consumed. Only the hearty bite into lemons – I prefer to leave that to Tequila drinkers. Baked in biscuits or as a hot lemon? Of course!
Regardless of which variety or type of food you choose, it won’t only be your taste buds that are excited. My immune system is also very grateful. Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for the human body. It strengthens the defences and can shorten the duration and strength of colds. A look at the page of the German Society for Nutrition tells me that adults should be taking 0.1 gram of vitamin C daily. No problem for citrus fans, right? So how much juice do I actually have to drink? How much fruit should I eat? Or is orange marmalade enough? I once investigated this and checked various citrus delights for their vitamin C content.
I like the hot lemon moderately sour and add three tablespoons of juice into a cup. In lemon juice, there are about 0.05 grams per 100 millilitres. This means that the daily requirement is covered with 200 millilitres of juice. With four cups over the day I reach my targeted vitamins. In order to not only alleviate cold symptoms, but also to meet vitamin C requirements, it is important that the water is no longer boiling when mixed with the lemon juice. It should only be only 60 degrees so that the vitamins are not destroyed.