With rains ushering more in the months ahead it is essential to strengthen the immune system twofold or even threefold as deterrent to waterborne diseases.

A healthy physical being starts with taking nutritious food as well as necessary mine­rals and vitamins.

The intake of Vitamin C is fundamental as the colder months also bring various illnesses such as the common cough, colds, flu and allergies.

Ideally, the body needs a minimum of 65 mg to a high dose of 2,000 mg Vitamin C daily. Since orange, the most famous citrus fruit, only gives 88 percent of Vitamin C, the body needs supplementary sources to balance intake, enough to survive the rainy season and the rest of the year.

Vitamin C sources with higher content than oranges

Chili peppers, red, yellow and green bell peppers
Chili peppers as well as red, yellow and green bell peppers are perhaps the most common ingredients used almost in every kind of viand, especially for Filipinos. A chopped half cup of chili peppers can give up to 107.8 mg of Vitamin C. So be sure to add a few bell peppers even in omelette or noodles.

Dark green leafy vegetables like kale
Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, turnip greens, swiss chard and spinach provide 80.4 mg of vitamin C. Usually used in Filipino dishes and even in salads, these vegetables also offer a good amount of minerals and some fatty acids

Brussels, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts
Vegetables are always healthy. These contain 132 mg of Vitamin C as well as fiber. Brussels, cauliflower or broccoli sprouts are excellent ingredients for the Filipino favorite chopsuey.

Papaya, strawberries and pineapple
Fruits are always a good and healthy choice. Papayas distribute 88.3 mg of Vitamin C and it is also good for clearing sinuses, brightening the skin and strengthening the bones. Strawberries are apparently helpful to whiten teeth, plus it contains 84.7 mg of vitamin C. Pineapples give 78.9 mg of vitamin C and has an anti-inflammatory enzyme called bromelain to break down food and lessen bloating.

Aside from being fat-free, seafood also contains Vitamin C. Lobsters, mollusks, sardines and tuna – steamed, fried or boiled – are rich sources to strengthen the immune system.

Citrus fruits
Calamansi and dalandan are unquestionable sources of Vitamin C. These local citrus fruits add zest and flavor to dishes, even to sweet treats like calamansi meringue.

Kiwi fruit
Kiwi fruits, although not so common, can be a good addition to one’s diet since it contains 92.7 mg or 155% of Vitamin C in every 100 g serving. Plus it is also rich in copper and potassium.

Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C distributing 22.8 mg or 38 percent in every 100 gram of serving.

This wonderful and healthy vegetable gives out 60 mg or 100% vitamin C per 100 g serving.

A Filipino favorite, mangoes are a good source of Vitamin C as it provides 122.3 mg of what the body needs for immunity. Mangoes are also rich in Vitamin A for healthy eyesight.