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Vitamin C, also referred to as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient that plays several important roles in the body. Vitamin C aids in:
v Absorbing iron from plant sources
v Healing wounds and scrapes
v Maintaining healthy gums, skin, and cartilage
v Protecting cells and acts as an antioxidant
Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body and therefore needs to be consumed on daily basis to live a healthy life. But do not worry, it is easy to get enough vitamin C to meet your daily requirement! It is recommended for adult men to consume 90mg/day and 75 mg/day for women, which is the equivalent of 1 cup of raw strawberries for men or 1 medium kiwi for women each day.
DID YOU KNOW?! Although commonly thought of as a way to prevent illness, taking excess vitamin C has not been shown in research to prevent or treat colds or the flu. Taking excessive amounts of Vitamin C, like from some vitamin supplements, can even be harmful and may cause side-effects such as stomach pain, diarrhea, or flatulence.
Vitamin C is found in a large number of fruits and vegetables. Aim to have one or more sources of vitamin C containing foods daily such as:
Broccoli and Red Pepper Stir-fry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 1⁄2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 large onion, sliced
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1 large sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
1⁄2 lb button mushroom
1⁄3 cup chicken stock
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1. In a wok or large skillet, heat oils over high heat. Stir fry the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, remove garlic& ginger and discard.
2. Add onions and fry for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and fry for 1 minute.
3. Add broccoli and pepper and stir for 1 minute.
4. Add stock and soy sauce, bring to a simmer for about 1 minute or until the veggies are cooked to your liking.
5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Orange Romaine Salad
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup green onion, chopped
1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
3 oranges, peeled and thinly sliced
1. In a small container with a tight-fitting lid, combine vinegar, oil, honey, salt, pepper and green onion. Close the lid, and shake vigorously to blend.
2. Place the romaine lettuce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with dressing and toss to coat. Add orange slices and toss gently. Serve immediately.
Mango Yogurt Parfait
· nonstick cooking spray
· 2 cups whole oats
· 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
· 1/4 cup coconut oil or margarine
· 1/4 cup honey
· 4 large mangoes
· 2 cups plain yogurt
· 1 teaspoon honey
· 4 teaspoon unsweetened shredded coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray.
2. Add oats and pecans to baking sheet and stir.
3. Combine coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook until mixture starts to bubble, stirring frequently.
4. Remove mixture from heat, then drizzle over oats. Stir well.
5. Bake granola until golden brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
1. Peel and chop 2 mangoes. Place chopped mango in a food processor and process until smooth.
2. Add honey and yogurt to mango. Process mixture until completely smooth.
3. Peel and dice remaining 2 mangoes. Set aside.
To Assemble Parfaits:
1. Place a few spoonfuls of yogurt mixture in the bottom of 4 small cups.
2. Cover yogurt with a layer of granola.
3. Top granola with a layer of diced mango.
4. Repeat layers, then sprinkle the top of each parfait with shredded coconut.
5. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Note: Feel free to replace the homemade granola with oats, bran buds or your favorite cereal for a quick and easy alternative