The picture of health might look a lot like a broccoli floret. Lots of veggies pack a high dose of immunity-building vitamin C. Here’s a look at some of the best C-rich veggies for cold season.

We’ll tell you one thing Peter Piper never picked: his nose.

And thanks to all of those peppers he picked, he probably didn’t have to blow it much, either.

This is because peppers, particularly bell peppers, are abundant in vitamin C, a compound essential for building immunity and treating the common cold. Peter’s peck of peppers are among several veggies, including broccoli and Brussels sprouts, that can pack as much of the immunity-boosting nutrient as oranges, berries and other fruits.

The key is getting plenty of these veggies regularly. Vitamin C has not been proven to totally prevent colds in most people, but research shows it can shorten the duration of the symptoms. It also assists in the absorption of iron, strengthening the body’s resistance to infection.

In the winter months, when colds and viruses are most likely, this is the time to double down on C.

Veggies with a Capital C

How many peppers, or cups of cauliflower and potatoes, does a kid need to eat to treat a cold? Here’s a breakdown of what each C-packing veggie contains.

Bell peppers: Here’s a bell that can hit a high C! One bell pepper contains 190 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. A medium orange, meanwhile, carries 130 percent.

Broccoli: It’s called a super food for a reason. One medium stalk of nutrient-rich broccoli delivers more than twice the needed vitamin C – 220 percent. If your kid eats two stalks, call him a Broc-Star!

Cauliflower: This white vegetable will put some color in your kids’ cheeks. Roughly half a cup of this cruciferous vegetable will provide 100 percent of the vitamin C recommended for a day.

Brussels sprouts: Four little sprouts get you 120 percent of the C your kid needs in a day. If these power balls are a hard sell in your house, try roasting and then serving them with something sweet, like dried cranberries. Or give them a topping of Savory Bacon Vegy Vida, which will soften the veggie flavor for sensitive palates. 

Purple cabbage: One cup of this bright veggie contains 80 percent of the vitamin C a kid needs in a day. One kid-friendly way to serve it: Cut it into ribbons and serve it with chicken salad and (for a vitamin C boost) mandarin slices.

Potatoes: The modest white potato actually holds more vitamin C than a sweet potato. One medium potato has 45 percent of your daily vitamin C, while a medium sweet potato has 30 percent.

While each of these vegetables can stand alone, don’t hesitate to serve them in a colorful mix. The shades of veggies each represent different nutritional profiles, so a rainbow is super healthy.

And if fighting the common cold is not enough incentive to get your kids to eat their peppers or broccoli, try this on for size: Vitamin C is absolutely necessary for preventing scurvy. And it also helps boo-boos heal faster.



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