Can vitamin C help you fight a cold?

WASHINGTON — Many people grab a glass of orange juice when they first feel that tickle in their throat, but Lean Plate Club blogger Sally Squires says vitamin C may work better to fight a cold than prevent it.

Squires says that despite previous claims saying vitamin C helps prevent colds, recent studies have shown that might not be the case. While vitamin C may not prevent a cold, it might shorten its duration.

While it may be tempting to take large doses of vitamin C once illness sets in, Squires says not to go overboard.

“It turns out about half a cup of orange juice a day is all we need,” she says — about 68 milligrams of vitamin C.

But what about people who are not fans of citrus? Papaya is a good alternative packed with vitamin C: One small papaya has 95 milligrams of vitamin C; one large papaya has 475 milligrams, almost seven times the amount in a medium glass of orange juice.

Squires also says that probiotics — healthy bacteria — can help with a cold.

“People who had one or two servings of yogurt or some other probiotic actually shortened the duration of their cold by about a day,” Squires says. “Which is pretty impressive.”

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