I’m in Mandarin Heaven at the moment. There is an abundance of them in the shops (being mid-winter here), they’re sweet, juicy and ridiculously cheap! What’s not to love.

It’s amazing how nature provides us with what we need at just the right time.

You see, mandarins are in season early winter to early spring – the same time that cold and flu season hits. Just one Mandarin provides 90% of your Vitamin C daily requirements.

While Vitamin C does not stop a cold, research suggests that taking high doses can support the immune system and reduce the duration of cold symptoms. And if you don’t have a cold, don’t worry as your body has lots of uses for Vitamin C as it’s essential for…

  • Muscle function.
  • Assisting in iron absorption.
  • Maintenance of connective tissue of bone, muscle, joints etc.
  • For the release of energy from fatty acids.
  • Absorption of iron in the intestines.
  • The metabolism of cholesterol and folic acid.
  • Development of thyroid hormone.
  • Protecting cells from free radical damage.
  • Reducing the formation of nitrosamines1 in the stomach.
  • Involved in the formation and breakdown of noradrenaline2 and serotonin3

As a Naturopath I’m often asked, “Should I take a Vitamin C supplement?”

My answer, “Why would you when you can eat a few delicious Mandarins and get nearly your daily Vitamin C requirements plus some fibre, vitamin A and other trace minerals.”  One average Mandarin contains 25 mg of Vit C. The Recommended Daily Allowance: Males/Females 45-60mg, Pregnancy & Lactation 65-85mg per day. Children, 40mg.

In fact, if you eat some of these on a daily basis — lemon, kiwi fruit, capsicum, broccoli, strawberries, green vegetables and tomatoes – you will get OVER 400 mg of Vitamin C . Any more than that gets excreted in your urine. For a more detailed look into exact amounts scroll to the bottom of the page.

Takeaway… Invest in eating a lot more fruit and vegetables.

Tip…The benefits of vitamin C come from having it every day, not just at the start of a cold or flu. Also, look for Satsuma mandarins as they are high in the phytochemical synephrine – a natural decongestant!

Click HERE for my Almond Mandarin Muffin Recipe

Let me know how you like it. Nat 💚

A 100% loss of Vitamin C can occur when cooking so this should be taken into account when preparing meals. Being sensitive to light, oxygen and heat fruits and vegetables should be fresh and kept in the dark.

Vegetables Vitamin C  per 100g   Fruits Vitamin C

per 100g

Red/Green Chilli peppers 242 mg Guavas 228 mg
Thyme (fresh) 164 mg Blackcurrants 100 mg
Parsley (fresh) 133 mg Kiwi 93 mg
Kale 120 mg Papaya 62 mg
Green capsicums 100 mg Oranges/Mandarins 59 mg
Broccoli 89 mg Strawberries 59 mg
Brussels sprouts 35 mg Lemon juice 57 mg
Cauliflower 20 mg  
Cabbage 20 mg  
Spinach 20 mg  


  1. NORADRENALINE is responsible for the body’s reaction to stressful situations.
  2. SEROTONIN influences a number of psychological and other body functions. Of the approximately 40 million brain cells, most are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotonin.
  3. NITROSAMINES: produced from nitrites and secondary amines, which often occur in the form of proteins in meats, processed foods.

Wahlqvist, M. L. (2011). Food and Nutrition: Food and Health Systems in Australia and New Zealand 3rd Edition. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.


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