(Family Features) – Bolstering your immune system during winter, when coughs and colds seem to take control, is a must for the entire family. Supporting your wellness can start in a simple place – with the foods you eat and drink.

Consider an easy choice for any season like Florida Orange Juice, which can help you and your loved ones get the vitamins and minerals you need all winter long. With 100% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C in every 8-ounce serving along with key nutrients like potassium and magnesium, there’s a reason it’s referred to as the “Original Wellness Drink.”

With no added sugar or artificial flavor, it provides the benefits you need without the additives you don’t. It contains natural sugar from the whole fruit for a delicious solution that’s one of nature’s nutrient-rich foods with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Plus, it’s easy to use as a nutritional ingredient in wintertime favorites like this comforting Orange Juice and Coconut Chickpea Soup or to start your day strong with a Superfruit Breakfast Smoothie.

Paired with a healthy lifestyle, 8 ounces of 100% orange juice may help support a healthy immune system as an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin D in fortified juices. Vitamin C is commonly associated with helping maintain and strengthen healthy immune systems by protecting cells and promoting the production and function of immune cells. Meanwhile, vitamin D also plays an important role in regulating immune response by helping immune cells fight off bacteria and viruses.

“Safeguarding your health against the spread of illness is important year-round, especially during colder months when reports of cold and flu increase,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, director of scientific research at the Florida Department of Citrus. “A key step in supporting your immune system is maintaining a well-balanced diet that is high in essential nutrients. Incorporating an 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice can help you meet the recommended daily value of vitamin C and support your hydration.”

Beneficial plant compounds, like those in Florida Orange Juice, along with flavonoids and colorful carotenoids work to support the immune system by fighting inflammation and helping cells communicate, which can help strengthen immune responses when encountering infections.

Additionally, 100% orange juice is a source of phytonutrients like hesperidin, which has been shown in clinical studies to have antioxidant-like properties, heart health benefits and may help reduce inflammation. Hesperidin has also been linked with benefits related to cognitive function, immune system function and bone health.

To find more information and immunity-boosting winter recipes, visit FloridaJuice.com.

Orange Juice and Coconut Chickpea Soup
Servings: 8

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 quart vegetable broth
1 can (14 ounces) light coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Florida Orange juice
Chopped cilantro (optional)

In medium saucepan over medium high, heat olive oil until it shimmers.
Add onions, bell pepper, carrots and salt; cook until onions are translucent, 5-7 minutes.
Add garlic and cardamom; cook 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant. Do not brown.
Add vegetable broth, coconut milk and chickpeas; bring to simmer.
Decrease heat to low and cook until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add orange juice, remove from heat and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.

Superfruit Breakfast Smoothie
Servings: 2

8 ounces Florida Orange Juice
4 ounces dark sweet cherries
2 ounces pomegranate juice

In blender, puree orange juice, cherries and pomegranate juice then serve.

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