This is the season of flowers and fruit, when the sun shines again for several hours a day and the cold gives way to a pleasant warmth that allows you to spend more time in the open air and thus to fill up with vitamin D. Spring is therefore, in a way, also the feast of vitamins, antioxidant compounds and anti-inflammatory molecules. A supply of vitamin C, for example, can be found in strawberries (and not only in citrus fruits, as you think), a valuable aid to the immune system. We talked about it with Dr. Manuela Pastore, dietitian of Humanitas.
Strawberries and vitamin C
A portion of 150 grams, equivalent to about a dozen strawberries, covers 100% of women’s daily needs of vitamin C and 80% of men’s needs. Together with red fruits and cherries, the fruit that begins to arrive in spring and then in summer allows you to fill up with anti-inflammatory substances. They are polyphenols, a substance that the plant world exclusively possesses. According to studies that are no longer even so recent, these micronutrients have a correlation with a particular molecule, Ampk, considered the controller of cellular metabolism. Thanks to their ability to activate a class of enzymes, sirtuins and polyphenols protect against degenerative and inflammatory processes.
That’s why red fruits are on the list of foods considered capable of extinguishing the chronic inflammation associated with aging and the most serious diseases, from Alzheimer’s to cancer, from diabetes to atherosclerosis.
Cherries, the elixir of youth
It is said that one pull the other and the thing is positive when you consider that these beautifully scarlet colored fruits could help to prolong the youth of the body. Thanks to anthocyanins, substances that are combined with vitamin C, cherries are an armed warrior against oxidative stress, the rust of cells. Cherries are also rich in polyphenols and are indicated in slimming diets because, while satisfying the desire for sweetness, they have very few calories: just 38 in 100 grams of cherries and 86 percent of water. The many soluble fibers swell in the stomach and produce a sense of satiety, while the wealth of potassium promotes diuresis. A portion of this fruit is equal to about twenty cherries. The same sugar as the cherries is present in plums, which also have a natural anti-constipation action.
Blueberries, a shield for the intestine and a cure for the circulatory system
Blueberries have been the subject of numerous researches and have been declared precious to fight the metabolic syndrome, a pathology that has among its risk factors abdominal obesity and hypercholesterolemia. Blueberries are able to have a beneficial effect on high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, Ldl and derivatives of lipid oxidation, the reaction that is responsible for atherosclerotic plaques. This antioxidant activity is combined with the anti-inflammatory action, typical of all berries, from raspberries to blackberries, excellent for digestion and intestinal function. In addition, the blueberries prevent the adhesion to the walls of the bladder of certain bacterial strains of the family of pathogens Escherichiacoli.
Use apricots and peaches to fill up with beta-carotene
All the yellow and orange fruit is rich in carotenoids. The most famous of these components is the beta-carotene, which is essential to the body for the formation of the vitamin A, essential to the sight, to the bones and to the immune system and not less for the skin, so much so that it is known to be a facilitator of the tan taken in safety.
One serving of apricots corresponds to three to four fruits and provides more than two thirds of the daily requirement of vitamin A (on average, 700 micrograms).
The positive effects of the foods that contain beta-carotene are also known in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancers of the respiratory and digestive systems.