The spring arrives, with its seasonal fruits and their excellent allies of the immune system: vitamins. The journalist and writer Eliana Liotta talked about vitamins and antioxidants in her weekly column on Io donna-Corriere della Sera and in her blog “Il bene che mi voglio”, with the advice of Dr. Manuela Pastore, dietician of Humanitas.

The full load of Vitamin C with strawberries

About 10 strawberries (150 grams) are enough to cover 100% of women’s daily vitamin C needs and 80% of the male need. Spring fruit is also rich in anti-inflammatory substances, including polyphenols, which the vegetable world has exclusively. According to several studies 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 have a protective action against degenerative and inflammatory processes.

Cherries, the elixir of youth

Cherry, rich in anthocyanins – substances that are combined with vitamin C – is a ‘caterpillar’ against oxidative stress, and cell rust. Cherries, such as strawberries and red fruits, also contain polyphenols. They are often recommended in slimming diets because, while satisfying the desire for sweetness, they contain very few calories (just 38 in 100 grams of cherries and 86% of water).

The same sugar as cherries is present in plums, which also have a natural anti-typing action.

Blueberries, a cure-all for the circulatory system

The subject of much research, blueberries have been declared valuable to combat metabolic syndrome – a disease that has among its risk factors abdominal obesity and hypercholesterolemia – as well as having a beneficial effect on high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, Ldl and derivatives of lipid oxidation, which leads to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.

This antioxidant activity is combined with anti-inflammatory action, and are also an excellent ally for digestion and help for intestinal function.

The beta-carotene of carrots and apricots

If red fruits have undeniable anti-inflammatory properties, yellow and orange fruits are rich in carotenoids. The most famous of these components is beta-carotene, essential to the body for the formation of vitamin A, which affects sight, bone health and the immune system.

The ideal portion of apricots is three-four fruits a day 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 system.