Fruit vitamins in spring: what they are and how to make the most of them

Fruit vitamins in spring: what they are and how to make the most of them

OfEliana Liotta

From strawberries to cherries, from blueberries to apricots: in spring fruit is rich in vitamins and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds

Spring is «an effervescent wine», writes Vincenzo Cardarelli, when «the first green foams/on the large tufted flowering elms». It is a celebration of nature and for us of vitamins and gods compounds antioxidants And anti-inflammatories. Between March and June the last oranges are appreciated and delicacies such as peaches and cherries ripen.


Low in sugar and very watery, strawberries are an ideal fruit. Few associate them with C vitamin, imagining that the micronutrient has to do mostly with citrus fruits. Instead, a portion, approximately equal to eight to ten fruits, can almost cover the daily requirement of the vitamin.


A type of polyphenol, the anthocyanins, substances that the plant world possesses exclusively and that we can imagine as armed warriors against oxidative stress, the rust of cells. These pigments color raspberries, blueberries and currants in shades of magenta to blue. In cherries, they are mixed with other phenolic compounds, whose anti-proliferative role against tumor cells is being studied. The fruits are also a good source of melatoninwhich our brain synthesizes as a sleep hormone.


At the end of spring, blueberries are harvested and their anti-inflammatory characteristics are studied: together with other berries they would be a sort of shield for the intestine and bladderpreventing the adhesion to their walls of some pathogenic bacterial strains of the family of Escherichia coli.

Apricots and peaches

In June the flower season gives way to summer with apricots and peaches. All yellow and orange fruits are rich in carotenoids, a family of approximately 600 phytocompounds. Among these, the most famous is beta-carotene, the starting point in the body for the formation of vitamin Afunctional to sight, to bones, skin and immune system. The molecule would also play a role in counteracting cellular aging by preventing the formation of free radicals.

* The review is by Raffaella Cancello, nutritionist at the Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases operational unit of the Italian Auxological Institute in Milan.

March 23, 2024


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