They are defined as a set of extremely uneven substances but which have some common characteristics: they are organic substances generally of low molecular weight; most of them are not produced by our the body; these nutrients, when taken regularly and according to a correct dose, exert a protective action for human health. Some have complementary and overlapping activity mechanisms.

The Ministry of Health replicate: they refer to “foodstuffs to be integrated within a standard diet which are concentrated sources of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect, in particular, by way of example only, amino acids, essential fatty acids, vegetable origin fibres and extract, alone or in combinations, available in pre-set doses”.

An accurate assessment of the subject by competent medical practitioners is needed so as to extricate and navigate the complicated world of supplements, using diagnostic tests to highlight the needs of those who for various reasons (age, pregnancy, periods of stress, vegetarian and low-calorie diets, genetic defects, etc.) require additional intake of certain nutrients.

It often happens, however, that those using them are not those who actually need such therapeutic treatment, but people who already have a perfectly correct diet and lifestyle.

Using a “lucky dip” concept when using the so-called multivitamins, is not always useful. In fact, excessive intake of some of these substances, can give rise to episodes of accumulation which can be harmful to the body.

The best way to stay healthy and reduce the risk of disease is, as always, to choose a varied diet.

Our diet brings us into contact with about 500 g of chemical compounds every single day, the majority of which are of vegetable origin. These are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and micronutrients, but also polyphenols, triterpenes, alkaloids (called “phytochemicals”) that have considerable effects on the organism. Some of these substances have such a strong action on the organism that they are defined as medication, others are even toxic. Many studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help prevent the onset of many degenerative disorders, such as cardiovascular, metabolic, neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases.

FoodActive principlePotential benefit
Cabbage and BroccoliIndole 3 Carbinol (I3C) SulforaphaneProtect the DNA of cells, anti-carcinogenic

Pink grapefruit

LycopeneFree radical scavenger. Sun protection boosters.
Prickly PearBetain-IndicaxanthinAntioxidant-antiatherogenic action
Garlic, Onions and TurmericSulfated by-products (alli-sulphurs)Anti-carcinogenic, cell antioxidants
Black Grape wine and juiceResveratrol and polyphenolic compoundsAnti-inflammatory and vaso-relaxing effect, it stimulates cell proliferation and the collagen synthesis
WatermelonVitamins A, C and B6 Minerals Citrulline CitrullinaImmunomodulating and anti-aging of the cardiovascular apparatus
PapayaAnti-oxidant – LycopeneImmunomodulating and anti-aging, reduces the risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Pomegranate and walnutsEllagic acidImmunomodulating, anti-tumoural, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging
Citrus fruitBioflavonoids

Vitamin C

Anti-inflammatory properties
Soy and soy protein/font>IsoflavonesDecrease in cholesterol levels, risk of osteoporosis and skin disorders
ApricotsBetacaroteneProtects against cancerogenesis induced by chemical agents, improves sight capacity
Carrots and pumpkinBeta carotenoidsAnti-tumoural antioxidants. Skin protection against UV rays


Cardio-vascular apparatus, skin.

Detox, antioxidant

OreganoFlavonoids, phytosterols, essential oilsAntioxidant, lipoperoxidasic, microcirculation

Milk thistle

Flavonoids, triterpenes, essential oilsAntioxidant, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory action
Green TeaPolyphenolsAnti-aging, anti-radicalic activity
Red fruits

Blood oranges

AnthocyaninsAnti-inflammatory, metal chelates, antioxidant