A diet rich in antioxidants is an extra help to keep our immune system active. As we get older and our immune system becomes more susceptible to infection, it is every time more important to eat foods high in antioxidants. The consumption of antioxidants strengthens our immune system and in this way can help prevent or mitigate the impact of infections and diseases such as that caused by COVID-19.
The properties of amaranth leaf for the immune system
AMAATÉ, a drink made from the amaranth leaf, is the superfood that contains vitamins, especially ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and minerals such as iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, nickel, and manganese, as well as antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. Amaranth contains lo large amounts of β-carotene, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), folic acid, and riboflavin.
The immune system, which protects us from infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses and parasites, can be affected by a poor diet or poor health habits such as tobacco and alcohol consumption. In addition, with age the response of our immune system slows down and we become more susceptible to infectious diseases.
The deficiencies of some minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin C or zinc, are associated with alterations in the immune system attributed to age. Nutrition is an important factor in ensuring the proper functioning of the immune system. Replenishing adequate levels of these nutrients can help strengthen the immune system and resistance to infection.
Benefits for the immune system:
- Ascorbic acid or vitamin C. An essential element for human beings, it is acquired through the diet since it cannot be synthesized in the body. The cells of the immune system use this vitamin to carry out their antimicrobial functions. It directly benefits the immune system, acting as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free radicals, as well as improving resistance to infections. In addition, vitamin C has been proven to stimulate leukocyte functions and regulate the immune response thanks to its antiviral and antioxidant effects. Therefore, without the correct supply of vitamin C we could have less resistance to infections.
- Zinc. In our body it has an important role in the regulation and activation of the immune system. In case of a deficit of zinc, the immune system is compromised. For more than 50 years, scientific studies have shown lymphopenia problems and an increased risk of infection in people with this deficit. It is capable of stabilizing human cell membranes to prevent the entry of pathogens, it favors the production of cytokines, as well as B lymphocytes and antibodies, especially IgG. It is also a direct antiviral because it prevents the action of enzymes necessary for viral replication.
- Vitamin B2 or riboflavin. This vitamin contributes to the protection of cells against oxidative damage. In the first place, its role in maintaining the health of the skin is fundamental, as this is the first barrier that defends us from the outside. Vitamin B6, folic acid and vitamin B12 are particularly essential for the formation of cells of the immune system (the so-called “white blood cells”). This is why their deficiency could result in a weakened immune system.
Healthy lifestyle habits and a diet rich in antioxidant foods are key to keeping our immune system healthy and active. Strengthening the immune system thanks to the regular consumption of foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals is essential to increase your defense levels against viruses, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.