Our body’s fortress
As well as the surface of our skin, the lining of the mouth, nose, throat, lungs, and intestines are our exterior walls which protect us from invading pathogens.
These linings, known as mucous membranes, they are made up of epithelial cells with a layer of protective mucous on top.
These mucous membranes are the barrier between our internal organs and the external world, and they form our first line of immune defence (yes, the space inside your mouth, stomach and intestines is technically outside of your body!).
Fortifying your immune defence with Vitamin A
This is where Vitamin A comes in as a fortifying vitamin for immune defence.
Vitamin A is critical for developing and maintaining strong mucous membranes, helping us to barricade the body against infection and keep our fortress strong.
By supporting the health of mucous membranes, Vitamin A helps to maintain a healthy lining of protective mucous and create strong cell membranes which resist infection.
Mucous (the stuff that comes out when you blow your nose) is designed to trap pathogens that enter your airways and intestines, and just like a sticky pool, it prevents them from banding together and latching onto your cells.
Where do we get Vitamin A?
Vitamin A comes in two forms; retinoids are found in animal products, and carotenoids are found in fruits and vegetables with yellow, orange and red colourings. Think of carrot-enoids.
Carotenoids from fruits and vegetables are converted by our bodies into retinoids, but both forms of Vitamin A work together and have a synergistic (overall greater) effect
Carotenoids have their own functions within the body, particularly as antioxidants which help to regulate inflammation and protect our cell membranes from damage (again, helping to strengthen our fortresses).
Eat the rainbow
This is why eating a diet rich in rainbow coloured plant foods is so important- because of all of the wonderfully different nutrients and antioxidants they provide! Yellow through red provides essential carotenoids.Psssst, Did you know? Top Up for Men & Women provide over 25% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A, making them a good source of this fortifying nutrient.