Our immune systems help us stay healthy by protecting us from outside invaders that can make us sick. Certain foods make our immune system stronger when fighting off bacteria and viruses. For seniors, it’s especially important to consume foods that boost the immune system.
As we grow older, we tend to eat less and include a smaller variety of foods in our diets. Seniors and their caregivers should pay attention when it comes to meal time and be sure plenty of foods that improve the immune system are at the table.
Here are eight healthy foods for seniors that help boost the immune system.
Yogurt is a great source for boosting your immune system. It contains Vitamin D and good bacteria that can help your body fight off diseases. Add some berries or other fruit for extra health benefits.
Pay close attention when buying yogurt. Some yogurts have removed the active and live cultures that contribute to the good bacteria in your body.
Popeye was certainly onto something good when he chose spinach as his staple snack. Spinach is full of antioxidants and beta carotene, vitamins A and C, fiber, magnesium, iron, folate, and more.
Eating spinach regularly acts as a sunscreen for your eyes, protecting them against age-related macular degeneration. Consuming spinach raw gives you its full health benefits.
Broccoli is great as an immune boosting food for seniors. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Just like spinach, you get the most health benefits when you eat broccoli raw.
Small but mighty, blueberries are sweet treats that pack a powerful punch. They are high in nutrients and help with cardiovascular health. Blueberries are also very versatile and can be eaten by themselves, in cereal, or mixed into yogurt.
Sipping on green tea is an inexpensive way to get antioxidants that enhance the immune system. Just don’t add milk – the polyphenols (the part that may aid in killing off influenza viruses in your body) will bind to the proteins in the milk, making it ineffective.
Almonds are loaded with Vitamin E, a key ingredient to a healthy immune system. Just one, half-cup serving of whole, shelled almonds provides almost 100% of the daily recommended intake amount.
Fruits like oranges and lemons are high in Vitamin C, and they offer a natural boost to the immune system. Foods high in Vitamin C protect against the common cold and other seasonal illness and can lessen the duration and intensity of sickness as well.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that are great for improving the immune system. When inflammation is down, the immune system is able to function more effectively. A cup of ginger tea in the morning can go a long way in improving senior health.
There are a variety of naturally powerful foods that can help seniors make their immune system stronger. Explore new foods that you may not normally eat, and have fun with creating new meals and snacks that improve health. Consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
Know a senior who could use nutritious meals delivered right to their door? Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio provides nutritious home-delivered meals to seniors in Stark, Summit, and Wayne Counties (Ohio). Learn more by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.