As adults age, their bodies need more help staying strong. It’s a natural part of the aging process that the body’s immune system – its network of cells, tissues, and organs that fight against attacks by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi – isn’t able to fend off attacks as easily as it did in younger years.
There are things that those in in-home senior care services can do to strengthen their immune systems. Exercise is one of those things, and eating healthy is another one. There are certain immune-boosting foods that senior citizens can choose to eat regularly that build up the body’s ability to fight against illness.
Fortunately, these foods are also delicious and the elderly will enjoy meals that include these superfoods that fight illness and infection.
The Phenolics in Dark Chocolate Help the Immune System
Let’s start with dessert, shall we? Cocoa contains phenolics that have antioxidants, antiviral, anticancer and anti-inflammatory benefits. Small amounts of dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa and less sugar than its milk chocolate counterpart, is good for seniors to boost their immune systems.
Chicken Noodle Soup Really is Good for Fighting Illness
Chicken noodle soup is the ultimate comfort food for older adults who have cold or flu-like symptoms. But that comfort is more than just in the mind. When combined, the ingredients in classic chicken noodle soup contain vitamins A and C, magnesium, gelatin (from chicken bones) and various antioxidants that build up the immune system and fight off viruses when they attack.
Trendy Bone Broth Benefits Seniors with Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Bone broth, broth made from boiling down animal bones and connective tissue is especially good for senior citizens because it’s so easy to consume. They can drink it right out of a mug. It’s full of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other minerals that reduce inflammation, helping the immune system do its thing.
Seniors Should Choose Red Bell Peppers Over Green Bell Peppers for Their Immune Boosting Elements
Red bell peppers are a treat to snack on raw because they’re slightly sweet and full of flavor. They’re also full of vitamins A and C and have antioxidant properties. Make sure to get the red bell peppers and not the green because they have a significantly greater amount of these immune fighting elements that will help senior citizens.
When Choosing Immune-Boosting Cooking Oils, Older Adults Should Reach for Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Not all cooking oils are equal, and extra virgin olive oil is the one that seniors should choose when cooking if they’re looking to improve their health. Studies have shown that the polyphenols in olives – which are present in olive oil, too – combat chronic inflammatory problems.
The Vitamins in Citrus Fruits are Powerful Immune Boosters in Seniors
Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits. They are naturally high in Vitamin C, one of the most important nutrients for strengthening an older adult’s immune system. Getting plenty of Vitamin C helps the body be ready to mount a defense against a viral or bacterial attack.
Blueberries Can Protect a Senior’s Body from Cell Damage
Rich in vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and phytochemicals that protect cells from damage, blueberries really boost the immune system. They’re a favorite of many seniors, too, because they’re so versatile. They can be eaten as a snack, added as topping to cereal or yogurt, or baked into muffins and pancakes.
Green Veggies are Great Immune Boosters for Seniors and Spinach is One of the Best
Most older adults remember Popeye, the spinach-eating sailor who got a boost of strength from eating spinach. While Popeye was fictional, the fact that spinach strengthens the body is not. Spinach is packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene, helping the immune system’s ability to fight infections. It can be eaten raw or cooked, making it versatile, too.
To add Flavor and a Health Booster to Cooking, Seniors Should Choose Garlic
Garlic is a superfood for boosting the immune system. One clove of raw garlic contains 5mg calcium, 12mg potassium, and over 100 sulfuric compounds. When cooked, some of those nutrients are lost, but adding garlic regularly to the diet does have immune-boosting benefits.
Meat Eaters Should Choose Lean Poultry for its Immune-boosting benefits
White meat chicken and turkey with the skin removed are proteins that have iron and zinc in them, both nutrients important for a senior’s healthy immune system. One serving is all it takes. About 80 grams or 3 ounces of cooked lean poultry is enough to get the benefits.
For Senior’s Who Prefer Fish, Try Wild Salmon for its Health Benefits
Wild salmon is one of the top anti-inflammatory foods because it is high in Omega 3s. Inflammation suppresses the immune system so eating inflammation-fighting foods like wild salmon will help the body fight off attacks when they do come. This list is not exhaustive of the foods that senior citizens should be adding to their diet to boost their immune system, but it does show that there is a large variety of healthy foods to consider eating when also considering strengthening the body’s defense system against illness.