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6 Foods That Boost an Older Adult’s Immune System

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6 Foods That Boost Immunity in the Elderly in Arkansas

From getting regular exercise to sleeping a solid eight hours per night, there are many ways seniors can boost their immunity. For the immune system to be operating at peak performance, seniors should consider adding the following foods to their diets.

1. Garlic

Garlic can ward off infection because it contains allicin. Studies suggest this compound fights off the bacteria that can lead to illnesses. While some seniors may be willing to eat raw garlic, others may prefer to use it as a seasoning for soups, meats, and other dishes.

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2. Green Tea

For good immune health, seniors need to stay hydrated. Many older adults experience accidental dehydration due to medications or a reduced sense of thirst. Seniors should skip sugary drinks and turn to water and other thirst-quenching liquids. Green tea is an ideal option for seniors who enjoy warm beverages. The hot temperature can reduce throat inflammation, and green tea also contains antioxidants known as catechins. Studies suggest catechins may kill the virus that causes the flu. 

3. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids. While seniors may balk at the word “fat,” these acids should be an essential part of every diet. Omega-3 fatty acids have plenty of health benefits, and they boost immune health thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. When the body experiences chronic inflammation, it can weaken immune health, leaving seniors more susceptible to infections. Seniors who don’t eat fish can get their dose of omega-3 fatty acids via soybeans, walnuts, or chia seeds. 

4. Pumpkin Seeds

Seniors who want to stay healthy should consider eating pumpkin seeds because they contain zinc, which boosts immune system regulation, helps the body heal from sickness and wounds, and builds lean muscle. Zinc can also be found in eggs, beans, and select breakfast cereals. 

Preparing nutritious meals is often an arduous task for family members. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Conway, AR, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

5. Chicken Soup

Chicken soup contains several potent immune-boosting compounds such as cysteine, an amino acid that acts as a glutathione precursor. Because glutathione is one of the most important immune-supporting molecules, increasing cysteine intake strengthens the entire immune system. Chicken soup also contains several vitamins and nutrients that reduce inflammation. 

6. Sweet Potatoes

Seniors need plenty of vitamin A because it has the ability to direct the body’s immune tolerance. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, and they also contain immune-supporting nutrients like vitamins B1, B2, and C. Other excellent sources of vitamin A include leafy greens and carrots.

From eating nutritious meals to getting plenty of exercise, seniors may need help with several activities. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Conway Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at (501) 764-1312 today.