Seniors can be at risk for a variety of illnesses many younger adults don’t have to worry about. But the good news is that by living a healthier, more active lifestyle — including healthy eating — seniors are able to protect themselves better from the flu, common colds and other infections, and find more enjoyment in everyday life.
Top Foods to Boost the Immune System of Seniors
While adding vitamins and supplements to your diet is a great way to jump-start your journey to better nutrition, nothing can replace the benefits of eating healthy. Below are some of the best foods you can add to your diet to boost your immune system and live a healthier lifestyle.
- Citrus Fruits — Grapefruits, oranges, tangerines and lemons are all full of vitamin C. Foods that are high in vitamin C are helpful in fighting off infections.
- Red Peppers — While citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, bell peppers have even more vitamin C and contain vitamin A, which helps keep the skin and eyes healthy.
- Blueberries — This antioxidant-rich fruit has flavonoids that help to provide immune defense against respiratory illnesses.
- Dark Chocolate — Dark chocolate contains the antioxidant theobromine, which has been shown to boost the immune system by protecting the body from free radicals.
- Oily Fish — Salmon, tuna and other oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Sweet Potatoes — Rich in beta carotene, sweet potatoes help make the skin healthy and can provide some protection against harmful UV rays.
- Spinach — Spinach is full of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and flavonoids.
- Garlic — Often considered a remedy for the common cold, garlic contains allicin, which has been shown to reduce the risk of getting a cold.
- Sunflower Seeds — These tasty snacks are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant shown to improve immune function.
- Almonds — Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, fiber, and magnesium. Just a handful can help the immune system.
- Ginger — Ginger has been shown to decrease inflammation from a sore throat and can help with nausea.
- Yogurt — Yogurts with live and active cultures are a great source of vitamin D and probiotics. This can regulate the immune system and keep it strong.
- Turmeric — This bright yellow spice has many properties that make it a great choice as an anti-inflammatory.
- Papaya — Loaded with vitamin C, you can get double the recommended amount of vitamin C in just one medium-sized fruit.
- Poultry — Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul. Chicken is high in vitamin B6, which has been shown to help the body form healthy red blood cells.
Altering your diet to boost your immune system doesn’t have to be complicated. Just reach for smarter choices when snacking, and start reaping the benefits!
Making Health a Priority at Heritage Senior Living
The right senior living community can help you pursue a healthier lifestyle so you can stay independent for longer. At Heritage Senior Living, we offer nutritionally balanced cuisine, life-enriching programming, and amenities that make life easier. Enjoy all retirement has to offer at our Wisconsin independent living community. Want to learn more? Contact us today for further information about our senior living options and to schedule a tour.