9 Ways to Boost Your Immune System If You’re Over 65
Sixty-five is the age when every person wants to say goodbye to the work, relax and enjoy a nice lifestyle. To achieve that, your immune system needs to be in your favor.
The good news is that you can protect and enhance your immune system, as with other bodily systems, through a proper and careful lifestyle. Adopting healthy habits can provide you with the guarantee to protect you and fight your immune-based diseases.
Immune System Boosters for Seniors
I have put together these 9 ways to boost your immune system if you’re over 65, these strategies can also help you in getting a proper and healthy lifestyle.
#1. Eat a healthy diet
As we get older and our bodies start to change, we may feel our appetite disappearing. At the same time, it is essential that our bodies get the proper fuel to keep all of our internal systems working properly. Food can be the best immune booster for seniors, if and only if it is healthy.
At this age of our lives, it may be less about the amount of food we are eating and more about getting the right combination of food, minerals and vitamins. You will have to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins, whole grains, and plant-based fats to help your body get used to a healthy lifestyle.
#2. Get plenty of sleep
Sleep gives our bodies the chance to regenerate. This rest and recovery time is even more important when our bodies are aging and more prone to fatigue and it is particularly critical when our immune systems are actively fighting infection and inflammation.
You need to take care of your body and all of its internal functionality with at least eight hours of sleep each night on a regular basis. To make sure of getting a good night’s rest, consider creating a small workout routine before bedtime. You can do some relaxing stretches to relieve the stress, with a small cup of tea, and read a book. When you will get used to it, your body and mind will automatically put you to sleep.
#3. Stay Active
Staying active into your older years with some mild to moderate exercise each week can help to keep your respiratory, circulatory and other systems strong. Whenever you get the chance to go outdoors and get some sun exposure, don’t miss it. You can get vitamin D from the sun, and nature itself is a healer and an energy generator for the body.
The best exercise is the one that makes you feel better, more energetic. At this age, running and walking can be your best friends, but if you want something else then you should water aerobics and yoga.
#4. Use Supplements
Studies indicate supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, which leads us to believe that using supplements to boost immune system can be a great choice. Here are some effective vitamins that you need to look for in your supplements.
- Vitamin C
It is one of the amazing immune system boosters. In fact, deficiency in vitamin C can even make you a victim of getting sick. Foods rich in vitamin C include grapefruits, oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, broccoli and kale. Daily intake of vitamin C is necessary for good health because your body doesn’t naturally produce or store it.
- Vitamin B6
It is vital to improving biochemical reactions in the immune system. Foods that are rich in vitamin b6 are chicken and fish such as salmon and tuna. Vitamin B6 also is found in green and leafy vegetables and also in chick peas.
- Vitamin E
It is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body in getting rid of the infections. Vitamin E enriched foods are spinach, nuts and seeds.
#5. Avoid Stress
Avoiding stress is an essential habit in order to strengthen the immune for seniors and also for other people. It is important to anticipate and prevent challenges like stress rather than struggle to reverse the effects once they are already underway.
To minimize stress in your daily life, first you need to know why you are being a victim and only then you can get rid of it. Try to go out and whenever you think you are stressed out, distract yourself by doing something exciting or something you love to do. You can counter stress with calming yoga moves and with socializing with other people, to avoid depression.
#6. Quit Smoking
It is one of the most difficult habit to break, but this is also one of the greatest negative influence on your immune system. Smoking and a number of other bad habits shorten our telomeres and run out our immunologic clock before our time. Getting rid of this lethal habit can be the best immune booster for seniors.
It is dangerous for your blood, it increases autoimmune responses and kills your body’s fighter cells that stay on alert for infection. Smoking also causes lung inflammation, it can put you more at risk for other sort of illnesses, like flu and pneumonia.
#7. Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water improves quality sleep, energy, digestion, and overall health. It even improves the immune system directly by facilitating the elimination of waste and movement of immune fluids. It is a general rule that you should drink about half your weight in ounces or more in a day. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should drink at least 90 ounces of water every single day.
Older people feel less amount of thirst than younger people. But they need at least eight to nine glasses of clean water every day to keep mucous membranes moist, which eliminates the chances of colds and flu.
Interesting: 9 Ways of Naturally Boosting A Child’s Immune System
#8. Wash your Hands
When we are young, exposure to germs can be a great support in the development of the immune system, but germs are dangerous in the later years we want to avoid infection and diseases.
Frequent hand-washing, especially after touching something and before eating, is not just a formality but a necessity. Washing hands regularly helps in getting rid of the germs. Covering sneezes and coughs helps in preventing diseases from getting to other people around you. Illness isn’t inevitable, but good habits lend to keeping seniors happy and healthy so they can enjoy the most out of life.
#9. Avoid Alcohol Consumption
This habit can get you in more trouble than smoking, it is hard to quit these sort of habits but the least you can do is try to avoid them day by day. Drinking too much can limit the immunity boosting nutrients in your body and also weakens your white blood cell’s ability to kill the bacteria that create infections in your body. Quitting this habit can be a great initiative to improve immune system in elderly people.
If you can’t go a day without drinking alcohol, you have more chances to die from pneumonia then those who are not that heavy drinkers. People who consume alcohol daily make up more than one-third of those people with tuberculosis.
How to Boost Immune System Naturally
The best way to consume the important nutrients is to get them straight from natural resources like food. Your body absorbs vitamins and nutrients better when they come from fresh and natural resources. These immune system booster foods can be your best friend if you want, have a look:
Turmeric is a mustard colored spice that many people use in pretty much every cooking recipe. It is also present in some effective medicines. Consuming turmeric may improve a person’s immune system. The best way suggested is to mix turmeric in a glass of milk and drink it every night before bed.
Broccoli is one of the great source of vitamin C. It also contains potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. It is a good choice of vegetable that you can eat regularly to improve the immune system of your body.
Sweet potatoes are full of beta carotene, it is a type of antioxidant that gives that orange color to the skin of the potatoes. Beta carotene is an superb basis of vitamin A. It provides some protection against skin damage from ultraviolet rays and it helps to keep a healthy and beautiful skin.
Green tea contains only a little amount of caffeine, so you can enjoy it as an alternative to coffee or black tea. Drinking it can also strengthen the immune system. Like blueberries, green tea contains flavonoids, which helps in preventing the cold.
Almonds are also a great basis of vitamin E. They also contain fiber, magnesium, and manganese. A quarter of a cup of almonds or a hand full of almonds is a healthful snack that can be beneficial for the immune system.
Red bell pepper
If you are avoiding fruit because it has sugar then red bell peppers are an excellent alternative source of vitamin C. roasting and stir frying both preserve the nutritional and vitamin content of red bell peppers better than boiling or steaming it.
All of our body functions are living, organic processes, and it is in our hands to support them every single day by adapting these healthy habits that can boost immune system quickly.
These strategies can be a great help for the immune system in our older age. But remember that the sooner you start taking care of your body, the less efforts you will need to put when you will grow old. Moreover, everyone can take advantage from these healthy ways of living, so every single person can work together and create a proper and healthy lifestyle.