9 Healthy Foods to Improve Immunity in Old Age

As we get older, our body and immunity, both wither. It gets harder for the body to fight pathogens and disease. However, certain diets can help bolster immunity. Following are 9 such healthy diets to stay healthy through old age!

1. Low-carb diet

Starch, sugar, and similarly refined carbohydrates are associated with weight gain. Obesity decreases immune functionality and makes one more vulnerable to pathogens. Moreover, refined carbohydrates also increase inflammation.

Therefore, a low-carb diet is great not just for immunity, but disease prevention as well. It includes moderating the consumption of carbohydrates and instead consuming a larger quantity of healthy fats. However, do consult a nutritionist in Karachi for a good diet plan or research well before embarking on this journey as your condition might not allow for this diet.

2. Vitamin C centric diet

Vitamin C is a great immune booster. As it is water-soluble, it is not stored in the body, and therefore is oral consumption is required. This vitamin is also a great antioxidant.

Free radicals are produced in the body due to natural reactions but are combated by antioxidants. Oxidative stress occurs when there are more free radicals than antioxidants. Consequently, the cells of the body get damaged.

Moreover, oxidative stress can also trigger an inflammatory response, and lead to greater stress in the body alongside overworking the immune system. It then leads to conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and even cardiovascular disease. Hence, moderating this response in the body is vital for proper immune functioning and disease prevention.

Therefore, adults should add foods rich in Vitamin-C to their usual diet to improve their immune function and decrease oxidative stress in the body.

Foods to be consumed include citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lime, etc. Bell peppers, different berries, leafy green vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach are also excellent sources of vitamin C.

3. Mediterranean diet

The secret behind the youthfulness of the people of the Mediterranean Sea is their diet. Their diet entails eating natural foods like vegetables, legumes, fish, olive oil, nuts, whole grains, etc. Processed food, red meat, and dairy products are either not taken or eaten in minimal quantities only, and that too, occasionally.

Sugar, refined starch, ‘bad fats’ cause inflammation and therefore tax the immune system. Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, is devoid of all such pro-inflammatory foods and thus has a good impact on immune health.

Moreover, this diet also then protects against several diseases that are associated with chronic inflammation like cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc. Mediterranean diet also helps in the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

Due to an abundance of vital nutrients and antioxidants in the natural foods consumed in this diet, disease prevention is more effective. It also then promotes health and vitality, important especially for the more vulnerable older people.

4. Vitamin-D rich diet

Vitamin D is imperative for the proper functioning of the immune system, and its deficiency has been linked to an increased infection rate. It also helps in weight loss as well. Therefore, it is vital to consume a diet that contains sufficient vitamin-D.

Dietary sources include egg yolk, salmon, shrimp, etc., and adding these foods to the diet can help improve immunity.

5. Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has numerous health benefits. It helps in the moderation of hormones, cellular growth and repair, and prevention of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.

Therefore, this diet is already conducive to health, but it also helps the immune functionality as well. It helps to reset the immune system, encouraging the growth of new white blood cells. It also helps to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.

Another great aspect of intermittent fasting is that it can be done in numerous ways. 16/8 is one type in which you fast for 16 hours and eat in the 8 hours window. Or you can fast for 2 days of the week.

However, people with conditions like diabetes should not be doing this diet.

6. Nordic diet

The nordic diet also is about eating healthy and consuming natural foods only. Vegetables, berries, seafood make a significant portion of the diet whereas red meat is eaten occasionally.

Due to limited consumption of red meat, processed and sugar foods, diseases like diabetes, colorectal cancer, heart disease are kept at bay. Although more evidence is needed, according to preliminary findings, the Nordic diet helps in decreasing inflammation in the body, thereby enabling the functionality of the immune system.

7. Drinks that help

Not just eat well, you can also consume different beverages to supplement your diet and increase immunity. Tomato juice is an excellent concoction due to its anti-inflammatory effect.

Citrus fruit juices also are rich in antioxidants. Similarly, the kiwi and strawberry blend is rich in antioxidants and vitamin-D. Mangoes are a good source of vitamin-E which is also beneficial for the immune system.

Watermelon is not only an excellent source of vitamin C but also contains the immune booster arginine. It also helps in relieving muscular soreness, which older people often complain of in the aftermath of cold.

8. Diet with all the superfoods

Zinc, found in cashews, chickpeas, oysters are required for the production of some immune cells. Similarly, omega-3 fatty acids are important for the reduction of inflammation and moderation of the immune system. It is found in oily fish, flaxseeds, etc.

Carotenoids and vitamin A are also required to keep the immune system healthy and are found in spinach, carrots, etc. Other superfoods to be included in the diet are garlic, ginger, turmeric, almonds, sunflower seeds, etc.

9. Weight loss diet

Obesity is an antithesis of health. It is therefore vital for the older, overweight people wishing for better immunity to lose excess pounds. However, consult a nutritionist in Islamabad for a holistic diet plan, in order to not further endanger your health in the weight loss process.

Well, that is true that the elderly have to be very cautious about their health more than ever. As with the passage of the time their immunity starts decreasing. So that there are few of the new eating habits that they have to adopt. Even when they are not able to manage anything for themselves to increase immunity, the other family members can help in this regard. They may keep checks on their diet, routine, exercises, sleep pattern etc.

Maintenance of a healthy weight :

Maintenance of healthy weight is of utmost importance. Usually, it is recommended by the health experts that elderly people have to keep a moderate weight according to BMI. As if they encounter any disease then they would the body would be able to bear that pressure.

Exercise

In all of the means, exercise is always the highest demand for the healthy lifestyle whatever is the age. Especially if a person is consistently doing exercise or is in the habit of doing exercise then, It’s become a habit naturally. Secondly, such a person develops a muscle mass that would be immensely required at an older age. As we always need the muscles to move around or do any type of exercise. The walk could be the best option for the elderly to keep healthy muscles and bones.

Oral health

Just never ignore your teeth. Again they demand more care and maintenance than ever. Poor teeth health may lead to a number of health issues. The biggest among them is the heart problem. If we do not breath then regularly, then the plaque of the teeth starts accumulating in the arteries.

Leave the use of Dairy Milk

Yes, this is sad but this may cause some health problems as well. So It’s better to replace the dairy milk with any other plant-based milk of your choice. As dairy milk has lactose in it. With the growing age, the lactose intolerance also develops in our body. All the regular dishes or beverages that we use with the dairy milk can be prepared with the soya milk, coconut milk, cashew nut milk, oat milk, almond milk and even rice milk. Tea, cakes, or puddings whatever the dish you like to make you can bake it with one of these milk alternatives.

Drink plenty of water

As we age, we feel less thirsty. But it didn’t mean that we do not need water any more. In the older age, the water intake must be higher. It is suggested sted that taking 6 to 8 cups of water is hight important. It lowers the blood pressure as it works as a blood thinner. Also to keep hydrated and for glowing skin, water intake is a must. For good digestion again water works as a key element. Further water does not only gives you a healthy-looking skin, but it helps you maintain healthy bowel movements.

Take Fibers

Similarly, the fibers have a great role in the bowel movement. A well-balanced diet with a sufficient amount of the fiber is necessary good health.

Eat Fruits

As we age we become somewhat lactose intolerant. Those who have lactose intolerance can not take sweet fruits in a greater amount. As the sweet fruits have sucrose in them so. This may also cause diarrhea in the elderly. So a moderate amount of the fruits that are high in sucrose are required to be taken with great care.

Good sleep

Do keep checks on your sleeping pattern. If there are older people living in your house then you must keep a check on their sleeping pattern. Doctors recommend sufficient sleep. All of our body regenerate at night. We can only help yourself to be healthy and attentive in the morning only after taking a sufficient 8-hour sleep. With the increasing age, people mostly suffer from insomnia.

This sleeping disorder can lead to health issues in older ones. In short in order to be safe from the inflammation, fatigue and or infections a good amount of sleep is of greater importance that will alternately help you to increase your immunity.

Stress Management

Managing stress is really very important for a healthy brain and body. Too much stress results in creating a negative impact on health. That ultimately damage the immune system. The lymphatic system, white blood cells are all so important for a healthy immune system. That create defences in the body for fighting against the viruses. Stress may lead to the production of cortisol. Which increases the inflammation. So the best thing that the older can do to manage their stress is physical activity. Like swimming, walking, playing some sports, or even meditation.

Vaccination

The vaccination may help to control some of the deceases. Like a prolong flue or sinus may lead you to be susceptible to the other viral infections. They could also be allergies some times. But vaccination for such problems sometimes helps to control the issue and then also safe you from the other infections.

Exposure to the chemicals:

We are in the present time surrounded by the number of rays and even the chemicals. The exposure to it may lead to good immunity. So make sure not to be close to the chemicals as more as possible. Similarly, the food that is cooked on the coal should also be avoided as more as possible.

Quit Smoking

Smoking also is an enemy of the immune system. The DNA in our body has telomeres. These are shortened by smoking. That’s why they reduce immunity before the older age. Secondly, it has a bad impact on the lungs as well. That why quitting smoking to increase the immunity.