While we all need to think about our immune health during seasonal changes, it is an especially important concern for seniors.
Senior citizens are more vulnerable to the immunity changes that the fall and winter seasons bring. As a result, they can catch illnesses such as the flu or the common cold more easily than younger people might.
You can help the seniors in your life boost their immunity through smart food choices. While it is possible to get some health benefits from vitamin and mineral supplements, it is best to consume these nutrients from food sources whenever possible—and it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are a few delicious healthy foods that can help boost immunity in seniors as the weather gets colder.
Lean meats can be a healthy addition to any senior diet and are especially beneficial for immune health.
A one-cup serving of skinless roast chicken is a great source of zinc, which is a vital immune nutrient that can even shorten the duration of the common cold and help the body fight off infections.
Roast chicken is delicious on its own as a main course or snack, but adding a touch of garlic or roasting over vegetables can add an extra health boost while enhancing the meat’s savory flavor.
Another great source of zinc is lean beef, which can be dressed up with a low-calorie marinade or slow-cooked to bring out all of its rich and savory flavors. Add some vegetables as a side dish for extra immune-boosting goodness.
Legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas are a great source of zinc that may be preferred over meats by seniors who choose to follow meat-free diets.
Legumes are also high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, as well as low in fat and calories. There are many varieties of lentils to choose from that can easily be added to meals and snacks.
They can be substituted for meat in recipes for chilis, pastas, and more, or can even be added to breakfast dishes such as scrambled eggs and omelets for a delicious morning immune boost.
Greek yogurt is one of the healthiest yogurt varieties. It is lower in sugar and carbs and higher in protein than regular yogurt while remaining a good source of probiotics, which can aid immune health.
Some studies show that probiotics can reduce the number of colds a person develops in one year.
It is easy to add yogurt to a senior’s daily diet. It can be swapped for sour cream in recipes and used to top everything from chili to soup.
There are also many varieties of Greek yogurt to satisfy different cravings and tastes; it can even be served as a decadent dessert or a yummy midday snack with a little fruit on top for an extra vitamin boost.
Fruits and Vegetables
Vitamin C is one of the most important immune boosters, helping to control infections and possibly even lessening the duration and severity of the common cold.
The healthy foods that contain the highest amounts of this powerhouse vitamin are fruits and vegetables.
Oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, and strawberries are a few examples of produce options with the highest amounts of Vitamin C.
Adding fruits and vegetables to a senior’s diet is easier than you might think. Broccoli and strawberries are delicious as portable snacks alone or with some flavorful yogurt dip, while tomatoes and oranges can add flavor and interest to a variety of meals.
Adding fruits and vegetables to favorite dishes can be a simple way to add an immune boost to any meal, whether seniors add strawberries to their oatmeal or tomatoes to their spaghetti dish.
Read also: Healthy Eating Tips for Seniors
Eating the right healthy foods can make a difference in your senior loved ones’ health and well-being this fall and winter. Our CAREGivers offer leading home care in Lafayette, Youngsville, Broussard, St. Martin, and the surrounding areas, including help preparing and cooking healthy meals.
Get in touch today for a free Care Consultation with Home Instead to see how our caring team can help your senior live a healthier life!