This is a period in which everyone is insisting on increasing immunity, especially in the elderly. Often we find remedies for increasing immunity on the Internet and everywhere else, but we always forget to check our kitchen. The secret is that, the immunity-boosting foods are present in your kitchen, which you should know how to use.
A strong immune system in elders keeps old-aged diseases away. Although there are many options available in the market to increase immunity, the best immunity booster foods can be easily prepared at home.
Today, in this blog we are going to tell you about the important nutrients for the elderly, followed by the best immunity boosting foods that provide those nutrients. These foods can be very beneficial to increase immunity in old-adults. Further, we will also tell you about the most effective Ayurvedic and vegan food for elders' health.
Important Nutrients To Boost Immunity In Elderly
Protein is a building block to boost immunity in the elderly. It repairs their old cells and promotes the production of new cells. It improves their digestive system and keeps them healthy and happy.
● Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an important nutrient that elders get with the regular intake of dairy products, carrots, broccoli, cantaloupe, and squash. Vitamin A improves vision and strengthens the immune system in elders.
● Vitamin D
Vitamin D facilitates the formation of new cells in old-adults. It regulates the amount of phosphate in elders. It maintains a good immune system in the elderly and keeps their teeth, bones, and muscles healthy for a longer time.
● Vitamin C
Vitamin C to senior citizens and help them to develop infection-fighting cells. It makes new cells in their old body and gives them the power to fight against old-age diseases. It also reduces the risk of chronic illnesses and manages high blood pressure. Moreover, Vitamin C is an important nutrient to boost immunity in old-age.
● Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is highly required in elders. It strengthens their immune system and promotes the development of new cells. Reduction of Vitamin E leads to a bad immune system, hence the regular intake of Vitamin E rich foods is a must for seniors citizens.
● Vitamin B-6 and B-12
B Vitamins maintain the energy level in the elderly and help their immune function better. This set of Vitamins maintain the energy level in the elders and keep their appetite healthy. B-6 and B-12 are also good for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Zinc is an important nutrient that is found throughout the body. It helps the immune system and prevents other old-age diseases in the elderly. It promotes growth and also increases life expectancy.
Iron is another crucial nutrient that the elderly require for a good immune system. Iron deficiencies can lead to serious diseases like anaemia, extreme fatigue, inflammation, etc. Therefore, regular intake of iron-rich food is essential for old-adults.
Immune Boosting for Foods Seniors
Yogurt is a necessary food item for senior citizens, it adds value to their meal and provides them with various health benefits. While yogurt tastes good, it’s benefits are way beyond the taste. It’s a powerhouse of protein and calcium. Yogurt doesn't only build immunity in elders but lowers the blood pressure, prevents obesity and yeast infections, and keeps them safe from various old-age diseases.
● Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are a power-pack food item that includes endless nutrients. To name some, Saturated fat, Polyunsaturated fat, Monounsaturated fat, Protein, Carbs, Fiber, Vitamin E, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic acid, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, and so on. Additionally, these seeds also offer plant compounds to the seniors. With this, it is self-explanatory that Sunflower seeds are a superfood for elders that strengthen their immunity and keeps them healthy.
Spinach is one of the best foods to boost your immune system during chemotherapy. This nutrient delight should be served to the elderly on a regular basis. It prevents cancer, promotes bone density, offers inflammatory properties, improves vision, and reduces diabetes. Spinach can be severed in multiple forms to the elders such as soup, salad, pakoras, etc.
Garlic is also a very important immunity enhancing food for the elders. It is a herb, which is quite pungent in taste and aroma. It is especially used in Indian cuisine. Garlic helps in fighting the common cold and has many antibacterial and antiviral properties that quickly empower immunity in elders. According to research, cold can be cured quite quickly with the help of garlic supplements.
Apart from immunity enhancing food, juices are also very important for elders body. Banana juice contains a lot of nutrition, which helps to keep the immune system strong. Pomegranate juice prevents the formation of blood clots and keeps the heart healthy and helps in the growth of bones. Beetroot juice contains powerful antioxidants, which help reduce heart disease and inflammation. Orange juice is full of vitamin C and the calcium present in it strengthens bones. Moreover, having a glass of juice every day provides sufficient nutrients to boost immunity in old-adults. Also, to know more about some immunity boosting tea, check here.
Top Immunity Boosting Vegan Foods
● Dry Fruits
Dry fruits, especially cashews, almonds, raisins, walnuts, pistachios, dates, and apricots are must-have for the elderly. These are rich in proteins, dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acid, Omega 3, and other nutrients that together strengthen the immune system and keeps the seniors healthy. Hence it is advisable for aging people, to increase the intake of dry fruits in their daily diet.
● Lemon Rice
Lemon rice is a healthy and tasty vegan food that is full of nutrients and helps in immunity building. It is a good source of Vitamin C that produces white blood cells, prevents anemia, and develops antibodies in the elderly to fight against various diseases and prevent infections. Further, the soluble fibre present in lemons could help to enhance digestive health.
● Rava Upma
This South Indian food is greatly accepted in other regions too. This quick vegan dish is rich in protein, Vitamin B, and iron. These nutrients further boost immunity in the elderly. You can also add vegetables to the Upma to make it not just tastier but healthier too. It is quick to make and keeps the elderly full for a longer time while providing them with the required amount of calories. A bowl of Upma in breakfast gives sufficient amounts of fibre, vitamins, and healthy fats for the entire day.
Moonglet is a kind of Cheela, prepared like an omelette, not with the egg but Moong Dal. In simpler words, Moonglet means a Moong Dal Omelete. This is a perfect immunity booster snack for the elderly. It is rich in protein, minerals, iron, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin A, B, and C. It lowers down the high cholesterol and increases the immune power in the elderly. This delicious food also prevents diabetes and improves the digestive system.
● Mawa Cake
Mawa, commonly known as Khoya, is a strong immunity booster for elders. It promotes strong bones and provides Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and Calcium to the body. It is also a rich source of riboflavin and B Vitamins. And a mawa cake with some dry fruits becomes a really healthy option for elders. While adding taste as a dessert, Mawa Cake ensures better immunity in senior citizens.
Immunity Booster Foods in Ayurveda
Turmeric is a spice that is commonly used in Indian cuisine and is also readily available. It contains a light yellow compound, known as curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Much research has revealed that this element strengthens the immune system in the elderly and protects them against heart disease and flu. Apart from this, it is also helpful in reducing inflammation of the throat and increasing digestion. On the other hand, adding turmeric to the food also adds a flavour to your dish and the curcumin supplement is unlikely to cause side effects. To maintain a good immune system, give a glass of turmeric milk to the elders before going to the bed at night. Ginger-turmeric, turmeric Barfi, etc are also a good option to increase turmeric intake.
Clove also comes in immunity enhancing food. Cloves are considered to be a portion of good immunity-boosting food in Ayurveda. This helps a lot in treating problems like nausea and flu. The common problem of elders like swelling in the gums and having joint pains can also be overcome with clove in-take. It can be easily made a part of your diet by incorporating it into rice or dishes made from it.
● Cinnamon & Black Pepper
Cinnamon has abundant anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used in hot water, coffee, or desserts. Cinnamon oil is very effective in improving physical pain, joint pain, and blood flow.
Chyawanprash is considered as a full pack immunity booster food in Ayurveda. It clears the respiratory system in elders, improves their digestive system, eases constipation, takes care of their mental health, and keeps them energetic throughout the day. The elderly should regularly take Chyawanprash to maintain healthy immunity and prevent old-age diseases.
● Tulsi, Pippali & Ginger
Tulsi, Pippali, and ginger all three together make a perfect immunity booster pack for elders. Tulsi lowers blood pressure, relieves arthritis, reduces blood pressure, and acts as a good antiseptic element. On the other hand, Pippali has a nutrient-rich ayurvedic property that produces heat in the body, thus it is one of the best foods to boost the immune system in winter. And lastly, ginger, with its medicinal properties, improves the immunity in elders. It helps senior citizens to get rid of many forms of nausea, especially morning sickness.
Best Immunity Boosting Recipe
Besides its many benefits, Tulsi is also used to make immunity-boosting chutney. Here's the quick recepie of Tulsi Chutney
● Tulasi leaves - 1/4 cup
● Coriander - 1 cup
● Ginger- 1/2 inch
● Salt - As per taste
● Red chili - 2 Chilli
● Olive oil - 2 tsp
● Lemon juice - 1 teaspoon
● Tomato- 2
How to make it?
To make Tulsi chutney, first, wash green coriander and T Tulsi leaves thoroughly.
Add green coriander, Tulsi leaves, red chilies, ginger, green chilies, olive oil in a bowl. After this, add lemon juice and salt to it. Grind all the ingredients well. Your immunity-boosting Tulsi chutney is ready. Serve it to elders with food.
Here's an easy recipe to make Lemon rice, a perfect immunity booster food for elders.
● Boiled Rice- 2 Bowl
● Peanuts- 1/4 Bowl
● Onion- 1
● Tomato- 1
● Carrot- 2
● Peas- 1 cup
● Capsicum- 1
● Green Chili- 2
● Ginger paste- 1 tsp
● Lemon- 1/2 tsp
● Oil- 1 tsp
How to make it?
Heat the oil in a pan and saute chopped onion and ginger paste in it for 45-seconds. Add tomato, carrot, peas, capsicum, peanuts and saute again for 1 minute. Add green chilli and other species and half cup water. Leave it on a sim flame for 30 seconds. Add boiled rice, fry for 15 seconds, and then squeeze lemon over the rice. Mix well and serve a healthy platter of lemon rice to elders.
Apart from these recipes, there are a lot of other immunity-boosting recipes, such as apple cider Switchel, mix vegetable soups, salads rich in fiber, probiotic-rich buttermilk, and many others.
Elders’ Immune System Infectious Diseases
All humans can be affected by infectious diseases, but the elderly are most vulnerable due to their growing age and weak immune system. But these infections can be easily avoided by providing them with immunity booster foods. You can improve the immunity of your beloved elderly by making small changes in their routine and diet. With a stronger immune system, they’ll be able to lead a happy and healthy life. Along with regular exercise, it is also important to include things in the diet that are nutritional as well as enhance immunity in old-age people.
With strong immunity, they will not only avoid problems like a cold, cough in the changing season but also prevent serious diseases like hepatitis, lung infection, kidney infection, cancer, heart diseases, and so on.
Emergency Of Strong Immunity Booster Foods For Elders During COVID-19
All countries have adopted social distancing and lockdown to prevent the spread of the epidemic coronavirus. To prevent coronavirus, we must immediately increase the intake of immunity-boosting foods, especially for elders who are most vulnerable to the infection. It is very important to adopt personal hygiene, but for adults, this virus cannot be avoided by just using sanitizers and masks. Their immunity should be strong to avoid infection. The immunity of our body acts as a protective shield, which helps protect against and keep away from various viruses. Since there’s no vaccine as of now, the only way to keep the elders out of risk is to serve them with healthy food for better immunity.
In addition to immunity enhancing food, we should also note that elders with type-2 diabetes or other metabolic conditions are at an increased risk of coronavirus or other old-age diseases. They need someone to take care of them. You can also hire the patient care services, like us, at Emoha, where the caregivers ensure that your beloved elders are getting the best immunity boosting food on time. Also, Emoha is not just limited to that but also helps elders by solving their issues, rising from the perspective of health to completing simple daily chores.