The world is going through an unsettling phase where human health is at the risk. With the increasing spread of COVID-19, the elderly and infants are the most vulnerable right now. But these risks can be lessened by having nutritious foods and supplements to boost the immune system. Are you wondering what supplements are? Well! Supplements are simple food that supplements the regular diet in order to provide adequate nutrition to our body. Food supplements refer to vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, minerals.
Today, in this blog we are going to tell you what supplements to take to boost your immune system? But before we directly jump on the supplements, let’s first talk about immunity and its importance in the elderly. It will help us to understand the importance of having immunity booster supplements.
What is immunity?
Immune system is a defence mechanism of the human body that protects humans from external infections, unhealthy bacteria, viruses, toxins and other harmful elements.
The pathogens in our surroundings enter our body through breath or food etc. and make us sick. Young adults with strong immune systems are less prone to any diseases. But as humans grow, their immune system starts deteriorating and they become more prone to catch diseases like cold, cold, fever, malaria, etc.
In later stages of life, people fall ill very quickly or their body becomes weaker, which indicates a bad immune power. Increasing immunity is not rocket science. Young people can maintain a good immune power by changing the intake and adequate lifestyle, from sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.; it becomes quite challenging for the elderly. Their appetite gets lowered down, thus they essentially require food supplements to boost their immune system.
Vitamin Supplements To Boost Immune System
You must have heard about Omega-3s. But do you know what omega 3 is? No? Omega 3 is a fatty acid. In fact, it is a nutrient that provides many benefits to you and helps to protect against many diseases. It is mainly of three types, in which ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is found in omega plants, while DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are in omega animal foods. It is an essential supplement to boost the immune system and keep elders healthy. Since most elders who are vegetarians can’t rely on animal food for Omega-3, in such scenarios, other supplements are required. There are various Omega-3 capsules derived from the liver of codfish. The importance of Omega-3s is of that higher importance, that these days even vegetarians consume these supplements.
Probiotics are living bacteria, which are good for elderly health. Our body is home to uncultivated living bacteria, which benefits us in different ways. There are various essential probiotics that are useful to us. We have to take food, medicine, or supplements in case of deficiency. Probiotics are one of the best supplements to boost the immune system during chemo. Much has been discovered on how probiotic works but it is still not clear how they actually work. Yet, research says that when there is a deficiency of "good" bacteria in the body, probiotics help build those bacteria into the body. The deficiency of good bacteria can occur after taking an antibiotic. The experts also say that Probiotics help balance the "good" and "bad" bacteria in the body, so that your body can function well. Hence probiotic supplements are necessary, especially in elder-age.
• Vitamin D
Vitamin D is very important for health and to keep bones strong. It is one of the most essential supplements for growing people. It is important for better health of muscles, heart and brain and helps our body fight against infections. It is a soluble vitamin and is stored in fatty cells. According to experts, this Sunshine Vitamin also increases the absorption of calcium and phosphate in elders. It has been noticed that elders who take Vitamin D supplements stay healthier and more active.
Melatonin is a natural hormone found in the human body. Melatonin maintains a biological clock. The hormone called melatonin is controlled by a person’s sleep-wake cycle. In simple words, we can say that melatonin tells us that it is time for us to sleep. Having a melatonin supplement is a must for elders with insomnia. Even doctors prescribe these supplements to people suffering from insomnia. With this, those whose biological cycle becomes disorganized must consume it in the form of dietary supplements.
Zinc is also one of the important minerals which, if not consumed in an adequate amount, can lead seniors to various old-age diseases. We get many health benefits from zinc and it plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system, skin-related problems, and in wound healing. Due to the lack of zinc in the body, there is a decrease in immunity, skin problem, eye problem, and many other problems. According to medical experts, diabetes can be solved with the regular consumption of zinc supplements.
Herbal Supplements To Boost Immune System
Moringa is one of the best natural supplements that boost the immune system in the elderly. It fulfils the deficiency of phosphorus, calcium, and provides antioxidants. Since it's a rich source of calcium and phosphorus, it strengthens bones. Moringa is also a good supplement to relieve depression, nervousness, and tiredness. The antioxidants found in it keep the heart-healthy. Moringa supplement controls glucose in the blood, which reduces the risk of diabetes doubling.
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a herb with effective healing properties. It is the most common herb used in medicines. It is advisable for elders to regularly take Tulsi as a dietary supplement, as it provides some amazing benefits than other foods. Regular consumption of Tulsi as a food supplement that lowers down the blood pressure, regulates cortisol level, reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other old-age diseases. While Tulsi as a dietary supplement is important for everyone, it is considered the best supplement to boost the immune system in the male. For men other best supplements include the one’s which are rich in Boron, Saw Palmetto, and Magnesium.
Amalaki, commonly known as Amla or Indian Gooseberry, is a reliable food supplement for seniors. Amla is a medicinal herb that cleans the blood, provides relief in diarrhoea, diabetes, burning sensation. Additionally, it also helps in jaundice, anaemia, hepatitis, haemorrhoids or haemorrhoids. Hence it is a must for elders.
Neem is also an important herb with effective medicinal properties. Neem is an Indian native herb but is now becoming a popular food supplement around the globe. Neem is a magical herb for seniors. It is considered as one of the best supplements to boost immune system in cancer. Cancer Institute believes that neem fruits, seeds, leaves, flowers, etc. reduce the effects of cervical and prostate cancers and antitumors in cancer. Wounds take time to heal in the elder body but people who regularly consume neem as a dietary supplement, get rid of their wounds faster than others.
Curcumin is considered to be the most important and active ingredient. It is a good supplement for providing adequate antioxidants to elders’ body. Curcumin does not allow fungal births and also helps to reduce inflammation in the tissue. It protects against aging diseases such as arthritis, amnesia, dementia. Curcumin comes with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have also been proven to help fight free radicals. Turmeric contains curcumin, and consuming such supplements of top quality will give a lot of positive effects for elders.
Immune Boosting Vitamins
For good health and a sharp mind, the elderly need essential vitamins in their diet. There are 13 essential Vitamins and four of these vitamins - A, D, E, and K - are fat-soluble, which accumulate in the body's fatty tissue. The other nine vitamins are soluble in water and are released from the body through urine. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that accumulates in the liver. The best way to fulfil all these 13 essential vitamins is to have a balanced diet with a variety of foods. Let us know from which diet which vitamin is being supplied:
• Vitamin A
Vitamin A is important to heal dead cells and promotes new cell development in elders. It's a great element to prevent lung cancer and night blindess. It also promotes healthy skin and hair.
Supplement sources: Salmon fish or other cold-water fish, egg yolk, fortified dairy products.
• Vitamin D
Vitamin D increases calcium absorption in the body and builds and maintains strong bones and teeth.
Supplement sources: Milk, fortified rice or soy drinks, butter, egg yolk, fatty fish, fissured liver oil.
• Vitamin E
Vitamin E maintains muscle and helps in the reproduction of red blood cells.
Supplement sources: Fortified grains, Eggs, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, dry fruits, beans and seeds.
• Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an essential vitamin for the elderly body. They need this for improving blood clotting.
Supplement sources: Spinach, broccoli, green leafy vegetables
• Vitamin C
Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, is an essential vitamin and important for growing the body. It helps in preventing atherosclerosis. Immunity boosts and acts as a major antioxidant.
Supplement sources: Amla, berries, melons, lemon and other citrus fruits and juices.
• Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 maintains a healthy metabolism and immune system. It also helps in maintaining normal digestion, appetite, and proper nerve functions.
Supplement sources: Legumes, nuts, seeds, fortified grains.
• Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2 energy is essential for maintaining metabolism in seniors. It helps in maintaining healthy skin along with maintaining eyesight.
Supplement sources: Fortified cereals, grains, dairy products, fortified soy/rice drinks, raw mushrooms.
• Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 is important for the body. It promotes energy metabolism and normal growth. Its regular doses are helpful in lowering cholesterol among elders.
Supplement sources: seafood, meat, milk, eggs, legumes, poultry, fortified bread, cereals.
• Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 normalizes energy metabolism and blood sugar levels in elders.
Supplement sources: Almost all foods contain vitamin B5.
• Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 promotes good health and boosts immunity-boosting in old-adults. It promotes metabolism of carbohydrates, energy release and protein metabolism. It also strengthens the functioning of the nervous system.
Supplement sources: Meat, fish, poultry, grains, bananas, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, soybeans.
• Vitamin B7
Also known as biotin, B7 is an essential vitamin for maintaining healthy metabolism in growing people.
Supplement sources: Egg yolk, soybeans, whole grains, nuts, yeast.
• Vitamin B9
Vitamin B9 is an essential vitamin. It works by making DNA, RNA, red blood cells, and synthesizing certain amino acids. Vitamin B9 is also important for growing females.
Supplements sources: Fortified flour, yeast, green veggies, orange juice, asparagus, avocado, legumes, etc.
• Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 works to make red blood cells, DNA, RNA, and myelin for nerve fibres in the elderly.
Supplement sources: All animal products.
Does Vitamin B 12 boost the immune system in the Elderly?
Vitamin B12 is extremely important to maintain energy levels in senior citizens. It plays an important role in maintaining brain function, nerve function, and heart health. It helps to keep the red blood cells healthy and increase its production in the body.
There is an adequate amount of Vitamin B12 in your body which lasts for a long time. But stress, acidity, and intake of some medicines can interfere with its function, due to which it can be absorbed from the body quickly. If the elderly feel continuously tired and experience more pain in their feet, they may be deficient in Vitamin B12.
How to deal with Vitamin B 12 deficiency in the elderly?
Vitamin B12 supplements are a good option to deal with deficiency but these are especially for those who are deficient in it. Therefore it is important to consult your doctor before consuming it. Its deficiency should not be ignored in the elderly and if you have not yet checked the level of vitamin B12, then you must get it checked. Especially if you are a vegetarian and have been struggling with acidity or other medical problems for a long time, then in such a situation you should check it every 6 months.
How much vitamin B12 does the elderly require?
A person with vitamin B12 deficiency can consume 2,500 micrograms of vitamin B12 supplement every week. Its absorption declines with increasing age, so people over 65 years of age should consume only 1,000 micrograms.
The Bottom Line
By now you must have understood the importance of a good immune system and the need for food supplements for the elderly. But it is quite challenging to remember this all. Thus you can also opt for home care services like us, at Emoha, where caregivers are intensively trained and taught about elder healthcare. Emoha is a trusted elder care provider with a variety of services to ensure better health and lifestyle for your beloved elderly. You can connect with Emoha at 1800-123-445555 or email@example.com.