As we age, our immunity, also known as our body’s defense system for combatting disease and bacteria, tends to weaken. A weakened immune system can lead to illness, and more often a slower recovery. It is crucial for seniors to stay active and find natural ways to strengthen their immune system.
These natural ways can include:
Vitamins and Minerals
For seniors, there is a strong connection between immunity and nutrition. A form of malnutrition, (more common than you may think) called “micronutrient malnutrition” occurs when a person, or senior, is lacking some essential vitamins and trace minerals like iron, potassium or zinc.
Older adults, especially those that live alone, tend to eat less with less variety in their diets leading to micronutrient malnutrition. Origin Active Lifestyle Communities understands the importance of these vitamins and minerals in the diet of our community members which is why our Executive Chefs prepare quality, and nutrient dense food.
Soak Up Some Vitamin D
Summer is here, and sunlight is an easy, natural way for seniors to give their immune system a boost! Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D, which can lower your risk of developing a respiratory infection. Sitting in the sun for just 10-15 minutes with the senior in your life is just enough time to let the sun do its job. However, if you plan on spending more than 15 minutes in direct sunlight, make sure that you apply proper sun protection; sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher is recommended.
More Sleep, Less Stress
Sleep deprivation combined with too much stress can increase the hormone cortisol. Over time, continued elevation of this hormone suppresses immune function and leads to a weakened immune system. Make sure the senior in your life is getting a minimum of 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night and doing activities to help relieve stress. Staying connected and being an outlet for a senior to talk to can be a simple way to help them reduce any excess stress in their life.
Eat More Garlic
It may surprise you, but garlic is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent and natural immune system booster. High doses of garlic supplements have been proven to increase antioxidant enzymes which can help reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. These combined efforts (lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol) may, in turn, help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
NOTE: Heat deactivates a key active ingredient in garlic, so be sure to add it to food just before serving to get the most benefits from it!
At Origin, we strive to make sure our community members are taken care of across all areas of wellness – emotional, spiritual, physical. We provide activities that promote active living, as well as preparing high-quality, nutrient dense meals. Visit our website to learn more about Origin and find the right community for the senior in your life.