Simple Ways To Boost Your Immunity As You Age
by Jess Walter
Aging can change our body in so many ways, and as we get older, our body’s capability to ward off sickness and infection gets affected, which results in a host of health problems. Studies have shown that older immune systems struggle to fight off inflammation and infections. And as the United Nations estimates that there will be more adults over 60 than children under ten in the year 2030, scientists are now working even harder to protect older adults against future diseases. While vaccines may certainly help to protect seniors against serious diseases, there are other ways to stay healthy as you age. To stay well, here’s a guide to boost your immunity.
Eat well-balanced meals
Having a poor diet can impair the activity of immune cells. This is why eating well-balanced meals is one of the simplest ways to boost your immunity as you age. According to a Harvard study, eating certain foods on a regular basis may help to better prepare the body for microbial attacks and protect it against inflammation. The research also indicates that nutrients such as vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium, protein, iron and zinc are essential to the growth of immune cells. These nutrients can be found in leafy green vegetables, protein sources and fruits, so make sure to include these foods in your daily diet to stay strong and healthy. Certain eating plans, such as the Mediterranean diet, which is high in grains, lean proteins, fruits and veggies can also help to keep your immune system in optimum condition as you get older.
Take time for stress relief
A little stress can be good for you as it keeps you alert and focused but being constantly stressed can have a negative impact on your immune system. Chronic stress can lower the body’s resistance to infection, so to stay well, make stress relief a priority. Activities that promote mindfulness such as meditation, yoga, tai chi or even just listening to soothing music can reduce anxiety and keep you calm. Engaging in creative activities, such as drawing, playing a musical instrument or dancing can also help to alleviate stress and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation can make you more prone to sickness and health conditions, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. This is why it’s essential to get enough sleep to boost your immunity to sickness. Most people may find that they have a harder time falling asleep as they get older, but you can remedy this by establishing a bedtime routine and going to sleep at the same time every night. Studies have shown that the ideal sleep schedule is from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am as this mimics our body’s natural circadian rhythm, and being asleep during these hours can result in a healing and restorative sleep, which can improve your body’s ability to fight off sickness.
Protect your health as you age by eating well, taking time to de-stress, and getting enough sleep. By boosting your immunity, you can enjoy a better quality of life and stay illness-free throughout your golden years.