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Best Ways to Boost a Senior Immune System

With flu season right around the corner,the time is now for seniors to take extra care of their immune systems. Here are a few ways your loved one can boost his or her immunity, brought to you by the staff at Las Vegas Home Care Assistance.

Eat Germ-Fighting Foods

Adding a few of these healthy foods to your loved one’s diet may give his or her immune system the extra push it needs:

  • Citrus - White blood cells use vitamin C to help fight infections, and citrus fruits are a great source of this vitamin. Oranges have the highest amount of vitamin C, followed by lemons and limes.
  • Green Tea - Antioxidants in green tea can help protect against infection, and the amino acid L-theanine activates germ-fighting T-cells.
  • Honey - Tea’s sweet companion can help battle viruses, bacteria, fungi, and cancer. Buckwheat honey is highest in antioxidants, and manuka has the most germ-fighting compounds. Honey also stimulates the production of cytokines, chemical messengers that prompt the immune response.
  • Yogurt - Beneficial microorganisms called probiotics kill bacteria, fungi, and pathogens. Research shows eating one cup of yogurt daily can reduce the incidence of colds by 25 percent. When selecting yogurt, look for brands with “Live and Active Cultures” shown on the label.

Keep Hands Clean

Make sure your loved one washes his or her hands frequently with soap and water or uses hand sanitizer to keep germs to a minimum. Waiting until the skin is completely dry before handling anything is best for warding off potential infection. Your loved one should also avoid touching his or her nose, mouth, and eyes, as these are entry sites for germs.

Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep allows the body to repair and restore tissues and increase the production of white blood cells that attack bacteria and viruses. A regular sleep schedule can helpkeep cortisol balanced. In excess, this stress hormone impairs white blood cell activity, mistaking healthy tissue for foreign invaders and leading to autoimmune disease. People who sleep at least eight hours nightly are three times less likely to catch a cold than those who get seven hours or less.

Keeping the immune system strong becomes even more important as people age. If your senior loved one needs assistance maintaining healthy habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We offer live-in and hourly care in Las Vegas, and our caregivers can help with a wide variety of tasks, including the preparation of healthy meals, grocery shopping, and grooming. For more information on our senior care services, call a Care Manager today at (702) 550-3185 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.