Our immune systems diminish as we age. Our bodies slow down production of immune cells like white blood cells which weaken our defenses and ability to heal. Couple that with new strains of viruses and our Seniors are left extremely susceptible to illness.
As Caregivers, we can be proactive about helping our loved ones boost their immune systems to avoid getting sick. Using some of the natural tools listed below can make a big impact on our health, but the trick is consistency over time. Start with one or two that are easy for you to integrate and create a routine so you can reap the benefits!
1. Increase Your Antioxidant Intake
Antioxidants protect our cells against free radicals…in other words, they keep our cells healthy, functioning well and decrease inflammation. All of that is critical to a strong immune system. The good news is that there are a ton of foods high in antioxidants, and most are delicious! Some foods with the highest levels are: Berries, Kale, Spinach, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Artichokes, Pecans and Ginger. Integrating one or two of these foods daily will have a great effect on boosting immunity.
2. Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is necessary for growth, development and repair of body tissue and is an important component to the function of our immune systems. Studies show that it not only prevents illness, but also shortens the duration of healing from viruses. There are a few ways to get your daily dose of Vitamin C. Foods like Bell Peppers, Strawberries, Oranges, Broccoli and Tomatoes have some of the highest levels. There are also a lot of supplements available over the counter if that is easier to work into your routine.
3. Use Essential Oils
Essential Oils have been used for thousands of years to boost immunity and treat illness. Diffusing essential oils can be a great way to clean the air of airborne germs, and allow our loved ones to get the therapeutic effects of breathing them in. Oils like Cinnamon, Clove, Rosemary and Lemon have all been shown to have these great effects. Note: not all essential oils are created equal so make sure they are therapeutic grade and you trust the source they come from.
4. Get Some Sleep
Studies show that sleep deprivation suppresses our immune systems. Without the right amount of REM sleep, our bodies aren’t able to rebuild on a cellular level. We should be getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night. Creating a routine can help with this like having a tea, reading and not using devices within 45 minutes of going to bed.
5. Drink More Water
Drinking more water helps flush toxins and caries oxygen to our cells which supports our immune system. Wondering if you’re drinking enough? You should be drinking ½ your body weight in ounces a day. (Ex: if you are 150 lbs, drink 75oz/day)