If you are a caregiver for an aging parent or loved one, you know how difficult it can be to keep your senior healthy. With age, our immune systems become compromised, making it much easier to contract an illness – and much easier for that illness to cause dangerous damage to our bodies.
A healthy diet can be a great way to keep our immune systems in fighting shape, but sometimes it isn’t always obvious which foods you should avoid or which you should embrace to promote a strong body. So, here is a list of five foods to either embrace or avoid when building up your loved one’s immune system. You might want to keep them in mind for yourself too!
Protein is vital to everyone’s diet, but it is especially essential for seniors. You can get protein through lean meats and fish, but it is also beneficial to get protein from eggs, nuts, beans, seeds, and dairy (like milk and yogurt) as well. Don’t let meat protein be your senior’s only source of protein, plant protein is good too!
While a pinch of salt is okay every now and then, salty chips and pretzels and canned foods (even vegetables!) high in sodium can wreak havoc on the body. These things weaken one’s immune system instead of building it up, and they just make you feel bad in general. Do you feel strong and energetic after downing a greasy, salty bag of potato chips? Surely not. And your aging loved one won’t either.
Embrace Whole Wheat
Whole wheat has long been recognized as a healthy food. It can replace the bad carbohydrates in things like white flour and white rice, and can stick with you longer. You can even try replacing your loved one’s white pasta with wheat pasta – the taste is only slightly different, but the health benefits are astounding.
This should go without saying, but excess amounts of sugar aren’t good for anyone. They are bad for your teeth, bad for your body, and bad for your immune system. So let your loved one have a slice of cake or a Little Debbie every now and then, but don’t overdo it. Just like salt, sugar makes the body run slower, and depletes energy, making us feel run-down even when we are otherwise healthy.
When it comes to vegetables, colors are important. You should try to eat vegetables of every color, especially leafy greens. The darker the better. Yellow, red, and orange vegetables, like peppers and carrots are also a fantastic part of one’s diet, and can help to boost the immune system exponentially.
Embracing some foods and avoiding others can go a long way toward boosting a senior’s immune system – and their caregiver’s too. Try adding or subtracting the above foods from your loved one’s diet and you will see that they will have more energy and fewer illnesses.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME CAREGIVERS IN LAS VEGAS, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.