It’s true that the best medicine really is preventive medicine. When you get sick you can try all the tricks in the book and then some to try to feel better, but the fact is the damage has already been done and there’s little you can do aside from waiting it out. Seniors need to be especially mindful of their immune system. If you want to avoid getting sick this winter, here are 10 great tips to boost your immune system and get ahead of any disease that might come your way.
When we’re running short on time, sleep often ends up being one of the first things we compromise, but there’s a very good reason not to: not only do you function better when you’ve gotten plenty of shuteye, but you’re less likely to get sick. And no one has time to get sick.
- Don’t smoke
We all know the hazards of smoking and second-hand smoke by now. Avoiding tobacco smoke is a must for staying healthy and keeping your immune system strong.
- Moderate your alcohol consumption
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional glass of wine, but regularly consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can depress your immune system, in addition to wearing out your liver.
- Maintain a healthy diet
This means making sure there are plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds in your diet so you can be sure to get all the nutrients your body needs to build up its immune system.
- Consider probiotics
The research on probiotics is still fairly new, but it’s already clear that maintaining a healthy gut biome is essential to maintaining a strong immune system. Eating fermented foods and plenty of fiber is a good start, but sometimes your body needs a little more help, especially if you’ve recently been on antibiotics. In that case it might be time to start doing some research into a trustworthy brand of probiotics.
- Get plenty of Vitamin D
Your body uses sunlight to make its own Vitamin D, so make sure to go outside for at least a few minutes every day, even on cloudy days, to make sure your body gets what it needs to stay strong and healthy. If you don’t live close to the equator, you might want to consider taking a Vitamin D supplement during the winter months when your body doesn’t get as much sun.
- Eat garlic
Garlic has powerful antimicrobial properties and is proven to help boost immune function, so it’s a good thing it’s so delicious and versatile! It can be included in everything from eggs to salad to stir-fries. If you aren’t already doing so, start looking for ways to make garlic a regular part of your diet.
- Drink tea
If you’re not a coffee drinker (or you’ve been looking to cut back on your caffeine intake) tea is the answer. Whether you want a strong cup of black tea or a mild tisane, teas (especially non-herbal teas, with leaves from the actual tea plant) are packed with antioxidants and alkylamines, both of which are known to help boost immune strength.
- Drink bone broth
Broth is going through kind of a renaissance right now as some people start to get back to eating the way their grandparents ate, including making their own bone broth to drink and cook with. It’s packed with nutrients that are known to help build a strong body and maintain a healthy immune system. All it takes is a slow cooker, some bones, water, vegetables, and seasonings, and you’re good to go. Try chicken soup with homemade chicken broth and you’ll never go back to the canned stuff.
- Exercise regularly
You don’t have to be a gym rat to reap the benefits of a good workout. Whether it’s a daily walk or a few yoga sessions each week (or both), as long as you’re getting up and moving, your body will thank you with its increased ability to fight off infection.
Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.
CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.