The COVID-19 lockdown scenario heavily relies on the preventive measures of social distancing and self-isolation to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. With statistical reports heavily indicating that age is a primary risk factor, elder people are more prone to coronavirus disease. Elder people have several underlying health conditions that make their immune system weak and pave a path for the virus to infect. Enhancing the immunity of elder people can help their body fight coronavirus infections better and also keep them safe. In this article, we discuss some important points to boost immunity of elder people in the family.
This is the most critical way to improve and boost one’s immunity while staying indoors. A good and healthy diet can increase our immunity much more than taking artificial immunity boosters. Let us see how.
Carbohydrates can help one’s body when taken up as whole fruits, grains and vegetables. But processed sugars in canned juices or chips can harm and impair our immunity by deregulating our metabolism pathways.
Proteins are very essential for building body immunity. Protein-rich foods like eggs, meats, fishes, nuts cheese, vegetables and legumes can increase the level of good proteins in one’s body.
Good fats like omega 3 fat are both anti-inflammatory and helpful for one’s immune system. In addition, good fats can also help in better absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. Sources of good fats include fish oil, coconuts, seeds, olives and avocados.
Now that we have talked about vitamin absorption, Vitamin C needs a special mention as it regulates antiviral mechanism in our body but one should be very careful about not consuming excess of carbohydrates or sugars as it hinders the absorption of vitamin C.
Vitamin D is also important for immune system as it helps as an immune modulator. As we all are supposed to stay indoors, vitamin D from sunlight will be scarce and thus we need to make up for that in our diet, in the form of cheese, egg yolk, fruits, and soy milk.
After vitamins, it is time for some discussion on minerals. Zinc deficiency has been correlated with pathogenic infections in some clinical reports and thus zinc possibly has a crucial role in building up the body’s immunity. Shellfish, legumes, and grains are rich sources of zinc.
Amidst all this useful dietary information, one has to always remember the dietary restrictions that have been medically advised to elderly people by their doctors, for e.g. elderly people with gout are not advised to have more protein intake.
Exercise is a healthy practice as it heavily influences stem cells, white blood cells and antibodies for the body’s immunity. Besides that, exercise also helps in reducing stress and anxiety by slowing down stress hormone release, which further enhances immunity. In addition, the brief rise in temperature in the process of exercise may also help in fighting infection of the body.
But one should also consider not over-exercising as it may possibly backfire and affect the body negatively. Also, for elderly people, exercise routines should be well maintained and medically advised in order to keep their body healthy without any adverse effects of pain or sprain.
As per scientific research, a good amount of sleep can help in improving immune cells, i.e., T cells, for anti-viral effects. Sleep also helps in reducing the expression of stress hormone cortisol and in turn helps the body with an immune function boost.
Sleeping should be a natural process for resting one’s body but the use of sleep-inducing drugs or sleeping pills can affect the immune system adversely. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a good sleeping habit with an active biological clock.
During this lockdown scenario, diet, exercise and sleep can be the best three ways to boost the immune function of elderly people in your family. Let us fight coronavirus together and support this lockdown for the safety of our near and dear ones. Stay safe, stay healthy.