It’s now more important than ever to stay healthy in Hong Kong and watch out for our elderly. As we age, our bodies have different requirements and our immune systems are a bit more delicate. Thankfully, being mindful of a healthy lifestyle and eating more of certain types of foods can help keep the elderly in tip-top shape ensuring that they live long and healthy lives. If you have an elderly loved one and are looking for the best immunity boosting foods and gifts, here are the top 10 elderly healthy foods that may help.
Although water is not necessarily food, proper drinking is necessary for older adults because they may not feel as thirsty as they used to. Many urban diseases such as fatigue, headaches and bowel movements can be avoided by drinking plenty of water. It is recommended that the elderly drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Berries and Dark-Skinned Fruits
Dark-skinned fruits and berries, such as blueberries, are rich in vitamins C and E, which keep your body's cells healthy, and contain antioxidants. Studies have also found that cherries can also boost the immune system and soothe upper respiratory discomfort.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines and pomelos are rich in vitamin C, which has long been shown to support the human immune system. Studies have found that consuming 200 mg of vitamin C per day can help maintain healthy immunity. You can encourage older adults to take vitamin supplements, or eat 2-3 servings of citrus fruit per day. One medium orange provides 70 mg of vitamin C.
Green leafy vegetables
Eating more vegetables can reduce the degree of cognitive decline. Dark green vegetables are also antioxidants and rich in vitamins A, C and folic acid, key nutrients that support the immune system. Green leafy vegetables also help us optimize our gut, where many immune cells reside. Many dark green vegetables are also rich in iron, which helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the blood and other parts of the body.
Fish and Shellfish
Cold water fish and shellfish contain omega-3s, vitamin B12, iron, magnesium and potassium, all of which are beneficial for brain function. Salmon, tuna, scallops, and abalone are all great examples of the types of seafood the elderly can eat to keep their brain sharp.
Nuts have so many benefits, they provide healthy fats and omega-3, as well as essential fiber and protein, both of which need to be increased in consumption as we age to keep our guts and muscle functions healthy.Brazil nuts also contain selenium which has been shown as a potent antioxidant and cell supporter. Pumpkin seeds are also higher in zinc which is another essential vitamin in supporting our immune system.
Plain Greek Yogurt
As we age, our bodies need more calcium, and vitamin D to keep our bones healthy and strong prevent conditions like osteoporosis. Plain Greek yogurt is an excellent choice as it’s high protein and low sugar and can be combined with berries, nuts, and wholegrains which add more health benefits and makes it even yummier.
Eggs are an easy way for the elderly to get protein as well vitamin B and B12 which helps with memory retention and the body’s stress management.
Gut function gets more difficult as we age making it more important that the elderly get enough fiber. Many breads and noodles found in Hong Kong are made with white processed flour, which is low in fiber. Switching to wholegrain alternatives will help keep the elderly’s gut healthy and functioning normally as well as supporting their immune system.
Sweet Potatoes and Carrots
Beta carotene is a pre-cursor to vitamin A and is essential for maintaining good eye sight as well as helping to produce white blood cells which help to fight off viruses and bacteria. It also helps to form the mucous membrane that lines our respiratory tract that acts as a protective barrier. One sweet potato contains over 150% of our daily intake of vitamin A, making it an easy addition to a senior’s diet.