As early as the months following the initial COVID-19 outbreak, doctors and researchers observed that older people tended to become more seriously ill with coronavirus compared to younger patients.
This may be because aging has serious effects on the immune system — a complex collection of cells and molecules that protects us from infections, helps us recover from illnesses, and gets rid of abnormal cells in the body.
4 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Immune System
Although some people age healthily, most people over the age of 55 face difficulties as their immune system changes.
The immune cells producing protective antibodies become slower and less efficient, reducing the body’s capability to fight respiratory infections like influenza, pneumonia, and the COVID-19 virus. Fortunately, there are ways you can help keep your immune system healthy, such as:
1. A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is key to a healthy life. Your body needs to absorb energy and micronutrients from vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats to function properly.
Good, regular nourishment is necessary to avoid any micronutrient deficiencies that may weaken your immune system. More information on how to boost your immune system naturally here…
Aside from protecting your immune system, certain foods are also rich in antioxidants that combat free radicals — unstable molecules that damage the DNA and cell membranes.
Including portions of leafy greens, citrus fruits, blueberries, apples, onions, and other similar foods in your diet can really make a positive difference in your body’s health.
Research suggests vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc may strengthen your body’s general immune response. If you’re not getting enough of these nutrients from your diet, taking supplements may be able to give your body the boost it needs. It's always recommended to take quality supplements however.
While there are thousands of immune system boosters available on the market, choosing and taking high-quality supplements regularly can help your body fight off common colds, cases of flu, and infections. Read here for why we think you should not be buying supplements from Amazon.
3. Get Plenty Of Sleep
We may not think a lot happens to us when we’re asleep, but our bodies actually use this time to create infection-fighting molecules. Not getting enough hours of quality sleep can weaken your immune defense, increase severe allergic reactions, and lower the body’s overall response to vaccines.
When you don't get enough sleep, you’re more likely to get sick after exposure to viruses. Sleep deprivation can also impair cellular repair and cognitive processes, eventually leading to poor skin quality and a higher risk of mental health problems.
If you want to get the recommended amount of sleep every night, it’s important to understand how to prep for bed effectively. Creating a nighttime ritual that eliminates distractions or stimulants will make it easier for you to rest and get a good sleep to refresh your mind and body.
A skincare routine before bed may also help get you into a restful mood. Setting a consistent time for applying your skincare products will let your body know that it's time to sleep soon.
4. Break Those Bad Habits
The harmful effects of smoking tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption cannot be stressed enough. When these two habits are combined, they can cause chemical changes, oxidative stress, and inflammation in the body. In fact, they can even increase neural damage in certain areas of the brain.
Although quitting bad habits can be difficult, even slowly reducing tobacco and alcohol intake can stave off further damage to your immune system. Experts recommend short bursts of physical activity whenever you feel the need to smoke or drink.
How To Maintain A Health Immune System: Summing Up
As you age things do tend to slow down. One of the signs this is going on is a propensity to fall ill more easily and this is the immune system not coping as well as it once did. However, you don’t have to live like a monk to be healthy.
With more time on your hands make sure to discover the healthy eating plan that works best for you, get out and have regular exercise (this will help you sleep well) and above all reduce or give up smoking and alcohol consumption.