The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, but it’s also when our risk of getting sick increases. From large gatherings to travel and stress, germs have many opportunities to spread. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying the holidays! You can take several simple steps to protect your aging loved one’s (or your own) health during this festive time of year.
Immunity-boosting foods for seniors
Our immune system becomes less effective at fighting off infections as we age. This can leave seniors vulnerable to various illnesses, from the common cold to more severe conditions like pneumonia.
To help keep your senior loved ones healthy, ensure they include immunity-boosting foods in their diet. Some great options include leafy green vegetables and brightly colored fruits. Yogurt is also a food to opt for in the winter months as it contains probiotics, which are live bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut. These foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that help to keep the immune system strong.
Boost your immune system with these drinks and dishes
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to boosting immunity, nutrition plays a key role in supporting a healthy immune system. To help fight off infections, start by stocking your pantry or opt for meals with immune-boosting ingredients like garlic, ginger, turmeric, citrus, and green and ginger tea. These ingredients can be used to make delicious dishes and drinks that will help keep your immune system strong.
- For example, add garlic to roasted vegetables or ginger in a homemade soup.
- You can also take advantage of the potent anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric by adding it to smoothies or using it as a seasoning for meat and poultry.
- For an immunity-boosting beverage, try sipping on green tea throughout the day.
- Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are also suitable for boosting immunity, as they’re high in vitamin C.
- Ginger tea is another excellent drink; it can help soothe an upset stomach and fight inflammation.
Tips for staying healthy during the holidays
The holidays are a time for family, fun, and indulgence. But all that celebrating can take a toll on your health. From overeating to increased stress, there are several ways that the holiday season can jeopardize your well-being. Here are a few tips for staying healthy during the holidays:
- Watch your portions. It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of indulgence during holiday meals. But resist the temptation to overindulge. Eating smaller portions will help you avoid weight gain and the health problems that come with it.
- Get moving. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, promote circulation, and stay in shape. Make time for a walk or some other form of exercise every day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
- Keep your hands clean. Holiday gatherings mean increased exposure to germs. To avoid getting sick, wash your hands often and carry hand sanitizer when you’re out and about.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for good health. It can be hard to get enough rest during the busy holiday season. But make an effort to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and you’ll be less likely to get sick and more likely to have energy for all those holiday festivities.
The holidays are a time for celebration, but they can also be when your immune system is tested. By following these tips, you can enjoy the festivities while keeping your immune system strong.
At Holly Hall Christian Retirement Community, we pride ourselves on serving our residents local, farm-to-table ingredients and foods that are flavorful and immune-boosting. Learn more about our chef-prepared and seasonal menus. Interested in booking a tour of our beautiful, Southern-charm facility? Contact us to schedule a tour.