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7 Foods and Beverages to Help Seniors Fight the Flu

By Nikhil Mehta, 9:00 am on

Many beverages and foods can help boost the immune system and fight the flu. Adding some of these to the daily diet may help a senior recover faster from the flu. Palm Desert senior care professionals recommend adding the following 7 foods to your loved one’s diet.

1. Chicken Soup

Long considered a comfort food during cold and flu season, chicken soup contains a compound known as carnosine, which helps the immune system combat viruses. Prepare chicken soup for your loved one if he or she has the flu.

2. Cultured Dairy Products

Cultured milk, also known as kefir, and yogurt contain probiotics, which are considered good bacteria. These foods can help stimulate your loved one’s natural immune system while increasing acidity in his or her gastrointestinal tract. This process makes the environment unfavorable for the growth and reproduction of foreign microorganisms in the body. 

3. Teas

Black, green, and oolong teas all contain a number of compounds that help fight colds and the flu. These chemicals include the amino acid L-theanine and the antioxidant quercetin. You or a caregiver in Palm Desert can prepare warm teas to help your loved one break up nasal and respiratory congestion. 

4. Vitamin A-Rich Foods

Carrots, corn, squash, apricots, and cantaloupe are some of the many yellow or orange-colored foods that are great sources of vitamin A. This nutrient is necessary for seniors because it helps the body manufacture white blood cells, which boost the immune system. 

5. Vitamin C-Rich Foods

Mandarin oranges, grapefruits, cantaloupes, strawberries, and sweet potatoes are all rich in vitamin C. This vitamin is necessary for seniors to maintain the health of disease-fighting white cells. 

6. Vitamin D-Rich Foods

Fortified dairy products and cereals are ideal foods for increasing your loved one’s vitamin D stores when the weather is too cold for the skin to absorb the sun’s UVB rays. This nutrient enhances antimicrobial peptide chains within cells, which help combat infections. Some medical experts believe vitamin D deficiencies during winter may be to blame for the greater number of cold and flu cases. 

7. Zinc-Rich Foods

The body does not store zinc, and your loved one must continually renew his or her supply by eating certain foods. Include foods rich in zinc, such as beef, crab, chicken, pork, almonds, cashews, and shellfish, in your loved one’s diet. This mineral is known to boost the immune system. 

If your loved one needs help making food and lifestyle choices to maintain optimal health, get in touch with Home Care Assistance. We are a leading name in senior in-home care. In addition to helping out around the house with tasks like meal prep, our caregivers can encourage seniors to eat nutritious meals and exercise. We also provide comprehensive Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care Palm Desert families can count on. Call (760) 345-0001 to speak with a Care Manager today and customize a care plan for your loved one.