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Eating healthily in retirement – ten top tips to boosting your immune system

Published: 22 January 2019

As we age, our bodies require different amounts of nutrients to those nutrients reqiured when we were younger and it can be difficult to get a wide variety of foods and nutrients into our diet each day in order to keep our immune systems fighting fit.

The British Nutrition Foundation tells us that:

“Some older people in the UK, especially those living in institutions, have been found to have low intakes and/or low blood levels of a range of micronutrients.”

So, what are micronutrients? These include Iron, Magnesium, Folate, Vitamin A & Vitamin D and are all important to maintaining a healthy diet.

Getting these micronutrients into our daily routine can sometimes be hard to maintain. However, the key to getting these nutrients in a daily diet is to have some quick wins which include quick and easy meals or food toppers and nutritious drinks.

Try some of these quick wins to help boost your immune system.

1. Nuts
Nuts such as almonds are a great way to give our immune system a boost. These are great as a quick snack or can be sprinkled onto breakfast cereals or cakes to provide the recommended daily intake.

2. Lifestyle changes
Sleep is important and getting a good quality night’s sleep each night and regular rest breaks throughout the day are both equally important and are thought to contribute to good overall health and a fighting fit immune system.

3. Fruit smoothies
Smoothies are a great way to consume a wide variety of different fruit and vegetables that you may not otherwise consume such as pineapple, raspberries, oranges, passion fruit, coconut, kale and ginger. These are all high in vitamins.

4. Vitamin D
As we get older, it’s more difficult for us to absorb vitamin D from the sun, so it’s important to ensure that we get the recommended daily intake from the food we eat. Foods such as beans, fish, eggs, milk and cheese all contain good levels of vitamin D.

5. Green vegetables
Green vegetables such as broccoli and green peppers are both high in vitamin C which are good to boost the immune system.

6. Antioxidants
Black tea and green tea both provide disease-fighting antioxidants (polyphenols and flavonoids) which help us maintain a healthy diet.

7. Slice of lemon
A slice of lemon in a glass of water each day is a good way to get a daily does of vitamin C and lemon is thought to cleans the body and help it get rid of any harmful toxins.

8. Regular exercise
Taking regular exercise is a great way to keep active and remain healthy. Why not try a new exercise such as Pilates, Yoga, chair exercises or even a daily walk to the shops.

9. Oily Fish
Oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon and tuna all contain healthy fats and are great for the immune system. These foods can easily be incorporated into the daily diet through simple meals such as: kedgeree, sardines on toast or tuna and pasta bake.

10. Yoghurt
Yoghurt containing live cultures or live bacteria is great for our gut which equals a healthy immune system. Selecting a low-fat variety is an added bonus for a healthy diet.

Sometimes prevention is better than cure and getting the flu jab plus frequently washing hands and surfaces in the home can go a long way to reducing the spread of germs and preventing illness.

Always consult your GP before making any changes to your diet.





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