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COVID-19: Immunity Boosting Foods For Men And Women Over 40 - Indian Ghee, Chia Seeds And More

As the number of COVID-19 cases around the world rises on a daily basis, the government and healthcare organizations in the country are overwhelmed due to the sudden spikes and mutations of the novel coronavirus.

While it is crucial to mention hygiene standards like washing your hands frequently, maintaining social distance and avoiding going out, experts add that it is important to improve your immunity - which is crucial at this juncture.

Individuals in certain pre-existing conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory issues are at a higher risk of having complications, and it also aggravates with age as the general immunity reduces as you get older.

As we all know, the food you eat plays a key aspect in determining your overall health and immunity. A well-functioning immune system help removes foreign bodies and malignant cells from the system. It helps regulate the immune responses against harmless external triggers such as food or the bodies' tissue.

For men and women over 40, your body's defence system tends to get weaker with age. And studies point out that the medical community is still trying to determine exactly how and why immunity decreases with age [1]. There's no set age when immunity decreases. Still, you can always say on top of it by taking care of your health by eating well, exercising regularly and sleeping on time.

Immunity boosting foods for men and women over 40 include:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Yoghurt
  • Salmon
  • Chia seeds etc.

Immunity-Boosting Foods For Men And Women Over 40

Post the age of 40, nutritional needs and metabolism rates, that is, how fast the body converts food to energy for most individuals, undergo significant change [2]. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, health experts have pointed out that, while it is crucial to mention hygiene standards like washing your hands frequently - it is equally important to improve your immunity if you are over 40.

Here is a list of immunity-boosting foods for men and women over 40.

1. Eggs: Rich in proteins and vitamins, which can help boost the immune system, eggs are defined as storehouses of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for improving your immune system, especially if you are over 40 [3].

2. Oily fish: Fish such as salmon and trout contain healthy fats that help improve your immune system [4]. These healthy fats also support brain, heart, and joint health, especially for women over 40 years.

Foods To Boost Immunity In Older Adults (60 Plus)

3. Chia seeds: Loaded with antioxidants and a variety of nutrients, chia seeds possess the unique ability to absorb liquid and take on a gelatinous consistency. They provide a good amount of fibre, protein, healthy fats and micronutrients [5]. Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, which is beneficial for enhancing immunity.

4. Yoghurt: Eating yoghurt can help strengthen the intestinal tract, which will help to prevent gastrointestinal-immune illnesses like celiac disease. Yoghurt is full of probiotics (good bacteria) that help destroy the bad bacteria in the stomach and is a great immune booster for older adults [6].

5. Spinach: Rich in vitamin C and packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, spinach is a good addition to the diet [7]. Spinach is rich in vitamin K as well, which makes the leafy vegetable a must add in an immunity-boosting diet, in addition to the numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may both increase the infection-fighting ability of the immune systems [8].

6. Broccoli: Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a substance that can help promote digestion and protect your gut. Studies point out that one cup of broccoli can help improve the immune system due to its rich beta-carotene content [9]. In addition to that, the presence of minerals, such as zinc and selenium, also helps.

7. Citrus fruits: Tangy fruits such as orange, grapefruit, and lemon are rich sources of vitamin C, which upon regular and controlled consumption, can help improve the immune system and its functioning [10].

8. Ghee: Although it may sound surprising to some, controlled consumption of Indian ghee has been proven to help build a strong immune system, even for people over the age of 40 [11]. Known to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant for the body, ghee help develop a stronger immune system.

9. Water: It is essential to drink at least eight glasses of water per day to keep the mucous membranes moist and lower the chance of flu or colds [12]. Keeping oneself hydrated can help the immune system function well.

Seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and melon seeds are an excellent protein and vitamin E sources. And probiotics like yoghurt, Yakult and fermented food are also excellent sources that help improve the composition of gut bacteria, which is important for nutrient absorption by the body - and good options for men and women over 40. In addition to these, incorporating berries, apples, leafy lettuce, bell peppers, almonds and beetroots into the diet can help improve the immune system and its function.

On A Final Note...

Consuming foods that help improve your immunity is a simple yet effective step in your fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol or fizzy drinks and spicy and fried foods can also help improve your immunity.

Story first published: Friday, April 23, 2021, 18:22 [IST]