How to eat to fight immune aging

Eat at least three servings a week of legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, and peas.

Photo: ROMAN ODINTSOV / Pexels

With age the immunity weakens and also becomes unbalanced. This process is associated with Chronic inflamation. Proper diet is an important factor that can help you maintain healthy immunity even in old age.

What happens when your immune system gets old and out of balance?

There is a Chronic inflamation and the immunity responsible for remembering and attacking pathogens it loses its ability to defend itself against viruses, bacteria and fungi. Even inactive pathogens that were previously suppressed can be reactivated.

In addition to physical activity, feeding can contribute to decrease the immunosenescence (changes in the immune system due to aging).

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet it is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and certain cancers. In older adults it supports with decreased risk of frailty, along with better mental and physical function.

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A review found that people who most closely adhered to the Mediterranean diet had less than the half as likely to become brittle over a 4-year period, compared to those who followed her less closely.

What does fragility have to do with immunity? Frail people have higher levels of inflammatory markers. He muscle plays a role in reducing inflammation in older adults.

The inflammation is key in immune aging, as explained in Medical News Today. “Inflammation refers to your body’s process of fight the things that harm you in an attempt to heal himself, ”he says Healthline. Over time, chronic inflammation can have a negative impact on your body.

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How to adopt the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is a plan rich in plant foods, including minimally processed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. The preferred animal protein is fish and shellfish.

Kathy McManus, Director of the Nutrition Department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, gives the following advice:

  • Change the fats you use now for virgin olive oil.
  • Eat a handful of raw walnuts every day as a healthy replacement for processed snacks.
  • Add whole wheat bread or other whole grains to your food.
  • Start or end each meal with a salad.
  • Add more and different vegetables to the menu. Eat at least three to four servings a day. Try a new vegetable each week.
  • Eat at least three servings a week of legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, beans, and peas.
  • Eat less red meat and choose fish.
  • If you consume alcohol, opt for wine (in moderation)
  • Cut out sugary drinks.
  • Eat fewer high-fat, high-sugar desserts; opt for fresh fruit.
  • Look for foods that are in season, as less processed as possible.
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The Harvard School of Public Health notes that to reap the benefits of the Mediterranean diet it is important not simply to add olive oil or nuts to the current diet, but to adopt the plan in its entirety.


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