7 Foods and Drinks to Fight the Flu in the Elderly

By Doris Kasold, 9:00 am on

The chilly winter months are often referred to as “flu season” because this viral infection is prevalent during this time. Seniors can be susceptible to influenza because of weakened immune systems, and recovery can be a challenge. If you have an elderly loved one with the flu, Palm Harbor senior care professionals have put together a list of 7 flu-fighting foods that can help him or her remain healthy.

1. Spinach

Spinach contains extremely high levels of zinc, an important mineral that is necessary for white blood cell development. You or a Palm Harbor caregiver can add spinach to your loved one’s soups or smoothies to make it easy to digest.

2. Orange Juice

This classic beverage can be helpful in combating the flu. Orange juice contains immune-system boosting nutrients like vitamin C and folic acid. The slightly tart flavor of the juice can help your loved one become hydrated without feeling nauseous. 

3. Ice Pops

Staying hydrated is absolutely essential when your loved one is fighting the flu. If he or she is feeling nauseous, sucking on a popsicle may be an easier way to consume fluids.

4. Broth 

All types of broth can help keep your loved one hydrated and nourished if he or she is having difficulty keeping solid foods down. Pick beef broth for added zinc.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes may not be a traditional food for seniors who are ill, but the soft texture and subtle flavor make them easier to eat. Sweet potatoes provide a powerfully high amount of vitamin A, which is necessary for maintaining the mucosal membranes and preventing unpleasant irritation in the throat, nose, and mouth. 

6. Herbal Tea 

Seniors who have breathing difficulties can soothe inflamed airways with warm tea that has been sweetened with honey. Just make sure the tea is decaf so your loved one can rest well.

7. Applesauce

Not only is applesauce easy to digest without causing nausea, but it also helps fight the flu. Applesauce contains moderate amounts of B6 vitamins, which can promote your loved one’s immune system function.

Adding these flu-fighting foods and drinks may help your loved one stave off the flu.  Help your loved one get his or her essential nutrients by hiring a caregiver from Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can help your loved one remain healthy by encouraging a healthy diet and regular exercise, and we also provide comprehensive Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care Palm Harbor seniors can trust. Learn more by calling 727-330-7862 and scheduling a free in-home consultation.

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