Have you noticed the fact that elderly people contract infections and fall often? This is mainly because their immune system weakens with age. To boost up their immunity and combat infections, it is very vital to include important vitamins for seniors in their diet.
A healthy diet for seniors must be packed with fresh fruits and vegetables to offer them the vitamins they need. It is important to include vitamin c foods for vegetarians on a daily basis at home as vitamin C is the prime ingredient that helps seniors to stay away from illnesses. Even at assisted living facilities, Vitamin C is made a part of the senior living dining experience to ensure vitality and vigour for seniors.
Why is Vitamin C important for healthy aging?
The T cells or T-lymphocytes are the main agents that help the body to combat infections. with age, the function of the T cell decreases. This is because the thymus gland located behind the breastbone is the place where T cells mature. This gland shrinks with age and becomes 15% of its normal size by midlife. All this weaken the immune system making seniors susceptible to diseases.
Vitamin C increases the production of T-lymphocytes. It also initiates the production of phagocytes which are cells that gobble up bacteria and thus prevent diseases. Vitamin C plays a major role in helping elders to age healthily and keeps them free from ailments.
The Role of Vitamin C in healthy aging
If seniors want to stay young, the one thing they must consume on a daily basis is Vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a powerful role in healthy aging for seniors in the following ways.
- Vitamin C prevents free-radical production and aging
Vitamin C is the powerhouse of antioxidants that prevent free-radical production. This prevents or arrests the aging process.
Free radicals are unstable atoms that damage cells by stealing electrons from them and breaking them. This causes oxidative stress in the body, forming wrinkles and aging. Vitamin C is abundant in phytochemicals which prevent oxidative stress and delay aging.
- Vitamin C increases the production of WBCs
As we all know, white blood corpuscles or WBCs are responsible for the production of antibodies that combat infections. WBCs contain 80 times more Vitamin C than the blood plasma. So, the more Vitamin C seniors take in, the better the production of WBCs and healthier will they be.
- Vitamin C supports the function of phagocytes
Phagocytes are a type of WBCs that surround pathogens and consumes them. Vitamin C aids in the function of phagocytes or neutrophils in several ways. It accelerates the migration of the phagocyte towards the pathogen and enhances the phagocytosis or engulfment of the microbe by the phagocyte. It also increases the production of nitrogen oxide by the phagocyte in order to kill the pathogens.
- Vitamin C increases the production of T and B lymphocytes.
T and B lymphocytes are the main elements that contribute to the body’s autoimmune system. the T-lymphocytes are formed in the thymus and the B-lymphocytes in the bone marrow. Both are responsible for the production of antibodies that provides immunity. Vitamin C increases the production of T and B lymphocytes an enhances immunity in elders.
Vitamin C can help elders to increase their immunity and remain healthy in the following ways.
Ways in which Vitamin C helps elders in combating age-related ailments
- Vitamin C arrests free-radical production and delays aging
- It removes wrinkles and other signs of aging
- It reduces the risk of cataract
- It promotes collagen production, helping wounds to heal faster
- It increases the production of WBCs to combat infections
- It keeps the heart healthy by dilating the blood vessels
- It eliminates cholesterol from the body by converting it into bile salts
- It stabilizes blood sugar
- It prevents gout by lowering uric acid production in blood
Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin that cannot be stored on a long time basis. That is why it is important to include Vitamin C in the healthy diet for seniors or senior living dining experience to help them remain healthy even in their old age.