Healthy Nutrition Essentials for Older Adults

As much as you could be looking forward to finishing your career and enjoying retirement, getting older probably doesn’t get you very excited. It often brings many challenges and to be able to enjoy your senior time, it’s important you find that fine balance between proper nutrition and an active and healthy lifestyle.

Here are several facts and guidelines that can be helpful in achieving your goals.

Challenges of older age

Older age brings inevitable changes to the body and mind and many seniors experience memory loss, irritability, behavioral changes, physical difficulties and loss of appetite. In addition, certain prescribed medications may cause side effects such as nausea, insomnia, decreased the sense of taste and smell which can all discourage you from putting an effort towards healthy eating.

One way around this problem is joining an elderly retirement facility whereas a resident, you will be relieved of any maintenance work and housework, but you will be given full support when it comes to medical help and advice regarding nutrition, health, and overall well-being.

For instance, at this contemporary dementia care facility, you will receive a holistic approach and will be provided with a full individualized care plan according to your specific needs, including a daily offer of well-balanced meals, rehabilitation and lifestyle programmes.

Healthy nutrition essentials

Well-balanced nutrition means you should include carbohydrate-rich foods, protein-rich foods and at least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. You also need to make sure you incorporate healthy fatty acids, iron, calcium, fibre, vitamins C, D, B12, magnesium, and you should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Dehydration in senior age is dangerous as it may cause confusion and drowsiness. In addition to moderate daily physical activity, sufficient water intake plays an important role in maintaining good health.

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for all ages, but particularly for the senior generation as they prevent inflammation that may cause heart diseases, cancer, and arthritis. It also reduces the risks of Alzheimer’s and slows down the progression of AMD.

The recommended dose of omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in soybeans, flaxseed, walnuts and various type of fish is three servings weekly, and you can also consult your doctor regarding supplements.

Essential vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients that the body needs to work properly and eating healthy, balanced and various meals will ensure you get all you need.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that has an important role in preventing heart diseases and cancer, in bone and teeth repair and wound healing. Its main sources are many fruits and vegetables, as well as supplements recommended by your doctor.

Vitamin D aids calcium absorption and helps maintain bone density which prevents osteoporosis.  It’s also influential in protecting against diabetes 2, MS, cancer and rheumatoid osteoporosis. It is produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight, but it should also be consumed through salmon, tuna, eggs, cereal, milk, and yogurt.

Calcium is a mineral so essential that in case of deficiency, your body will start reabsorbing it from your own bones which can lead to osteoporosis. For seniors, the RDA of calcium is 1200mg which is around 4 cups of calcium enriched almond milk, juice or soy.

Vitamin B12 is crucial for preserving red blood cell production and nerve function, but as you age, absorbing it from food like poultry and meat products becomes more difficult so you need the addition of various supplements.

Foods rich in fibre

In older age, the digestive system typically slows down due to the thickening of walls in the gastrointestinal tract which typically leads to constipation as the bowel movement becomes slower. Fibre-rich foods, such as whole grain wheat products, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and brown rice, can stimulate better digestion.

In order to be able to enjoy your senior years in happiness, comfort and good health, you need to have proper, well-balanced nutrition and stay active.

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