As one ages, the risks of malnutrition increases. Eating well is the key to stay sharp mentally, emotionally as well as physically. It is vital for everyone to eat right as it can make a vital difference in your health and how you look. Age related changes affect how the body processes food. These are some of the obstacles to proper senior nutrition needs.
Metabolism Slows Down
Metabolism slows down as the age of a person increases. So, this implies that continuing to eat same amount and kinds of foods as earlier may not serve the purpose. When your metabolism slows down, your body does not burn as many calories as you need to. You are now burning fewer calories and are less physically active.
Changes in Digestive System
As one gets older, the body produces fewer fluids which are necessary to process food in the digestive system. Thus, it becomes difficult for the body to absorb important nutrients. Your sense of taste and smell also diminishes. You may struggle with loss of appetite as well.
The physical ailments and prescription medicines also affect appetite. Also, it may become harder for the body to process certain vitamins and minerals which are otherwise necessary for good circulation.
Seniors who are depressed or feel lonely often lose interest in eating. They do not take care of their nutritional needs. For some, feeling down leads to not eating but others may trigger overeating and gaining unwanted pounds.
Proper Senior Nutrition Needs
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables come loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. These are essential for the well-being of an individual. The recommended ones include blueberries, red raspberries, dark cherries, leafy vegetables and frozen foods.
Proper hydration is as vital as a well-balanced diet. The best options include water and nutrition-conscious beverages. On the other hand, carbonated sodas may lead to unhealthy weight gain or may raise cholesterol levels. You can also eat foods with high water content like soups, grapes etc. unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
Include Whole Grains
Senior nutrition needs should include fiber and nutrient-rich foods to help your digestion. You can choose from brown rice, whole grain cereals, whole wheat bread and more.
Fulfill Your Calcium Needs
Calcium is important for everyone for bone health and in case of seniors, the need even rises more. They need to include calcium-rich foods in their meal. Generally, calcium supplement is paired with Vitamin D to offer you the best results.
High quality Protein
Proteins can greatly improve your mental well-being. They help to strengthen the resistance to stress and help improve the overall mood. These also help to combat depression and anxiety.
Don’t Forget Vitamin B12
You should look for foods rich in Vitamin B12 when considering senior nutrition needs. As your body loses the ability to absorb B12, it is a good choice to get it more through diet and supplements. This ensures adequate Vitamin B12 in your body.
Consider Dental Issues
Dental issues make it challenging to eat at later stages of life. Dental problems make it difficult to chew foods. The pain can reduce their intake of essential proteins and vitamins. It is essential to schedule regular visits with dentists.
Participation in Physical Activity
Along with balanced diet, seniors should also participate in physical activities on a regular basis.
Now, you know what the essential senior nutrition needs are; you can make necessary changes to their diet.
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