As you age, getting adequate nutrition can be a challenge and the number of calories you need begins to decline. Here you will get to know about the best nutrition for older adults.
What is nutrition?
Nutrition is known to be as building blocks of life. It is the source of energy and a key to develop and maintain good health. Some of the vital nutrients to lead a life include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water. When we begin to digest foods the absorption of nutrients starts.
Good nutrition means getting the right amount of nutrients from healthy foods in correct combinations. Perfect knowledge about nutrition and opting for smart choices about the foods you eat can help you achieve optimum health, and also keep obesity and chronic diseases at bay.
Nutrition is essential for physical, mental and social well-being. It works during the entire life-cycle of an infant, adolescent, adult and seniors. But, seniors or older adults become less efficient at absorbing some vital nutrients. Their ability to taste food declines and it also becomes difficult to chew or digest for them.
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Nutrition- A global challenge for older:
The number of older adults aged 60 and above is growing at a constant rate, and trends are likely to continue unabated. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the year 2002 there were an estimated 605 million older persons in the world. By 2025, the number of the elderly tends to increase worldwide to 1.2 billion, which is a massive concern because of their vulnerability to malnutrition.
It has been reported in studies that attem1pts were made to provide them with adequate nutrition, but many problems encountered. This is so because their nutritional requirements are not well defined and also their lean body mass and metabolic rate decline with age.
Essential nutrients for older adults:
As the age progresses, the body respond differently and also require certain nutrients that are vital for good health. These include the following:
Fiber- A diet rich in fiber can do wonders, as it helps the bowels move regularly and also lowers the risk of constipation. Fiber-rich foods are also beneficial for the heart. Moreover, it also reduces the risk of various chronic conditions like heart disease, obesity, and some cancers. It is highly recommended for men above 50 to eat 30 grams of fiber a day. Whole-grain bread and cereals, pulses like beans, peas and lentils, and fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of high fiber.
Potassium- For older men it is advisable to increase their potassium intake, as it will help them fulfill their nutrients intake. Reliable sources of potassium include fruits, vegetables and low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. To get the most of potassium benefits lower your intake of sodium by replacing salt with herbs and spices. Doing this will reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Calcium and Vitamin D- Older adults require extra calcium and vitamin D to maintain their bone strong and healthy. Low-fat dairy products like milk and yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables, and canned fish with soft bones are some of the options for older men to maintain their bones strong. Additionally, if you are taking calcium supplements or multivitamins, make be sure to choose that contains vitamin D.
Vitamin B12- For healthy nerve function and for creating red blood cells vitamin B12 is necessary. According to experts, getting enough vitamin B12 is a challenge for older people because they find difficulty in absorbing it from food. To get the sufficient amount of vitamin B12 eat foods like meat, fish, eggs, milk, and its products. If you are a vegetarian talk to your doctor about the supplements, you can take.
Water- Water is crucial because it keeps you hydrated. As people age, their thirst decline and certain medications also increase the risk of becoming dehydrated. If you eat a lot of fibers, then water plays an important role, as it absorbs water. So, it is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep hydrated.
Be fit and active:
An active lifestyle combining with a healthy diet is the best recipe for healthy aging. Try to indulge in some physical activity for at least 30 minutes for most days. You can perform brisk walking, jogging, or a morning walk to get yourself fit and fine. If you find difficulty in performing these, you can do what interest you like gardening or play with your tiny tots.
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Old age requires attention and care, and the right amount of nutrition can do wonders. Following the diet plan mentioned above can help you lead a happy and ordinary life. So, choose healthy foods and be smart no matter how old you are!