Proper nutrition is important at any age. Here are top nutrition tips to keep in mind as you or a loved one gets into the senior years.
Eating right and keeping yourself healthy is important at any age. As you get older, however, your body starts to change, and your nutritional needs may be different.
Changes in lifestyle, activities and bodily functions can affect your health as you get older. These can either help you keep healthy and fit, or make you unwell. Therefore, it is important to maintain health and balanced nutrition as you age. Here are 10 nutrition tips that you can incorporate into your diet and routine.
1. Go easy on the salt. Too much salt can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. Seniors, especially, should restrict their salt intake by avoiding high-sodium or salty foods such as cured meat, snacks, and sauces. Opt for low-sodium alternatives or play with spices to liven up your dishes instead of adding more salt.
2. Limit fat intake. Avoid food that are high in saturated fats and trans fats. Chips, chocolates, pastries, and fried food are high in saturated fat. They may also contain the more dangerous trans fat. If you want to indulge in these kinds of food, do so only occasionally. Or better yet, have healthier alternatives to stem your cravings.
3. Hydrate more. Water is vital in all the functions of the body, but as you age, you would need more of it. Drink water instead of sodas, coffee or tea, as these contain other ingredients such as sugars that your body doesn’t really need.
4. Watch your alcohol intake. Reduce the risk of alcohol related diseases by lessening your alcohol consumption or just completely avoiding it in the first place. As you age, alcohol intoxication may also greatly affect your balance and movement, which can increase your risk for injuries.
5. Take care of your bones. Osteoporosis, which is the decrease in bone density, is common in the elderly. Therefore, it’s good to start taking in calcium, vitamin D and flouride earlier on to avoid calcium loss as you age. Exercise and an active lifestyle is also important to keep your bones strong.
6. Joint care. Arthritis risk is higher for the elderly. Maintain a healthy weight, as being overweight can increase your risk for arthritis and increased pain in the hips, knees, ankles, and other joints.
7. Oral health. As you age, you begin to have some teeth and gum problems. Check your teeth regularly and make sure any missing teeth are properly fitted with replacement teeth through implants or dentures so you can continue to enjoy a variety of food and drinks.
8. Fiber is your friend. Eat food with lots of fiber, such as wholegrain cereals and bread, fruits and vegetables, as well as beans and lentils. This helps avoid constipation, which becomes common as you age.
9. Pack in essential vitamins and minerals. Proper nutrition is important especially as you age, where many deficiencies start to become apparent, affecting your well-being and overall health.
10. Prepare nutritious meals. It’s important to pack in as much vitamins and minerals into your meals. As you age, however, buying yourself groceries and preparing your own food can be difficult, especially as you become less mobile.
For help with your daily nutrition, exercise, nutritious meal preparations and other personal tasks, you may consider getting adult daycare and assisted living services for yourself or your elderly loved ones.