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Healthy Diet for the Elderly

Healthy Diet for the Elderly

Your lifestyle choices, particularly when it comes to the food you eat, can have a direct impact on your health as you age. While it is so important to establish healthy eating habits when you are younger, it is vital to eat good foods to promote healthy aging in your advanced years. Elderly individuals have unique dietary needs and specific nutrients they need in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. In some cases, the right diet can even help slow the aging process. Health nutrition can help to give the elderly energy, fend off illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure, and give them the best quality of life they can have. There are numerous benefits to seniors simply eating the right foods, but what would that diet look like? What nutrients do seniors need to be consuming and how does that help them? The team at The Gables understands the importance of proper nutrition and ensures that their residents receive everything they need to create a healthy way of living.

Dairy Products – Calcium

We all know that dairy products contain calcium and that they are important in building and maintaining strong bones. As people age and the body begins to deteriorate, bones can get weaker which can cause them to potentially break easier. Osteoporosis, a bone disease, and bones breaking are a high concern among the older population. One way to help prevent that from happening is by having plenty of dairy products in an elderly individual’s diet. It’s not just dairy products that you can get your calcium from either. Some calcium-rich products you could include in a seniors diet could be food such as:

  • Low-fat milk, cheese, or yogurt
  • Leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, or broccoli
  • Soybeans and tofu
  • Sardines

Meats and Beans – Iron

Including iron in a senior diet will help keep up their body’s natural iron store. While iron also impacts the health of bones, it can also ward off anemia – which keeps you feeling tired and weak. Older people are already prone to losing their strength as they get older so it is important that they keep up on their iron intake to prevent fatigue and to help maintain their metabolism. You can find heavy stores of iron in animal products, mainly red meats, and also in beans. There are also some good other iron options to consider like:

  • Peas and lentils
  • Eggs
  • Bread and cereals 

Fruits and Vegetables – Vitamin C, Vitamin D & Folic Acid

While this may seem like the staple of all healthy eating, there are strong reasons why fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet – especially at an old age! Having vitamin C in your food will help your body to absorb and benefit from the nutrients it’s getting. This is a huge benefit for older bodies because they can have a hard time holding on to nutrients. Vitamin D will help older individuals develop and maintain muscle, bones, and teeth as well. Folic acid is also vital in maintaining good health as you advance in age. Examples of foods rich in these vitamins and minerals are:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Brown rice
  • Fish – salmon, swordfish, and tuna fish
  • Leafy vegetables and mushrooms
  • Whole grains and seeds

Smaller Meals More Often

Older individuals tend not to eat as much as they did in their youth. In order to make sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs, try having small meals with smaller portions often throughout the day. This will not only make sure you are able to eat all the healthy foods you are having but it can also help maintain your energy throughout the day without having to digest large portions of food. Along with eating smaller and more frequent portions of healthy food, make sure you are staying hydrated by drinking water all throughout the day as well. Fluids will help to make sure that your body is running smoothly. These foods packed with nutrients will help to promote a healthy and happy lifestyle as you advance into the older years. A healthy diet comes with numerous health benefits that can help to prolong your years and create the best quality of life for you and your loved ones.  

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