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A lot of health problems can arise as we age, such as memory loss, mobility issues and various other medical conditions. They signify a decline in physical and mental health and can further lead to serious health issues among the elderly.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance for seniors to try and control this decline, while also working on maintaining their overall well-being. One of the best ways is to follow a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
Why is Nutrition Important for Older Adults?
Experts suggest that the lack of a proper diet is the primary cause for most of the diseases that affect the elderly population. Since seniors can sometimes face issues such as loss of appetite, it can often result in severe nutrient deficiencies.
Although, there are different ways through which seniors can prevent these health issues and deficiencies, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is one of the most effective ways to do so.
With that in mind, here are some important nutrition tips that can help the elderly stay fit, healthy and active during their golden years.
1. Drink Enough Water
Even though this might be one of the most obvious nutritional tips, drinking enough water and staying hydrated is extremely important for seniors. Sugary drinks or caffeine are known to cause dehydration among senior adults. So, they can choose to avoid such drinks and maintain a habit of drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day.
2. Go for Fiber-Rich Foods
Fibre is an essential carbohydrate that is known to keep the digestive system healthy and clean. Incorporating fiber-rich foods in their daily diet can prove to be one of the best home remedies for constipation among seniors.
Apart from this, fiber-rich foods can help with healthy aging and promote healthy cholesterol levels while keeping the blood pressure in check.
3. Fruits & Veggies
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Seniors, however, need to include at least 5-6 fruits and vegetables in their daily diet, so that their body can receive the ideal quantity of proteins and nutrients. This is because many adults above the age of 65 tend to experience a loss of appetite and incorporating different fruits and vegetables can help them maintain the nutritional value of their diet.
4. Keep an Eye on Nutrition Labels
Purchasing packaged and canned food is an ideal option for senior adults who live alone. However, one of the best ways to ensure that the food does not contain any added fat or sugar is to check the nutrition labels. This will help them keep a check on the nutritional value of their meal and can help them to choose the ideal kind of food for their diet.
5. Healthy Fats
Contrary to popular belief, there is no need for seniors to eliminate all types of fats from their diet. Instead, they should focus on cutting off saturated fats as they can lead to high cholesterol levels. They must include foods that contain healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, fish, etc. These types of foods can protect senior adults from various diseases and can also improve their mental well-being.
6. Include Vitamin-Rich Foods
Vitamins and nutrients that can help in maintaining bone density while also promoting overall health are essential for seniors. These include vitamins such as Calcium, Vitamin B, Vitamin D and others. They are an important addition to the diet and offer various benefits for the body. Dairy products, leafy vegetables, fish, cereals, etc. can help the elderly in adding essential vitamins to their daily diet.
7. Reduce Consumption of Sugar
Diabetes and fluctuating blood pressure are common health problems among the elderly. Although seniors love indulging in delicious, sugary treats, they may need to cut down on their overall sugar consumption. Instead, they can opt for nutritional food that offers an ideal number of proteins and nutrients, along with different types of naturally sweet fruits. For people with a sweet tooth, sugar substitutes are a great choice.
8. Plan Their Meals
One of the most important nutritional tips that seniors must follow is to plan their meals every week. This would allow them to have better control over what they eat and can also help them maintain a healthy diet for a longer period. Planning meals will also stock them up on essential food items and encourage them to include healthy snacks in their weekly diet.
9. Nutritional Supplements for the Elderly
Apart from eating fruits and vegetables, one of the best ways for seniors to ensure ideal nutrition in their diet is to go for nutritional supplements. These supplements can help them achieve their nutrition goals, further helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Before including any kind of supplements in their diet, they must consult their doctors to confirm whether it is safe for them.
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