Super Foods for Seniors - Advice on a Healthy Diet

Activity

Studies show that by remaining energetic you can sustain both your physical and mental health. If you continue with the activities you like doing it will help to prolong your health. Maintaining your strength will help you keep your independence. Bear in mind, activity doesn't mean joining a work out class. Walking, jogging and doing household work counts as an activity too.

Energy

As your age progresses the requirement for energy tends to decline especially if physical activity is limited. But the need for minerals, vitamins and protein tends to remain the same. It's very important that your food choices are nutritionally dense, which means you still need to eat a range of foods to get all the minerals and vitamins you need, but with less calories. 

Fat

It is strongly recommended to control your intake of fats, especially cutting saturated fat to enhance the health of the heart. Above the age of 75, limiting fat is less likely to be helpful, and isn't suitable if the person is weak, has experienced weight loss or has very little appetite. In fact, in these conditions extra fat may be used to raise the calories in meals and snacks to help weight gain. 

Fiber

Old people experience bowel and constipation problem mostly due to reduced stomach inactivity. To reduce this, you should try consuming foods, fruit and vegetables which contain high fibers. Bran and too much amount of high fiber foods are not the solution, though; they're too large and may hinder with the absorption of some nutrients. To help your stomach work appropriately, it's also significant to drink plenty of water, around eight glasses per day.

Fluid

Dehydration can make people feel tired or perplexed, it's vital to drink, even if you have to go to the toilet more often. The danger of dehydration can be higher in older people because your kidney doesn’t do the job as capably as those of younger people. Older people are also not as responsive to the sense of thirst. It is better to drink water more but you can also drink fresh juices, tea and coffee.

Sugar

Fit and strong older people should limit the intake of drinks and foods which are high in sugar, as it can damage dental health and contribute to weight increase when intake of is too high. But for people who have a poor desire for food, or who have lost weight, sugar-rich foods can be a helpful resource of calories.

Iron

Anemia is widespread in older adults. Poor intake of iron, due to changes in the gastrointestinal area, blood loss and the use of medicine - together with a reduced dietary ingestion - may be underlying factors. Make sure your intake of iron is adequate by consuming red meat and foods from non-meat resources every day. 

Zinc

Zinc is important for your health and to support the healing of wounds including pressure ulcers. Good sources of Zinc include meat, shellfish and whole meal bread.

Calcium and vitamin D

Sufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium may assist to slow the pace of calcium loss from bones, which begins at the age of 30 and speeds up significantly in later years. Foods which are rich in Calcium include dairy products which should be eaten every day.  Vitamin D comes frequently from exposing skin to direct sunlight, although some foods like breakfast cereals, fish and fortified spreads contain Vitamin. As you get older it's wise to take a vitamin D tablet, as your body isn't able to get the desired amount from the diet and weather in some parts of the world.

Vitamin C

You may have a low vitamin C if you do not consume fruits and vegetables. This may be since crisp fruit and vegetables are often avoided if your teeth are in poor condition.

Foods you should eat

To meet your dietary needs, aim to eat a mixed diet including usual meals and snacks, and drink enough fluid.  Occasionally older people can no longer eat as much food at a solitary sitting, so include more nourishing snacks in between meals to improve nutrient intake.

Ideas for quick and nutritious snacks:

  • Cheese, Peanut butter, bacon or meat sandwiches. You can use different breads and add vegetables.

  • Toast with sardines, ravioli, cheese, spaghetti and cooked eggs.

  • Fruit cake, biscuits or crackers with cheese, teacakes, yogurt, fruit, soup, toasted muffins, and breakfast cereals.

  • If it's hard to get to the stores, keep some essential foods in your cupboard:

  • Milk

  • Canned Meat and fish

  • Fruit and vegetables: a selection of packed or frozen fruits and vegetables. Fruit juices are also very healthy

  • Cereals, crackers, crisp bread, oats, rice and biscuits

  • Other: stock cubes, soups, jam, gravy, pickles, honey and sauces

By including the above foods into your diet you can easily maintain your health as you enter into your senior years. There is absolutely no need to become old and frail too early!

Senior Companions
Tip of the day!

Today you may be familiar with natural remedies for common conditions such as remedies for coughs, colds, skin rashes and insect bites. Many of these natural medicines are even recommended by your doctor. They are perfectly safe to use and offer no major side effects.

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