Food and a well-balanced diet have always played a part in our health and nutrition. This is one of the main reasons why eating nutritious food is integral in maintaining good bodily function and staying healthy. However, the idea of being “healthy” might change as we age. This is especially true when older generations will have slower metabolism due to the body going through various changes as we age.
Let’s face it: aging is an inevitable part of life. But even though aging might have a good influence on our metabolism and how our body works, maintaining a well-balanced and healthy diet will always be an essential part of our lifestyle. There are several reasons why a versatile diet is integral to the health of many older adults. Since fewer calories and nutrients are being processed into the body than younger individuals, nutritionists and professionals will put a good deal of effort into drawing up dietary plans.
Moreover, older adults are also known for having a disturbed circadian rhythm. An unsettled sleeping pattern will usually result in an imbalance in hormones and how the body is using calories.
Having a comprehensive daily diet plan is essential for the overall health of seniors and older adults. What are some crucial strategies in drawing up a health plan for older adults? Here’s what you’ll need to know.
What Should You Consider in this Diet?
But right before we discuss what you should be considered in such a diet, we need to consider essential aspects of an older person’s diet. Some changes to the body include:
- Changes in the senses — One factor that affects the diet of older adults is they will have weakened (or even altered) taste buds. If this is the case, then they will have changes to their personal preferences in food. Instead of using salt and sugar, you can instead use herbs and spices as an alternative.
- Weakened digestive system — The digestive system of an elderly adult will need more time to break down food into its primary nutritional forms. This means that the body won’t be able to absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively. Fiber and multivitamin supplements are essential in this situation.
It’s important to note that each elderly individual will have their own unique personal needs and wants. Whatever their pre-existing might be, you should first consult with medical professionals that are well-versed in this matter, especially those that deal with elderly individuals daily. Fortunately, you won’t look far since there are in-home care services that can help provide a versatile and well-balanced meal for elderly folks.
Start Eating Leafy Vegetables
First and foremost, one of the most critical parts of a colorful and healthy diet is through leafy vegetables. Contrary to what most people think, green veggies are a significant part of a diet and can even stop aging in their tracks. Most would suggest eating spinach, cauliflower, and kale which can help mitigate the effects of brain diseases and early signs of aging.
A crucial part of an elder’s diet is a lack of energy due to various reasons. Again, lower metabolism means they have lower energy, and a disturbed circadian rhythm also means that they won’t have the right amount of sleep. If this is the case, caffeine intake is an integral part of addressing energy problems.
Drinking coffee not only helps with boosting energy and motivating elderly folks into doing daily tasks, but this is also known for helping prevent neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and infectious diseases.
Last but not least, one of the most important things that elders should be focusing on is their intake of protein and calcium. Research suggests that around ten million individuals in the United States alone</a >have osteoporosis, characterized by low bone mass. A good percentage of this population are elderly individuals, which account for around 70% of fractures in the bones.
However, the dilemma here is that different sources of protein and calcium, such as milk, are known for being high in fat, which can cause cardiovascular problems if not regulated. What’s an excellent solution to this? Substituting products with low-fat dairies, such as Greek yogurt, is known for being a healthy source of protein and calcium without compromising any other system of your body. In addition, being low in sugar also makes it an even healthier alternative.
As you can see, the aging process will bring about a variety of changes to the body. This means that elders and older adults will require special nutritional and dietary needs. The bottom line for a more comprehensive elderly daily diet plan is to get nutrients from various sources.
Whether it’s getting lean protein, a good amount of healthy carbs, substituting greasy food, or fruits and leafy vegetables, the key to good health is knowing what your body needs. We all have unique biochemistry that we have to cater to. As with any other health concerns, it’s best to consult a medical professional in this matter.