6 Tips for Meeting the Special Nutritional Needs of Seniors

nutritional needs Senior Living Tips & Advice

6 Tips for Meeting the Special Nutritional Needs of…

Malnutrition costs the US $157 billion in related diseases each year. Seniors are the ones most susceptible to these complications.

As we grow older we tend to neglect our nutritional needs. This leads to heart, eye, brain, and muscle problems.

By maintaining a healthy diet, you can delay the onset of many diseases affecting seniors. Are you getting enough of these 6 nutrients needs?

1. Fiber

The average American doesn’t get enough fiber in their diet. If you aren’t eating whole foods, you aren’t getting enough either.

Fiber aids your digestive system, so your body moves food through the system absorbing nutrients. It also helps prevent heart disease.

What to Eat

Try to eat whole grains or beans. You can also get fiber from fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds also contain fiber, but these tend to be tougher to chew with extensive dental work.

2. Potassium

Potassium helps with cell function and bone strength. It also helps reduce kidney stones and blood pressure.

What to Eat

Eat more prunes and bananas to take in more potassium. You should get enough by eating fruits and vegetables at every meal.

3. B12

To create red blood cells and DNA your body needs B12. As the body ages, it becomes less able to absorb it from food.

What to Eat

To compensate for this, eat more fish, milk products, and poultry. You can also take a supplement if fish and dairy are not your taste.

4. Protein

Protein helps seniors maintain muscle strength. This is important to help maintain balance preventing falls and loss of mobility.

What to Eat

Eggs and chicken breasts are both rich in protein. Other good sources are cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and broccoli.

5. Calcium

As we age, we tend to consume less calcium. This is a problem as calcium is the building block for strong bones. Without it, bones become brittle and more susceptible to fracture.

What to Eat

Try to have three servings of dairy a day to help increase calcium intake. If you don’t like dairy, kale or broccoli are also good sources.

6. Omega 3

These are good fats that help relieve the symptoms of arthritis and degenerative vision diseases. It has also shown to help seniors maintain mental sharpness.

What to Eat

You should eat fish at least twice a week. It is most effective to stick to fish high in omega 3 such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon.

Track Your Nutritional Needs

The nutritional needs for seniors are not that different from younger adults. The difference is the diseases you prevent by eating a balanced diet.

You need to eat a well-balanced diet to address brain, cardiovascular, and muscular health. Calcium and potassium keep your bones strong preventing breaks and fractures.

Omega 3 and B12 keep your red blood cells and heart healthy. Protein keeps your muscles strong which will help keep you flexible. Finally, you need fiber so your digestive tract works to absorb all the other nutrients.

For more information on nutrition for older adults be sure to read about the vitamins to help prevent Alzheimer’s.