In order to be healthy, seniors need to recognize how their bodies change with age and why certain foods are more beneficial than others. While everyone’s body is different, there are certain tips seniors should keep in mind when it comes to getting the nutrients their bodies need. Following these simple rules may help seniors to age better and lead fuller, richer lives.
Changes to Caloric Needs When Aging
Caloric needs change as we age. Although daily caloric needs depend on a lot of individual factors, we generally need fewer calories and more nutrients when we get older. To add to this, many elderly people do not move as much as they did when they were younger, meaning their bodies do not need as much energy (calories).
To ensure that you are getting the proper nutrition that your body needs, consider using a tool like Choose My Plate. The USDA offers this free online tool to help you choose the best foods for your body. The most important nutrients for seniors to receive include protein, vitamin D, and calcium. If you or your loved one is finding it difficult to consume enough of these nutrients or need additional help, you may benefit from a detailed care plan that includes meal preparation.
Bone Health for Seniors
Today, more than 10 million Americans — many of them seniors — are living with osteoporosis. Milk and other low-fat dairy products contribute to high levels of bone density, thus decreasing the risk of this debilitating condition. Every customized care plan for seniors must take bone health into account. Many plans encourage low-fat dairy products that contribute to bone health and supply many of the crucial nutrients — calcium, protein, and vitamins — that seniors need on a daily basis. In general, three servings of low-fat dairy products per day is the recommended target for maintaining strong bones.
Senior Nutrition Includes More Fiber
As bone structure changes, so do the needs of the digestive system. Fiber becomes more important as we age. Seniors may find that they have issues with digestive problems or discomfort, like constipation. High fiber foods help to stimulate the mobility of the intestines, which are heavily involved in digestion. In addition to aiding digestive processes, fiber also helps to reduce high cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels, both of which are necessary functions in maintaining good long-term health.
Do you or your loved one need assistance with meal planning and preparation? Sunny Days In-Home Care is dedicated to providing seniors with the specific care they need. If you are looking for in-home senior care, contact Sunny Days to learn more about our services and how we can help care for your loved one.