The Importance of the Right Nutrients Later in Life

Healthy eating and nutrition for the elderly is greatly impacted by several factors, one of them being a change in body composition. Usually, bone and muscle mass decrease as a person gets older due to diminishing hormone levels.

Many things can have an effect on an elderly person's health. The following advice will guide you in leading a healthy life at any age.

Water- Elderly people have a harder time staying hydrated because it is more difficult for our bodies to store and use water the older we get. At times they either don't feel the thirst or simply forget they are thirsty and don't bother to pour a glass of water. A good rule of thumb to stay hydrated is to drink at least one ounce of water per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

Protein At this stage in life, protein is very important. The importance of protein in regard to the health of the immune system as well as maintaining muscle mass cannot be overstated. Elderly people should be able to consume high quality protein such as lean meats, eggs, and fish since they require less calories than younger people.

High fiber carbohydrates are also very important as a basic source of energy for the body. Foods high in carbs are usually bread, pasta, cereal and other grains. A diet that's high in fiber and water will help to prevent constipation as well.

Fat- Fat intake for the elderly should be limited, not eliminated. Fat consumption can be dimished by choosing low fat alternatives such as lean meats, non-fat dairy products, and making sure that the food is prepared without deep frying it.

Iron For the Elderly Iron deficiency can be seen with those who aren't eating much. Iron can be found in foods such as lean beef, cereals, broccoli, spinach, and kidney beans to name a few.

Zinc: Zinc intake is normally with the elderly, and to make matters worse, it's not absorbed very well either. If you are looking to increase your zinc intake, you can find it in foods such as beef, crab, trukey, chicken, salmon, and lobster.

Calcium- It is a very important element to keep healthy bones, but most elderly folks don't get enough of it. Some elderly folks avoid milk because they feel it might upset their stomachs. They should be getting around 1,500 mg of calcium a day, and nonfat powdered milk can be used in recipes as a substitute for milk. Other foods such as yogurt, low fat cheese, and broccoli can also help you meet the requirements for calcium.

Vitamin B12- In order to absorb the benefits of B12, the intrinsic factor must be produced by the stomach. Most elderly people suffer from a deficiency in B12 because they have a condition known as atrophic gastritis. This condition can lead to an inflamed stomach and bacterial overgrowth. Without the intrinsic factor, this vitamin can be absorbed.

The nutrients mentioned above are crucial in keeping an elderly body in good health. Elderly individuals should try to stay active and strive for a well balanced diet. Even though an elderly body lacks the vitality of youth, there is no reason why with the right nutrients and healthy habits an elderly person can't live a long and healthy life.

If you are looking for other health and wellness resources for seniors or the elderly, please don't hesitate to stop by our website where you can learn about personal alarms for the elderly, medical alert monitors, and personal emergency response systems.

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