Diet Options for The Elderly
A healthy life and a proper diet go hand-in-hand. This is especially the case for adults who are over the age of 65. The Word Health Organization older people tend to suffer from diseases because of their lack of a healthy diet. For example, cancer of the pancreas, colon, and prostate is linked to the fat present in food.
The following are some of the age-related issues you are likely to suffer from as a senior citizen –
- Sensitivity decrease that requires more time and energy to trigger stimulus especially of the sense of taste and smell. Most elderly people fail to distinguish between fresh and stale food.
- Side effects of medication: Side effects reduce appetite causing weight loss and unhealthy weight management. They include change of perception of the taste of food, appetite reduction, and even nausea.
- Poor oral health: The elderly tend to miss a few teeth and fail to maintain healthy oral hygiene. This makes it difficult for them to chew and it causes a reduction of appetite.
- Financial issues: Limited resources leads to stress and lack of proper nutrition. This results in the development of nutritional deficiencies.
- Transportation issues: Shopping for nutritious ingredients gets more difficult because of the constant loss of energy and challenges faced when a person goes shopping. This discourages most elderly people from shopping for nutritious options making them settle for non-nutritious ones.
- Poor physical wellbeing: As people age, they become weak due to the development of the disease such as arthritis. This pain makes it difficult to conduct daily tasks such as carrying groceries and even cooking.
The diet of an elderly person should incorporate the following three main options:
- Fruits and vegetables. The person should make sure that they have at least five portions a day.
- Foods that are rich in protein such as beans and salmon.
- Foods that are rich in carbohydrates such as brown rice and sweet potatoes.
The following are some of the foods that will help improve the overall health of an elderly
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: They prevent inflammation which is the main cause of the development of cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, rheumatoid, and even cancer. It also prevents loss of vision, risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and boots brain activity. It is present in walnuts, canola oil, soybeans, salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, and flaxseed.
- Foods rich in calcium: This will help strengthen the bones, lower the blood pressure, and prevents osteoporosis. It is present in foodstuffs such as calcium-fortified cereals, leafy greens vegetables, cheese, yogurt, soy, fortified orange juice, and milk.
- Foods rich in fiber: The gastrointestinal tract tends to work less effectively as a person grows older. This means that the functions are performed at a slower rate making the person likely to experience constipation. Fiber reduces the chance of this and the risk of developing heart disease. It is present in foodstuffs such as vegetables, fruits, brown bread, brown rice, pasta, wholegrain bread, wholegrain cereal, and nuts.