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Alzheimer & Dementia Care

Best Healthy Foods for Senior Citizens

The Human body goes through different stages, and each stage has its own nutritional requirements. If someone ignores the value of taking a balanced diet according to his age group, then he/she may face several health challenges in old age. Although people of all ages have to take care of their diet, elderly people must be very conscious in terms of what they eat on a daily basis. If you are 60 or above, then you need to design your diet according to your body and age requirements. 

NOTE:  Always check with a doctor before making any major diet changes

You do not have to be a nutritionist to plan your diet. With just a little understanding of a balanced diet and food groups, you can plan a diet chart for yourself and can rightly fuel your old body so that it could function well for many years. 

Do you know that excessive intake of fats can put your body at risk of developing several types of cancers like prostate, pancreas or colon? 

There are many types of degenerative diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis, which are more likely to attack an old body. Such diseases are directly linked with food. Usually, older people restrict diets to certain kinds of foods only, or sometimes they cannot eat a sufficient amount of food. So, this results in micronutrients, which is a root cause of many diseases. 

The following are some best healthy food choices that older adults can easily eat and add in their daily routine. 

Omega-3 Enriched Foods

People of all ages, specifically old people, should incorporate Omega 3 fatty acids in their diet – these fats are beneficial as they can fight health issues like inflammation that ultimately takes the shape of chronical and fatal diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and rheumatoid. 

These natural fatty acids also work great in bringing down the pace of Macular degeneration. This is a condition in which the vision starts getting weaker day by day. According to many medical studies, Omega 3 fatty acids are also perfect for bringing down the risk of the development of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Omega 3 fatty acids are available in the following items:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Canola oil 
  • Soybeans
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts

According to nutritionists, one must take a bowl of Omega 3 fatty acids, at least once a week. Much better if you take it twice a week.  

Fiber-Enriched Foods

As we grow old, our digestive system starts getting weak and works quite slow. The thickness of the gastrointestinal tract and slow contractions become the reason for severe constipation as well. 

Therefore, elderly people should take a diet that is rich in fiber, as it will help in the promotion of a healthy and active process of digestion. There have been many medical studies conducted on foods that are rich in fiber – the results told that those who take a fiber-rich diet, their chances of developing heart diseases reduce largely. 

To add more fiber in your diet, you can start eating 

  • Nuts
  • Wholegrain bread
  • Wholegrain cereals
  • Brown rice
  • Brown pasta
  • Brown bread
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fruits

Lots of Water

The researchers at The Harvard School of Public Health created a pyramid-shaped diet chart for older adults. In that chart, drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water was something that was mentioned at the top slots. 

The process of aging reduces the body’s capacity to conserve water. It means that you start feeling less thirsty and ultimately you bring down the amount of your water intake. 

In case you are taking a fiber-rich diet, your body needs more water because fiber absorbs more water as compared to other types of diets/foods, leaving you dehydrated after a while, which causes drowsiness, fatigue, dullness, and many other symptoms can occur as well.

In case you are not habitual of drinking sufficient or required amount of water in a day, then you can fill small sized bottles and plan to finish them during 24 hours. In this way, you will know the amount of water you consumed by the end of each day.

Now how to check if your body is hydrated or not? The answer is pretty simple. Just check out the color of your urine – if the color is light yellow and transparent, it means your body is hydrated. In other cases, if you find it dark yellow and cloudy, then it means your body is dehydrated. 

In case you have kidney or liver issues, then do not forget to consult your doctor and ask him about the right amount of water you should take. 

Iron-rich foods

The foods that are rich in iron are vital for an older person’s health as iron produces hemoglobin. The right level of hemoglobin is crucial as it will carry uninterrupted and a sufficient amount of oxygen throughout your body tissues. If your body is facing the iron deficiency, then you may start feeling tired, lazy, and lethargic. The deficiency of iron is termed as anemia. 

This deficiency is widespread in old people. This is the reason why elders need to eat foods that are rich in iron. 

Here is the list of high-iron foods:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Eggplant, 
  • Silverbeet 
  • Broccoli 
  • White beans.
  • Lentils.
  • Soybeans

You should eat these foods to keep the iron level maintained in your body. 

Calcium-Enriched Foods

Calcium plays a vital role in keeping the bones healthy, strong, and in shape. It also helps in controlling blood pressure. According to many surveys, it was found that the intake of calcium starts decreasing, and that is the point where chances of developing iron deficiency start. Deficiency of iron can lead to bone reabsorption, which can leave your bones brittle, weak, and fragile. 

All dairy products are rich in calcium. You can have milk, yogurt and all type of cheese. You can also add a lot of green and leafy vegetables in your diet as they are also rich in iron. 

According to a report issued by the World Health Organization, a human being who is 60 years or above, should consume at least 1200mg of calcium every day. 

Final Words 

Conclusively, it will not be wrong to say that aging is a constant and natural process that cannot be stopped. With the right eating habits and regular physical activities, aging can be slowed down, and elderly people can live a healthy, active, and energetic life.

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