Super food for seniors
A balanced diet is essential to our overall health, whatever the time of year, but for seniors, nutrition plays an increasingly important role in their overall well-being and vitality. We’ve put together some top tips to make sure your loved one is getting the nutrients they need this spring.
Taking the time to listen to your loved one and understand their shopping and eating habits in the context of their overall dietary requirements is key. This is especially significant if an older person has an illness such as diabetes, heart disease, depression or even signs of dementia. We’d recommend the following:
• A diet that is low in saturated fats with five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
• Higher Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) of certain key nutrients than younger adults. For example, protein isn’t just for growing bodies – it helps seniors maintain body tissue, the immune system and muscle mass.
• Calcium is important to strengthen teeth and bones and reduce risk of osteoporosis.
• Vitamin D plays a supporting role, helping calcium function to its fullest extent.
• Vitamin B6 supports immune system function, assisting metabolism of food and formation of red blood cells.
• Seniors should stay well-hydrated – they need to make a point of consuming eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to help flush toxins from the body,maintain flexibility in the joints, relieve constipation, and maintain mental focus.
• Food storage and use of perishable items by expiration date should be stressed, and verified from time to time.
Asking your loved ones about their eating habits can also help you to determine whether they’re get enough nutrients. How have their tastes or preferences changed? Lastly, if you can, visiting your loved one during meal times or eating together can be beneficial for both of you – for you to see how they’re getting on with their meals, and for them to have a friendly face to talk to.
Want to find out more, why not take our handy nutrition quiz to help you.