What’s Important to Know About Nutrition if You’re a Senior
As we age, our metabolism slows down. As a result we need fewer calories. Because we need fewer calories, it’s important that the calories we take in, are from nutrient-rich foods. Nutrition is important for proper function of the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems. Proper nutrition can ward off potential health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
So what are some of these nutrient-rich foods?
- Healthy Fats: seeds, nuts avocados, fatty fish and vegetable oils
- Whole Grains: brown rice, whole grain cereals and whole wheat bread
- Fiber: raw fruits and vegetables
- Protein: beans, eggs, chicken, fish and lean meats
- Low-fat Dairy: cheese, yogurt and milk
- Remember, healthy eating will also help you maintain a healthy weight and will work wonders for your energy level.
Seniors Need B12
B12 is needed for a healthy nervous system and cardiovascular system. Lack of B12 has also been associated with memory and cognitive problems. For seniors the body’s decreased ability to absorb B12 can quickly become a deficiency and require a B12 supplement. You may want to ask your doctor if B12 supplements are right for you. Be sure to include these foods high in B12 in your daily diet: shellfish, beef liver, fish, fortified cereals especially bran cereals, red meat, skim milk, cheese and eggs.
Rough It Up
High fiber foods aid digestion and cut down on constipation, and provide a lot of vitamins and minerals. High fiber foods can help maintain your weight and reduce the risk of heart problems. Corn, beans, avocado, whole wheat pasta and bread, pears, brown rice, oatmeal and raspberries are among the highest in fiber.
Why Is Water Good for Seniors?
Over time the percentage of water in the body falls. The body is normally made up of 60% water which falls to about 50% in seniors. Because of this reduction, seniors are at a risk for dehydration. First, their sense of thirst decreases with age, so seniors often don’t feel thirsty and as a result drink less water. Secondly, as people age, their kidneys have a decreased ability to concentrate urine. These two things contribute to dehydration. Some symptoms to watch out for include: dry, sticky mouth, muscle weakness, headache, sleepiness or tiredness.
Dehydration can contribute to memory and cognitive problems as well as constipation. It is important to remember to drink fluids throughout the day in order to avoid these problems.
Erin go Bragh…You can attend a St. Patrick’s Day event without hearing the cry, “Erin go Bragh”. Roughly translated it comes from the Irish “Eirinn go Brach!”, or “Ireland Forever!”
Since 1962, the city of Chicago celebrates St. Patrick’s Day by dumping green dye into the Chicago River. It takes 40 tons of dye to get the river to a suitably festive shade!