As seniors age, they need to be very careful about the nutrition intake. Our bodies go through a multitude of changes as we grow older and nutrition becomes a critical component of staying healthy. Here are some of the vital nutrients that play a greater role in ensuring the well-being of seniors along with some tips to help you get your recommended allowance in each meal.
Filling Your Plate
Every time you sit down to eat, you have another chance to fill yourself up with the necessary nutrients that will keep you feeling good and staying strong. Your plate should be filled with a balanced diet of lean proteins that come from meats, eggs, and seafood, a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains like whole wheat pasta and brown rice, and low-fat dairy products. Select foods that are high in fiber and keep your salt and sodium intake to a minimum.
Read Your Labels
Before you put anything in your cart at the supermarket, read the labels to help you choose only low-fat foods without added sugar and salt. It’s best to stay with whole foods and reduce your intake of packaged alternatives as they may not offer the proper nutrient intake for a healthy lifestyle.
Vitamin D and Calcium
These are two of the most important nutrients for seniors as they both promote bone health. When we age we begin to lose bone mass and eating foods or drinking milk that is rich in vitamin D and calcium can help to reduce the loss of bone density. You can also find these things in fortified cereals, canned fish, fruit juice, and certain leafy green vegetables. If you’re concerned you’re not getting enough of these nutrients, you can take a multivitamin or supplement that supplies one or both in each dose.
Lowering your sodium intake while boosting your daily servings of potassium can help reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure as you age. A variety of fruits and vegetables offers potassium as well as low-fat and fat-free milk and yogurt. Putting these things into your diet will help you get the right amount of potassium.
Seniors sometimes don’t get enough B12 and eating more lean meats and fish, as well as fortified cereal, can help increase your intake of this vital nutrient. You may also want to ask your doctor about taking a vitamin B12 supplement with each meal.
Drink Plenty of Water
One of the most important components of staying healthy whether you’re young or old is to stay hydrated. This is even more critical for seniors as water helps to flush the system and keeps all of your vital organs working properly. So place an emphasis on getting enough water every day and skip the drinks that are high in sugars and salt. Tea is a good alternative!
Recommended Daily Servings
Our nutrition needs change as we get older and that includes consuming only what you need to get the right balance of the major food groups. Anything more and you could start to gain too much weight. So check out the daily recommended serving sizes for seniors to ensure you’re not eating more than you need.