Changes in Elderly Nutrition rules
Health is wealth – this popular saying is applicable for all age group and for elderly people is more concern issue as the body immunity getting weaker at this period.
In this transition age period need to bring changes in the nutrition chart for the elders, some vitamins become more essential to maintain body metabolism. We can mention the below statement to point when we should make the nutrition changes,
“These recommendations should be addressed at different stages of life, and it’s probably safe to start thinking about them in your 30s,” says Helen Rasmussen, Ph.D., a registered dietitian at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, in Boston.
Include vitamin B12 in the diet table
We sometimes overlooked Vitamin B12 in everyday food preparation. Needed to make blood cells and improve cognition, vitamin B12 gets into the body along with animal proteins like eggs or meat. Vitamin B12 improves blood cells and cognition and for this need to ensure animals proteins in our diet table. ( e.g. eggs and meat are the great source for Vitamin B 12)
But the challenging part is that getting older the level of stomach acid starts decreasing and faced difficulty to dissolve Vitamin B 12 from protein.
The easy way to consume B12 from fortified cereal and supplements which is more instant absorbed by the body. So at the Starting of middle age, we should choose these types of fortified foods
Choose the good sources for potassium
At middle age, Blood pressure tends to rise. To fight this problem and reduce stroke and heart attack we need to intake less sodium and more potassium.
Besides, many other effects of medicine for hypertension, reduce both sodium and potassium levels in the body.
“Both of those electrolytes are necessary for a certain amount, but you need more potassium than sodium,” Rasmussen says.
To get potassium looks for fruits and vegetables, banana is always a high source of potassium, also the broccoli and baked potatoes (with the skin) have a great role.
Add new flavor in the menu…
With age, a drop in saliva and taste-bud power can leave some foods lacking “pop.” Don’t try to fix the problem by reaching for the salt shaker, says Rasmussen. “There are millions of other spices that don’t have sodium that you can enjoy.”
Reaching mid age our test buds lose its power to enjoy foods of different groups.
To solve this problem we can try some new food flavors and texture different from our regular kinds of stuff and keep in mind, don’t overcooked food to maintain the original aroma. Curry-style food with hot spices like hot pepper, lemon extracts, cumin, and coriander help to increase drinking more water.
An advantage of drinking water
While your sense of taste can decline over time, so can your sensation of thirst. In addition, certain medications—such as antihistamines and blood-pressure drugs—can make you more prone to dehydration. That means making a greater effort to get enough fluids.
Water decreases the risk of dehydration due to taking some drugs like blood pressure, antihistamine etc.
And it’s already found in many research that dehydration is one of the main reasons for elderly people to finish up in the hospital
The Institute of Medicine recommends that women drink about 2.2 liters, or 9 cups, of water a day, and men drink 3 liters or 13 cups. (Try to limit coffee, tea, and alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, which up dehydration risk.)
Be more concern about calcium
Calcium is good for our bones and is found in dairy products and other foods,
but Rasmussen says” people may still not get enough. (Lactose intolerance, which tends to increase with age, is one reason, she says.) Adults should get 1,000 milligrams a day, but that rises to 1,200 milligrams for women over 50 and men over 70.”
After forty our bones getting prone to lose bones density and calcium can help us to reduce the pain. Commonly people depend on dairy products for intake calcium but sometimes many elderly persons not responsive to dairy products as intolerance to it. It’s recommended to take Spinach, Okra, Soybeans, white beans, salmon, sardines, orange juice as the alternative source for calcium for this group of people
Increase your vitamin D intake
Vitamin D is needed for your body to absorb and properly use calcium. Unfortunately, this vitamin—naturally gleaned from the sun—can be hard to get depending on the time of year, where you live, and what you eat.
Out of all vitamins type, only Vitamin D is very available in nature as it comes from the Sun. But unfortunately, most of us miss getting maximum benefit from it.
Reasons behind it, daytime indoor working hours, time of years, our global living position etc.
But to absorb calcium even to the proper consumption of some medicine we need Vitamin D.
So, we need to be more conscious of this issue after forty. Fortified foods can be another source for Vitamin D.
Give focus on fiber
Our grandparents may have been onto something with their ever-present packages of prunes: The fiber in the shriveled fruit helps the digestive tract run smoothly.
Fiver helps us to ensure the smooth running of the digestive system, lose weight and lower blood cholesterol. Beans, whole grains, brown rice, popcorn, baked potatoes with skin, Berries, Oatmeal, and vegetables are some sources of fiber.
Avoid saturated fat
A middle-aged person’s diet should have good fat as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat that we can get from soybean low-fat dairy products, canola oil. These also give us vitamin K and E.
Fewer calories, less disease
As we get older, our body movement decrease which tends to store extra calories in the body. And extra calories ups heart disease, the risk of diabetics, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis risk
“Every bite should be crammed full of as many nutrients as possible,” says Rasmussen.
Limit unhealthy carbohydrate
Limit sugar intake is always a good choice to keep us healthy, to rest our pancreas and maximize the healthy nutrients consumption. Whole grains foods are the great source of healthy carbohydrate,
Be supplement savvy
We all know it well that food is the best source of nutrients, but we can’t fill up the recommended amounts from regular foods.
Rasmussen recently helped formulate a modified food pyramid for older adults. “We put a flag on top to remind elders to take supplements,” she says.
She recommends calcium and vitamins B12 and D. But overconsumption is dangerous too; you can easily end up getting too much of a good thing if you take supplements. Be a smart supplement taker and know the risks. Talk to your doctor about appropriate dosages.
Just make some changes in our diet at middle age can keep us fit and healthy. But before change please check with your physician.