Differences in smell and taste have an enormous impact on food choices. Stomach issues may lead to avoiding certain foods. Taking care of ourselves is important to minimalize nutritional deficiencies, dehydration or malnutrition, all issues impacting the older adult.
As natural resources are depleted it becomes more important to have proper nutrition. Vitamin supplements are helpful, especially when combined with a good diet.
Below are some healthy food options to obtain the nutrition your body requires.
- Low-fat dairy such as milk and yogurt… if dairy is not a personal option try dark green leafy vegetables or fortified fruit juices and cereals.
- Beans, eggs, and nuts boost protein. Muscles need this fuel to retain strength.
- Choose foods rich in fiber. Apples, oranges, bananas, spinach, broccoli, sweet corn and carrots are all excellent snacks.
The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommend you choose from these healthy foods every day if you’re 50 or older.
OUTSIDE FACTORS AFFECTING HEALTH
Poor nutrition is only one factor contributing to declining health. Fears of falling or safety impact many areas of a Senior’s life beginning with how they are able to go to the store for fresh food.
If you prefer not to cook or consistently dine alone getting a balanced meal is a challenge. Meals become erratic and snacking is more the norm. People over 50 need more calcium, iron, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Always avoid taking these or any supplements before consulting your doctor.
LIVING THE HEALTHY EXPERIENCE
Eat healthy and find an exercise routine to keep hearts pumping and muscles strong. Walk, join a community exercise class and discover new routines to keep moving. Improved health resulting from a nutritious balanced diet and exercise increases stamina and soon you are participating in a variety of exciting events… like a grandchild’s birthday party!
Shopping and preparing for balanced meals is time consuming and a bit of an effort. Evaluating nutritional balance is more difficult than it seems at first glance for many elders.
Seniors may experience malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies due to poor choices. Brain function, bone mass, heart health and immune systems are all negatively affected. Lifespan and quality of life begin to decrease.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
If concerned about yourself or a loved one, take note of the following signs pointing towards unhealthy eating or malnutrition. Early detection is important and makes a difference.
- ILL-FITTING CLOTHES
Clothes not fitting as well as they used to could be a sign of unintended weight loss or gain.
- MORE FREQUENT ILLNESSES
While long-term illnesses are good predictors being ill more often and longer is indicative of a weak immune system.
- KEEPING VERY LITTLE FOOD AT HOME
Fewer healthy options could mean poorer choices in meals and snacks, leading to lack of energy and poor nutrition.
There are many more years to be lived; some say the best times of one’s life. Make yourself a priority. Avoid taking chances with personal health!
Contact Bridge to Better Living® if you are considering a move to a Retirement Community where you are welcomed, safe and provided for.. Bridge to Better Living® knows communities and the amenities and services offered, including dietary. Visit BBL online or call 402-802-3301.