Good nutrition is essential at every stage of life. The role of good nutrition in maintaining good health is vital.
Good nutrition provides numerous health benefits–helps body to grow and function properly, increases mental acuteness, enhances resistance against diseases and infections, boosts energy levels, improves immune system, fast recovery and better prevention/control over chronic health problems.
As we age, the nutritional levels of food changes with the body. In the younger stage of life, we grab food much easier and never think of it twice.
But, in the later stages of life, eating needs more concentration and eating well is the key to stay mentally sharp, physically and emotionally balanced, energetic, with a good immune system and a positive outlook.
On the other hand, eating obstacles also crop up as we age and these obstacles develops with lifestyle changes, taste and appetite, metabolic activities, digestion, physical activity level, health problems and certain emotional factors.
Nutritional recommendations for older people
The primary step to eat well and maintain nutritional health is to determine what nutritional requirements the body needs.
Knowing what to eat and how much to eat is the key to maintain nutritional health. So, as we age, it is good to follow a few nutritional recommendations designed specially for seniors.
Similar to the changes in the body, the nutritional needs also change as age progresses. A regular review of diet is advantageous where doctor can assess the changes in nutritional requirements and help modify the diet accordingly to meet the nutritional needs. It is more advantageous for those seniors who develop specific medical conditions.
Here are a few guidelines for seniors to maintain good nutrition and good health.
- Control the salt quantity in the diet to avoid high blood pressure and water retention.
- Take care of fat intake in order to maintain good and healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood.
- Take more fiber-rich foods to keep constipation away.
- Include more calcium and vitamin D food items in the diet to prevent osteoporosis.
- Reduce intake of sugar and dry foods to avoid age-related problems.
- Ensure that you drink plenty of water and other fluids to maintain hydration in the body.
- Make sure that the diet contains all the essential vitamins, proteins and minerals in recommended quantities.
- Follow a regular physical activity regimen to stay healthy and active.
Apart from considering what you eat, it is important to consider how you eat. In other words, concentrate on eating efficiently to control the body weight and maintain good health. So, include foods in your diet that increases nutritional value but not calories.
Foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains are good sources of protein and dairy products such as milk, curd, butter are good sources of calcium. Remember that processed foods and refined foods are rich in calories than nutrients, which is why you often feel hungry even after consuming them.