Elderly people have different dietary needs essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy diet can help prevent anemia, cardiovascular disease, and other serious health issues. Here are some ways to pack your diet full of essential nutrients.
Fiber is an important factor in keeping your digestive system healthy and regular. Our digestive systems tend to get slower as we age because the body isn’t able to regulate water retention as well. More fiber in your diet means your intestines are able to retain water, preventing constipation.
It’s important to eat protein, because this is what your body uses to build and repair tissues. This also helps your body maintain muscle mass and healthy skin. If a person is weak or ill, it can help the body heal more easily.
Nutrient-dense foods provide vitamins your body needs to stay strong and healthy. Vitamins D and B12 as well as calcium, magnesium, and iron are all essential for seniors. If you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals, you may want to consider taking a multivitamin or supplement. These nutrients are absolutely essential—they help your body with everything from fighting off infections to supporting your organs.
Grains are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which is your body’s primary source of energy. They’re also high in fiber and low in fat, making them a staple.
Water is vital at any age, though many of us probably don’t drink as much as we should. However, drinking water throughout the day has numerous benefits. Getting enough water helps prevent constipation, confusion, headaches, and urinary tract infections.
Though this may seem like a lot of foods to add in, you may be getting water, protein, and nutrients already depending on your diet. If you don’t drink a lot of water or have trouble sipping on water throughout the day, try eating foods with high water content, such as fruits and vegetables. If you aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals, consider incorporating foods like salmon, kale, berries, legumes, nuts, and sweet potatoes. Dietary supplements can also help you get the vitamins you need. (Just make sure to clear major diet changes with your doctor. Additionally, be careful if you’re on a restricted diet.)