How important is nutrition as we age?
Nutrition assists us when we age, as it helps our bodies remain fuelled for life and able to function as well as possible.
Here are some tips on how to eat nutritious food and drink as you grow older:
As we age, our calorie needs change because our metabolism slows down. This means we can often gain weight or have an increased risk of chronic disease. To combat this, we can improve the quality of our diet with lean protein, whole grains and more fruit and vegetables.
It is important not to reduce our protein when we reduce our calorie intake, as protein is crucial in the growth, repair and maintenance of tissue. Good choices for protein include lean chicken, non-fat or low-fat milk, cooked lentils, legumes, eggs and fish.
Many people forget about the nutrients that we gain from water and fluids. Ensuring we have sufficient fluid is important for our body, as basically all of our bodily functions rely on having enough water. The ‘thirst sensation’ decreases as we age and so it is important to drink enough water (1.5-2 litres per day for adults) to ensure we do not suffer from dehydration.
There are positive health benefits that occur from ensuing that our diet consists of antioxidants. There is no definitive data that shows these benefits can occur from supplements, but the research has shown that consuming fresh and natural foods that contain antioxidants such as whole grains, fruits such as berries and dark-leafy-green vegetables are beneficial to your health.
Ensuring you have enough vitamin D and calcium intake as you age is crucial for absorption and for the function of our nervous system, muscles and blood. Where possible, it is important to get your daily intake of calcium from food. Vitamin D is primarily created in the body when it is exposed to sunlight, and it can also be found in fortified dairy products.
For more information on how Home Caring health professionals can better support you at home, please get in touch for a free consultation.