For senior citizens, giving their body the right nutrients will help them stay active and independent. In addition, knowing the right foods will help seniors to maintain a healthy weight. This means that you will spend less time at senior care facilities, giving you more time to stay with your loved ones at home and enjoying the things you love. It is important that you know what you are eating and what it does to your body. Are you aware of the foods that help seniors stay healthy? Here are some of the beneficial diets for senior citizens.
1. Eat Foods Rich in Fiber
Foods that contain fiber are good for your digestion. For senior citizens, constipation becomes a nuisance and so it is important you avoid it. The best way to avoid constipation and indigestion is by eating foods rich in fiber. Soluble fiber helps in maintaining a healthy cholesterol level in your body. In case you are struggling to eat enough fiber, talk to your doctor to give you fiber supplements. Good sources of fiber include fruits and vegetables, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, oats and oat bran and also whole grains.
2. Diet Rich in Iron
Iron is important for the general health of your body. When your body lacks iron, you will feel weaker and therefore it is important that you ensure you take enough iron. Lean red meat is the best source of iron. You will also find iron in legumes like peas, lentils and beans. Oily fish, eggs, bread and green vegetables are also a good source of iron. Iron-rich foods reduce the risk of dementia in seniors. It is also important to prevent you from getting anemia, a condition that occurs due to low red blood cells. Note that for seniors, anemia will increase the chances of getting dementia.
3. Take Calcium-Rich Foods
As you age, your body needs more calcium. According to SeniorLivingHelp.org, seniors are more vulnerable to calcium deficiency compared to the younger people. Note that seniors with decreased calorie intake as a result of decreased appetite and illnesses are at a higher risk of calcium deficiency. The IOM recommended daily allowance for Calcium in seniors is 1,200 mg per day. This is achievable through diet, but for some seniors, it is important to take calcium supplements.
If you are not getting enough calcium from your food, make sure you speak to a doctor for advice on the best calcium supplements. Lack of calcium leads to brittle bones, a condition commonly referred to as Osteoporosis. Calcium can be found in canned fish, green leafy vegetables, soya beans, and tofu.
4. Vitamin D
Another important nutrient for senior citizens is Vitamin D. This is important for bone health and also helps in preventing Osteoporosis. You can get Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight and good dietary sources. Due to limited mobility, many seniors aren’t able to go outdoors as much as they would like where they can have exposure to sunlight. As an alternative, take eggs, oily fish, fortified breakfast cereals and fortified spreads.
Senior citizens also need foods rich in protein and starch. Remember to stay hydrated by taking enough water every day.