Healthy Nutrition and Aging
The physiological changes that occur naturally with age can lead to loss of appetite. Some of these changes involve digestion, hormones, disease, pain or overall changes to the sense of smell, taste and vision.
Though you may not feel as hungry anymore, your body still needs plenty of nutrients to stay strong, active and healthy. Proper nutrition can help you avoid unplanned weight loss, energy loss, chronic fatigue and illness.
What are the most important nutrients for older adults?
The five most important nutrients for older adults are:
Bones naturally lose calcium and other minerals as we age. Keep both your teeth and bones strong by boosting your daily intake of calcium.
- Vitamin D
Now that you’re adding calcium, your body needs Vitamin D to absorb it more efficiently. These two powerhouses can help prevent osteoporosis in many aging adults.
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential for proper nerve function and brain health. It can also help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Fiber is important for proper digestion as we age. It can also help ward off constipation and prevent other age-related issues like high cholesterol, diabetes and colorectal cancer.
Our aging bodies process protein less efficiently, so we need more to maintain muscle mass, strength and other physiological functions.
Getting older and staying healthy with proper nutrition
The dietary department at Bay Breeze Senior Living and Rehabilitation Center is dedicated to helping you get the proper nutrition and rehabilitation support you need for your unique health care needs. Get started today with these simple lifestyle changes:
- Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day
Make sure you’re getting the recommended daily amount of water to promote efficient body functions and healthy skin.
- Consider supplements
Talk to your doctor to find out how you can aid digestion, protect brain health and prevent bone loss with supplements.
- Eat nutrient-rich foods
Dark green leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats should account for most, if not all, of the food you consume.
- Eat plenty of fiber
Fiber helps promote proper digestion by moving food through the digestive tract more efficiently and protects you from many age-related illnesses.
- Add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet
Salmon, trout, flaxseed and walnuts are rich in omega-3s and can help keep your brain healthy.
Our certified dietary managers are dedicated to safe, effective senior rehabilitation services. Contact us at (850) 932-9257 to find out how we can help you maintain a healthy weight, stay energized and get the nutrients you need to thrive.