How do you stay healthy? Where do you get energy from? What do your food and fluid intake have to do with it? What else does it take to keep your health or win it back? How can you get senior information on good health? So many questions we have as we get older. We probably already know all the answers, but we have a tendency to forget them if we are not reminded. By the way, that is not a sign of dementia. It’s a sign that we are busy or preoccupied. It’s time to take some time to remember these health saving tips.
Studies show that by remaining energetic you can sustain both your physical and mental health. If you continue with the activities you like doing it will help to prolong your health. Maintaining your strength will help you keep your independence. Bear in mind, activity doesn’t mean joining a work out class. Walking, jogging and doing household work counts as an activity too.
As you age the requirement for energy tends to decline especially if physical activity is limited. But the need for minerals, vitamins and protein remains the same. It’s very important that you choose foods that are nutritionally dense, which means you still need to eat a range of foods to get all the minerals and vitamins you need, but with less calories.
You need to control your intake of fats, especially cutting saturated fat to enhance the health of the heart. However, above the age of 75, limiting fat is less likely to be helpful, and isn’t suitable
if the person is weak, has experienced weight loss or has very little appetite. In fact, in these conditions extra fat may be used to raise the calories in meals and snacks to help weight gain.
Older people experience bowel and constipation problem mostly due to reduced stomach inactivity. To overcome constipation, you should consume foods, fruit and vegetables that are high in fiber. But, bran and high fiber foods are not the end of the solution; they’re too large and may hinder with the absorption of some nutrients. To help your stomach work appropriately, you need to drink plenty of water, around eight glasses per day. (Did you get the puns in this paragraph? Nutrition doesn’t need to be a dry subject. Oops.)
Dehydration can make you feel tired or confused. It’s vital that you drink enough, even if you have to go to the toilet more often. The danger of dehydration can be higher in some seniors because your kidneys don’t do the job as well as those of younger people. Older people sometimes do not even realize they are thirsty. You have to assume that your body is, even if you are not. Water is the best fluid, but you can also drink fresh juices, tea and coffee.
Fit and strong older people should limit the intake of drinks and foods high in sugar, since they can damage dental health and contribute to weight increase when intake is too high.
Anemia is widespread in older adults. Poor intake of iron, due to changes in the gastrointestinal area, blood loss and the use of medicine – together with a reduced dietary ingestion – may be underlying factors. Make sure your intake of iron is adequate by consuming red meat and foods from non-meat resources every day.
Zinc is important for your health and to support the healing of wounds including pressure ulcers. Good sources of zinc include meat, shellfish and whole meal bread.
9. Calcium and vitamin D
Sufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium may slow the pace of calcium loss from bones, which begins at the age of 30 and speeds up significantly in later years. Foods which are rich in calcium include dairy products which should be eaten every day. Vitamin D comes frequently from exposing skin to direct sunlight, although some foods like breakfast cereals, fish and fortified spreads contain vitamin D. As you get older it’s wise to take a vitamin D tablet, as your body isn’t able to get the desired amount from the diet and weather in some parts of the world.
10. Vitamin C
You may have low vitamin C if you do not consume fruits and vegetables. Seniors tend to avoid crisp fruit and vegetables if their teeth are in poor condition. Foods you should eat to meet your dietary needs, aim to eat a mixed diet including usual meals and snacks, and drink enough fluid. Occasionally older people can no longer eat as much food at a solitary sitting, so include more nourishing snacks in between meals to improve nutrient intake.
11. Ideas for quick and nutritious snacks:
- Cheese, Peanut butter, bacon or meat sandwiches. You can use different breads and add vegetables.
- Toast with sardines, ravioli, cheese, spaghetti and cooked eggs.
- Fruit cake, biscuits or crackers with cheese, yogurt, fruit, soup, toasted muffins, and breakfast cereals.
12. If it’s hard to get to the stores, keep these staples in your pantry:
- Canned Meat and fish
- Fruit and vegetables: a selection of dried or frozen fruits and vegetables. Fruit juices are also very healthy
- Cereals, crackers, crisp bread, oats, rice and biscuits
- Other: stock cubes, soups, jam, gravy, pickles, honey and sauces
By including the above foods into your diet you can easily maintain your good health as you enter into your senior years. With this senior care information to remind you, there is absolutely no need to become old and frail too early!