As we grow older, our bodies start to undergo drastic changes. This is especially true for the way that our bodies process nutrients. Certain types of vitamins and minerals may begin to have a hard time being absorbed by the body, so it can be challenging to stay healthy in old age.
There are specific foods that elders in senior care homes or in independent senior living setups can consume in order to maintain their health and wellness. While they do not cure any ailments or prevent conditions like dementia from occurring, these foods can benefit elders greatly.
Seafood has many benefits that senior citizens can receive if they have regular helpings of them. Crustaceans like crab and lobster, oysters and scallops are packed with minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals can help promote and maintain brain function.
Speaking of seafood, senior citizens can also turn to other kinds of marine life if they have any allergies to shellfish. Fish like tuna, salmon, tilapia and flatfish all have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids that carry huge benefits for the heart and brain. As with shellfish, consuming fish should also be done in moderation in order to avoid mercury poisoning.
Oxidative stress is perhaps one of the most dangerous things a senior citizen will face, which is why including berries in a diet for an elder is important. Blueberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, raspberries and other dark skinned berries are rich in antioxidants that can help fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.
Another food source that seniors can get their antioxidants from is chocolates. Chocolate–specifically dark chocolate–is also full of antioxidants. Eating it in moderation helps with heart health. It can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart attacks as well as strokes.
Another downside to aging is that our cognitive faculties can deteriorate, which is why conditions like dementia and Alzheimers are common among elders. However, following a diet that incorporates leafy greens can help lower the risk of developing cognition related conditions. Vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach and other edible dark green leaves can help maintain cognitive function for seniors.
Greek yogurt is a low sugar alternative to regular yogurt, and has a higher protein content. It’s also packed with good bacteria that helps with digestion, which is a process that often slows down in older people. Apart from probiotics, Greek yogurt also contains various essential nutrients such as potassium, calcium, protein, vitamin B12, B2 and phosphorus.
One of the reasons why seniors often end up visiting the doctor frequently is because of dehydration. Elders often find themselves dehydrated due to the physical and mental changes that are happening to them; some are not even aware that they are dehydrated. Watermelons and other fruits that have a high water content are useful to keep elders hydrated while also helping them meet their other dietary needs.
Seniors should pay attention not just to their medical prescriptions but also to their diet. Each elderly person has different nutritional needs, so if they are in senior homes or are in an independent senior living setup, they should enlist the help of their caretaker to make sure their nutritional requirements are met.