As people age, their nutritional needs change as well. Since older adults are not as active as they once were, what they eat and how much will need to be adjusted to suit their body’s current requirements. Like the younger population, older adults will still need plenty of fruits and vegetables, a portion of protein, and a good helping of carbohydrates. If you are tasked with preparing the meals of your older loved ones, it pays to know what a healthy plate of food should look like for them.
A Balanced Plate: Good Food to Keep the Elderly Healthy
Eating healthy does not have to be restricted to only fruits and boring, tasteless salads. This is true for an older adult’s diet as well. Here are a few tasty meal ideas to help you map out your meal plan for your older relatives.
1 – Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty acids are said to slow down the progression of Macular Degeneration, which usually leads to impaired vision. Fish like mackerel and salmon are excellent sources of Omega-3 Fatty acids.
2 – Calcium
Since the bones of older people may not be as strong as they once were, consuming food that has a high calcium content will help people avoid developing osteoporosis and other bone problems. Incorporating fortified orange juice, milk, soy, or other types of milk such as almond milk will do wonders for an older person’s diet.
3 – Fiber
Fiber is known as the broom of the digestive system. As people get older, their digestive system and its processes slow down. Having a healthy dose of fiber will help older people avoid becoming constipated. Various types of rice, brown bread, wholegrain cereal, and bread and fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber.
4 – Vitamins and Minerals
There are various types of vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function as it should. Fruits, vegetables, and protein sources will provide all these necessary vitamins, and minerals older adults need. You may also ask your relative’s physician if they may take vitamin supplements to make sure that they are getting the nutrients they need. This may be especially true for vitamin D. Vitamin D can be absorbed by the body when exposed to sunlight. However, if your loved one is unable to get out into the sun, you may give them supplements to provide the vitamins they lack.
5 – Water
Encouraging older adults to drink plenty of water will help ensure that their bodies can expel all the toxins that need to be excreted. The occasional consumption of sugary and carbonated beverages may not have to be banned, but it should not be done habitually.
A big part of helping your older loved ones stay healthy is making sure that they eat the right foods. Although you may allow them to indulge themselves once in a while, it is wise to have them adhere to a healthy diet most of the time.
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