Eating healthy as we age can be a daunting task, especially considering the effects of aging and medications. However, with lifestyle changes such as clean eating habits, maintaining adequate nutrient intake is achievable at any point in life.
As we age, our relationship with food and nutrition can shift drastically. Cognitive health plays a major role in how you feed yourself – memory loss or dementia may make it difficult to plan meals and shop for groceries effectively. Additionally, those affected by diminishing senses of smell or taste may struggle to appreciate the appeal of certain foods they once enjoyed – putting them at risk for malnutrition if adequate assistance is not provided. To ensure your nutritional needs are met, consider engaging a Care Manager who specializes in supporting aging members of society. One way they can help is to find ways to maintain their dietary habits safely & properly as they age gracefully.
Inadequate digestion, constipation, and bloating are some of the side effects associated with slower metabolic rates. To aid this problem, water and fiber can provide invaluable assistance in restoring proper digestive systems. This is particularly helpful for those suffering from mobility issues or chronic illness; as well as those whose hormones may have altered their metabolism’s speed over time. Alongside these benefits comes protection against muscle wasting and weight gain that could lead to conditions such diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Reduced saliva production robs us of an essential enzyme for initial digestion, while tooth health and ill-fitting dentures may impede proper chewing. Swallowing difficulties that come with age further complicate matters when it comes to getting adequate nutrients from meals, regardless of whether they are prepared well or not.
Illness or disease, along with medications used to treat them, can cause major dietary disruptions, diminishing your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients from food. To ensure a balanced diet it is important to understand and manage the effects of medication on eating habits.
Taking control of your health is easier said than done especially if you’re trying to go it alone. A great way to ensure success in getting the best nutrition and physical activity for yourself, without having to fumble through labels or interpret doctor’s orders on your own, is hiring a care manager. This professional can help guide you towards making informed decisions about what foods will keep you healthy as well as appropriate exercises that meet any mobility modifications necessary for maximal results. They also attend physician’s visits with you or your loved one to make sure that the complete care plan is focused on wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to get the assistance needed so that taking good care of yourself becomes second nature.
To stay in optimal health, feed your body sensible portions of food from each food group that contains minimal sugar, salt, and saturated fats. Supplement this with protein-rich beverages to fuel muscles and don’t forget to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water as well as coconut water, milk, or soy milk (ask your physician) for extra electrolytes. Limit consumption of sugary drinks which add numerous empty calories and be sure to exercise regularly so you can maintain a healthy weight even if mobility is an issue. There are many activities available that have been tailored precisely for these circumstances.
Make sure to fortify your diet for healthy aging! Calcium, vitamin D, dietary fiber, and B12 are essential elements that can be obtained through wise eating choices or supplements. Reap the benefits of a balanced meal plan as you age gracefully.
If you or someone in your family are concerned about nutritional needs as you age, please give us a call at 317-300-5454 or email us at Shannon@AgingLifeCareConsultants.com to find out how we can help.