The human body functions depending on the nutrients it receives. These nutrients are provided in the form of a diet. Naturally, the body needs a properly balanced diet to function correctly. A proper diet provides the body with all essential nutrients to supply energy and other significant benefits.
Jane Byrne, Project manager at Firstcare, notes that, “Senior citizens usually have more specific dietary needs. This is because as we grow older, our bodies tend to change. Elderly people become slower, have less energy, and have more dietary needs than young people. They also suffer several other health challenges.”
For this reason, seniors may require specific kinds of food and nutrients to help boost their health. Below are five kinds of food that will boost senior health.
Fish, such as sardines, tuna mackerel and salmon are essential food for seniors. These foods are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and are vital for the elderly because they help prevent inflammation.
Among the elderly, inflammation can cause health challenges like cancer, arthritis and heart disease, to name a few. Research shows that fatty acids also help slow down the progression of macular degeneration, which is a condition that causes poor vision among seniors.
Other studies also show that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of brain diseases and Alzheimer’s. Therefore, food rich in these nutrients like fish, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil are essential for elderly people.
2. Dairy Products Like Milk, Yoghurt and Cheese
The elderly will also benefit from eating food rich in calcium, such as milk, yoghurt, or cheese. This is because their bodies require calcium to maintain healthy bones. Another benefit of consuming calcium is that it helps to lower blood pressure.
Failure to consume adequate calcium causes the body to reabsorb the bones’ calcium, resulting in fragile and brittle bones. This is the leading cause of osteoporosis in the elderly.
Some seniors may have difficulties absorbing adequate calcium. In such cases, they can be given calcium supplements.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains are also important, especially for seniors with difficulties maintaining their sugar levels. Whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibres and can help ease digestion patterns. Whole grain food can also help increase energy levels among seniors.
Seniors would also benefit from a healthy intake of fruits like apples and bananas. These fruits help supply them with energy because they are rich in vitamins and minerals. Fruits like apples contain high amounts of antioxidants, fibre and flavonoids.
These nutrients help fight cancer and reduce the likelihood of hypertension. Antioxidants also help increase the production of collagen, which helps promote healthy skin.
5. Ginger and Cardamom Tea
Ginger and cardamom are spices that help improve the blood flow in the body, which can help enhance a person’s mood. They also contain anti-diabetic elements which are essential for seniors with blood sugar complications. Research has shown that these spices also can boost immunity levels.
In addition to the different kinds of food mentioned above, elderly people also need to eat meals rich in iron, vitamin B12, and Vitamin D. These nutrients are essential in keeping their ageing bodies healthy. Seniors also need to take a lot of water and may even need to take supplements in addition to their diet, depending on a doctor’s recommendation.