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The Importance of Good Nutrition to Aging Seniors

April 17th, 2014 · 10 Comments

Senior Health & Nutrition

When we mention the elderly, we usually are referring to anyone over seventy-years-old, with the baby boomers now rapidly coming up behind them. As we grow older we often have trouble maintaining a fitness regimen.

Our body is aging and we are having trouble making the effort to work out. We just don’t have the energy or the desire anymore, even if we did in the first place. Unfortunately, when that happens we begin to lose our ability to develop muscles or gain strength.

It’s a two-edged sword. We don’t have the energy to work out, and when we don’t work out we lose muscle and grow weaker and our energy declines even more. We are more inclined to have health problems as our bodies start winding down. We have this ailment or that surgery and we feel like we are falling apart.

This is the time when we really need to concentrate on our nutritional needs. Not only does our body change as we age, but so does our nutritional requirements. We need to make sure we take our daily vitamins and stay hydrated to help us remain strong.

If we live any length of time at all, sooner or later aging eventually catches up with us. How we choose to handle the aging process will determine whether we continue to live the lifestyle we desire.

The Importance of Good Nutrition

Good nutrition plays a major part in how well we age. When we focus on what we can eat rather than on what we cannot, it helps us maintain a positive attitude toward our diet. Beginning the day with a good breakfast will help our blood sugar stay at the correct level for us. Surprisingly, it will also help us not over eat later in the day.

We can get most of the nutrients we need by eating the right food. Heeding the suggestions on this list will help us maintain a positive attitude toward our diet and will encourage us to eat the right foods for our body. This list is not in any particular order of importance.

Lean meat and fish. Lean meat, skinless chicken, and broiled or baked fish will provide you with the protein you need. Fish and shellfish that are high in Omega-3 fats are especially helpful in protecting you from experiencing irregular heartbeat, memory loss, and dementia.

Fruit and vegetables. Eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruit helps keep cholesterol levels down and your heart much healthier. Plant-based foods ward off chronic disease. Eating a variety of these foods provide the necessary fiber you need as well as many of the vitamins and minerals that will keep you feeling good.

Low or nonfat dairy products. Most people know from numerous television ads the importance of drinking milk. Rich in calcium and vitamin D, consuming low-fat milk and yogurt can also help give you strong bones and teeth, and help prevent osteoporosis.

Whole grains. When you eat whole grain products such as whole wheat bread you get a lower calorie food that is loaded with nutritional value. Research reveals that eating whole grain products helps protect against type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Coffee and tea. In recent years a growing number of studies have shown the health benefits of drinking coffee. Not only does the brew help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, but it also helps protect age-related memory problems such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

While experts recommend three to five cups of coffee a day if you want to lower your risk of memory-related issues, you need to judge how drinking that many cups of coffee may affect you. Some people start getting shaky hands after just two or three cups.

Some people prefer green tea, although most types of tea are considered a healthy choice. Remember that adding cream and sugar to your drink will add calories. Also, you should not add sugar or other sweeteners to your drinks if you are a diabetic.

Antioxidants. Tests show antioxidants slow the decline of brain loss due to aging. They help protect against memory loss and dementia. Vitamins C, E, and A are especially important, as are walnuts, dark chocolate, blue berries, and grape juice. Nuts are high in fat, but the fat is mostly unsaturated which helps protect against heart disease. Walnuts are especially good for the brain.

Daily multiple vitamins. Proponents believe that people who do not get their dietary needs met through their meals should take a multiple vitamin to make sure they get everything they need.

Eating the right foods, getting plenty of exercise, and maintaining a positive attitude towards life all work together to help us seniors stay active and aware of the world around us. Good nutrition plays a huge part in keeping us strong as we fight the aging process.

You can find much more information about this topic by reading Senior Health and Nutrition on Amazon.com. The book is currently only available on Amazon Kindle.

Tags: Healthy Lifestyle · Personal Health


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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 TimothyTorrents // Apr 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    My mom started going to the gym again and she lost a bit of weight. Regular exercise is also quite important!

  • 2 Salma // Apr 17, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    This is a lot of great information. My parents are not in their 70’s yet, but they are in their 60’s and this is good advice to get started even earlier. I’m definitely going to share it with them. Thanks!

  • 3 Marilyn Thompson // Apr 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    Great advice for all ages not just seniors, thanks Edie!

  • 4 Bonnie Gean // Apr 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Coffee and I have a long love affair and I cannot imagine never having it on a daily basis. I do know there’s a time when I need to stop drinking it though because it affects my sleep!

  • 5 Michael // Apr 17, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Excellent post. Nutrition is essential for people of all ages, but I’d imagine that it is even more important for the elderly.

    I’m glad to see that coffee has those health benefits! I love it!

    Michael

  • 6 Edie // Apr 18, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Timothy, yes exercise and eating the right food are both important in becoming and staying healthy.

  • 7 Edie // Apr 18, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Salma, I’m glad you are going to share this information with your parents. It’s never too late to start eating the right foods.

  • 8 Edie // Apr 18, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Thank you, Marilyn. It is important for all age groups.

  • 9 Edie // Apr 18, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I drink coffee, but I also think it is good for keeping dementia at bay – at least from what I hear.

  • 10 Edie // Apr 18, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Michael, thank you for your comments. Nutrition is essential and thankfully coffee is a part of that. I’m an avid coffee drinker as well.

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