OLD AGE – START GOOD NUTRITION FOR GOLDEN YEARS
As an adult when we are searching for new adventures busy in our own routines and kids we sometimes neglect our own health and our aging parents health too. For our parents taking them to doctor and paying medical bills is not always the solution.With ageing they have developed so many complications and some point of time it’s our responsibility to take one step back from our so called HECTIC BUSY life,look for their NUTRITIONAL needs. Because am sure at some point of life our parents also stood next to us taking care of us.BABY BOOMERS need us it should be our priority,before it’s too late to enjoy illness free life.
GOLDEN RULE- It’s important to pay attention for the nutrition and physical activity patterns at early and at all stages of aging to enjoy life to fullest. Its very important for ourself and for our parents to take care of our body needs. Aging is inevitable, but it’s in our HANDS to have a healthy lifestyle and work on it to how we age.
MOST COMMON ISSUES TO ADDRESS-
- SLOW METABOLISM-( Body’s BMI starts decreasing after 35 and too great extent after 50 which results into more accumulation of fat around waist with less physical activity)
- SLOW DIGESTION( With slow digestion issues like constipation,rise in blood sugar become very common)
- LOSS OF MUSCULAR STRENGTH-Most bone problems start at age 50 ( muscular strength decreases by 50% between the ages of 50 and 80 in majority of us). Weak bones is main result older adults avoid any kind of physical activity.
- CIRCULATORY SYSTEM- It gets less efficient, if person is already obese and is consuming high processed diet,Blood vessels may become clogged and constricted leading to heart problems.
- DENTAL ISSUES-Its very important as as an adult to take care of oral health.Poor oral health can also affect food intake and nutritional status, issues like tooth loss, denture issues,even issues like chewing,swallowing becomes problem for older adults, so careful meal planning for softer foods with right consistency helps a lot.
MAIN STRATEGY– FOCUS ON QUALITY FOOD(At old age even in the absence of disease,the normal function of the body declines which affect day to day routine functions,so don’t overlook your and your parent nutritional needs)
MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS AT OLD AGE-
- CALCIUM- Body capabilities for absorption of calcium decreases lot, which automatically results into loss of bone density and increases the risk for fractures and osteoporosis. Most older adults are scared of falling and getting fractures. Even loss of calcium in postmenopausal women is more and its main reason for loss of bone density.
- SOURCES- Milk,yogurt,cheese are very simple easy way to meet calcium levels.GOLDEN MILK-Glass of warm turmeric milk with a pinch of cinnamon and elachi (cardamom) helps in sleep, reducing insomnia. In summer butter milk is best its provides cooling effect on body with benefits of probiotics and ample hydration, its easy on stomach can be taken 3-4 glasses easily throughout the day. Other sources-tofu (calcium set),fortified beverages, fortified cereal, spinach, almonds, sesame seeds,oranges ,beans,broccoli.
- VITAMIN D- The major causes of vitamin D deficiency is due to decreased exposure in sunlight, a decline in synthesis of vitamin D in the skin, poor nutrition and decreased renal function (Gennari 2001). Vitamin D is important it helps in absorption of calcium, also helps in immune function.When you consider food sources of the vitamin D they are limited and that wearing sunblock with an SPF higher than 8 prevents the body from making vitamin D in the skin.
- SOURCES-At old age we have ample time for ourselves so spending 30 mins in morning in sunlight is the best way to absorb vit D,walking in park or near by garden is best way to get natural VIT D- Other sources-Dietary: fish (especially salmon, tuna, eggs,fortified milk, fortified orange juice, fortified milk, fortified cereal .
- VITAMIN B12- we all know that individuals over age 50 have a reduced ability to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12 and so it becomes very important to consume it through fortified foods or supplements.Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause cognitive dysfunction and neurological problems in older people (Carmel 1997).Deficiency of B12 leads to Anemia this is the main reason many older adults feel tired low in energy,doesn’t feel like walking taking care of themselves on top of that loss of muscular strength no weight bearing exercise makes more prone to bone loss.
- SOURCES-fortified cereals,milk and B12 supplements,meat,eggs are best sources.
- SODIUM- at some point of time people develop hypertension, the higher their salt intake, the higher their blood pressure will be, So old age needs to take care by using not more than 2300 mg/day Sodium/day ( (about 3/4 teaspoon of salt). And taking more potassium in the diet, Potassium needs can be achieved by consuming the recommended daily servings of vegetables,and fruits.potassium can counterbalance the harmful effects of on blood pressure and also bone health.
- POTASSIUM- potassium-rich foods may also help prevent the bone loss that occurs with aging.During body’s metabolic process free acids are produced and which makes bone porous ,so potassium salts neutralize the harmful effect of sodium.
- SOURCES- Avocado,beans,banana,orange and fresh orange juice,potatoes with skin,spinach,tomatoes,raisins,prunes etc.
- FIBER- Slow digestion leads to constipation on top of that side effects of medications and lack of appropriate hydration. dietary fiber may help reduce high cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels, thus lowering your risk of heart disease.
- SOURCES- whole grains,fruits,veggies and lentils ,legumes pulses are very good sources of fiber. AIM- older adults above 50 should include at least 30 grams per day for men and 21 grams for women.
TAKE HOME MESSAGES-.Best thing at old age we do have time for ourself ,free from job and other responsibility to some extent, so best way to utilize that time is to take care of health to max.Right diet with any form of physical activity is best thing we can do.
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