Naturally, as we age, we become more prone to failing health. But this doesn’t always have to be the case! We all know people who have lived into their 100s and have often cited their healthy life choices as their “secrets”. Such life choices include healthy eating. What foods are most important for older adults to eat? As we’ll explore in this week’s blog, nutrition truly is the key to vitality in older adults.
Eat foods that are high in calcium.
It’s probably no secret that calcium helps our bodies to build and maintain healthy bones. Many of us grew up learning that “milk does the body good” for that very reason. It’s important, however, to highlight that many people – both young and old – have aversions to dairy products due to being lactose intolerant. Individuals with respiratory issues also find that a reduction of dairy is beneficial. So what non-dairy foods are rich in calcium?
Broccoli, kale, soybeans, bok choy, oranges, salmon and sardines are all calcium-rich. Dairy alternatives such as almond milk, rice milk and soy milk have a lot of calcium as well. “The body’s need for calcium is so essential that, if you are not getting enough calcium, it begins to reabsorb it from the bones,” says Aging.com, “This makes your bones fragile and brittle leading to osteoporosis.”
Consume more fibre-rich foods.
We all know the old adage, right? “Fibre will help to keep you regular.” As you can imagine, the whole “keeping regular” thing is quite important for seniors. However, on HelpGuide.org, Lawrence Robinson and Dr. Jeanne Segal note that dietary fibre has many more benefits. It can also lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
As well, it can “improve the health of your skin, and help you to lose weight,” they report, “As you age, your digestion becomes less efficient, so it’s important to include enough fibre in your diet. Women over 50 should aim to eat at least 21 grams of fibre per day, men over 50 at least 30 grams a day. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t getting even half those amounts.”
Drink a lot of water.
Is it any surprise that drinking water is a healthy choice? Especially during these hot summer months, staying hydrated is incredibly important. Note that, as we age, our ability to conserve water decreases. Aging.com points out that while this makes us feel less thirsty, our bodies still require water to avoid dehydration.
“Dehydration causes drowsiness and confusion among other side effects so it is essential to stay hydrated,” the website insists, “If you are taking the recommended high fibre diet, you need to drink a lot of water this is because fibre absorbs plenty of water. In order not to get overwhelmed by the quantity, you can put the water in small bottles and drink it throughout the day as opposed to storing it in a big container.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we care very deeply about keeping the seniors in your life healthy and safe. To learn about our many accessibility and mobility solutions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!