Advanced age brings changes throughout the body that can present new challenges for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One of the major health concerns of seniors in America today is getting proper nutrition. The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that nearly four million seniors are malnourished in the US alone. This can come from a combination of many age-related challenges such as changing taste buds, dental problems, decreased mobility and even lack of companionship.
If you have older relatives, keep an eye out for signs of malnutrition and learn how to combat it to keep your loved ones in good health. Noticing things like excessive weight loss or weight gain and bruises and wounds that take a long time to heal can be signs of improper diet and food consumption. Take a peek in their cabinets, refrigerator, and pantry to get a better sense of their diet. Bare shelves, old food, and the types of food can all help you plan the best way to build a healthier diet.
When assisting with meals and dietary concerns, make sure to incorporate the following essential nutrients into the diet:
- Folic Acid – Helps combat heart disease and is prevalent in spinach, asparagus, lentils, and even fortified breakfast cereals.
- B12 – This vitamin becomes difficult to absorb with age, so getting plenty through turkey, eggs, milk, salmon, clams, and more is crucial to aid mental function.
- Vitamin C – The aging body needs vitamin C more than ever. Fruits and vegetables should be key players in a healthy diet, especially strawberries, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli, and red bell pepper.
- Vitamin D – With age, the skin can’t synthesize this sunshine vitamin as easily. Instead, oatmeal, fortified cereals, milk and orange juice consumption can help boost vitamin D levels.
- Essential Fatty Acids – Fish and flax seeds are both excellent sources of fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Water – Staying hydrated is important at any age, so make sure eight to nine 8-ounce glasses of fluid are consumed daily.
Read the entire article here: Seniors and Nutrition: Ways to Identify and Combat Malnourishment
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