Eating nutritious foods is important at any age. But as we age, our bodies require more of certain nutrients to stay healthy and fight disease and illness. Some power foods for older adults are especially beneficial to aging well.
The Importance of Senior Nutrition
Healthy eating is an important part of staying active and independent as we age. Vitality and quality of life are often dependent on giving our bodies the right nutrients. By eating healthy, we can spend less time and money at the doctor’s office and are able to better manage a chronic disease.
As we age, the definition of healthy eating changes. Our metabolism slows down, so we need fewer calories. Our bodies also need more nutrients to stay healthy.
While healthy eating is especially important for seniors, not all older adults are getting the nutrients they need. There are a number of reasons seniors do not get a sufficient amount of nutrients, including:
- Sensory impairment, such as a decreased sense of taste or smell, loss of vision or hearing, or oral health issues
- Decreased physical activity or muscle loss
- Isolation or behavioral health issues
- Lack of finances or limited access to fresh produce and healthy foods
These factors can lead to poor health or malnutrition, and easily be mistaken as a disease or illness. It is important to recognize barriers to nutrition and address them immediately. Be sure that the seniors in your life are getting the right amount of nutrients.
5 Power Foods for Older Adults
By incorporating “superfoods” for seniors into you or your loved one’s diet, you may feel healthier and stronger. Try these power foods for older adults for maintaining an active and independent life.
Sweet potatoes are full of both flavor and nutrients. They contain disease preventing, cancer fighting, and immune boosting benefits. Since they are a good source of anti-inflammatory nutrients, they are a great choice for people with arthritis and asthma.
Bell peppers come in a variety of colors and can be used in many different dishes. They are low in calories and a full cup of them contains a senior’s daily allowance of Vitamin A and C. These vitamins help keep the immune system stay healthy and nourish skin. The nutrients in bell peppers are full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Whole Grain Cereal
Did you know that many seniors have a folic acid deficiency? One way to combat this is to eat whole grain cereal. Eating whole grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases, such as a stroke, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. Plus, whole-grain cereals come in a variety of flavors for every taste!
Salmon can slow mental degeneration. The fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to helping mental function performance and lowering the risk of heart disease. Salmon is also a great source of protein and helps the body absorb calcium.
Older adults require more protein to avoid muscle loss that commonly happens as we age. Eggs are rich in protein, easy to make, and inexpensive. Eggs also contain vitamins that positively impact the immune and nervous systems, absorb calcium, and prevent memory loss.
Help With Senior Nutrition
Are you or a loved one getting enough nutrients for a healthy diet? If not, you may want to choose a service that helps seniors get nutritious meals to stay independent.
VANTAGE’s Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio provides nutritious and flavorful home-delivered meals to homebound people in Summit, Stark, and Wayne Counties. Get peace of mind knowing our caring and professional staff is looking out for you when they deliver prepared meals right to your door. Renal, pureed, and therapeutic meal options are available. Plus, we provide free pet food, so your pets can stay healthy too!
You are never locked into a contract and can stop receiving meals at any time. But, we don’t think you will want to!