Food for the Elderly – As they get older, parents need to meet their nutritional needs to support the health of their bodies. This can be done by eating a variety of healthy foods.
It’s no longer a secret that as a person ages, his body’s ability to carry out metabolic processes will slow down. Moreover, when the body gets older, many obstacles make it more difficult for someone to digest food. For example, the reduced ability of the teeth to chew food or the loss of appetite due to side effects of the treatment being undertaken.
Elderly people require good nutrition daily to support body functions as they age. You probably already know the basics of a healthy diet: lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, healthy fats, and a little salt.
However, several types of healthy foods are most recommended for consumption by the elderly to maintain their health. Check out the full review here.
Here are some types of food that can be consumed to stay healthy in old age:
1. Foods High in Fiber
Fiber from foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and legumes plays an important role in the digestive system. This substance helps prevent or relieve symptoms of constipation and lowers cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and inflammation that occurs in the body. Consuming enough fiber can lead to a healthier heart. Fiber can also control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes.
2. Fatty Fish
All types of heart-healthy fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fish can be selected as a menu item that is served at least two times a week. These fatty acids are important for people of all ages, including the elderly, because they help prevent inflammation that causes cancer, rheumatism, arthritis, and heart disease.
Omega-3 is also believed to slow the Development of Macular Degeneration (AMD), which is a condition that leads to poor eyesight. The fatty acids also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and keep the brain alert.
Bone loss is the most common and will get worse with age. Therefore, the elderly need calcium to prevent their condition from worsening. They can consume yogurt as a good source of calcium.
Yogurt is fortified with vitamin D, which can be digested and uses this key mineral. This dairy product also aids digestion and contains protein. Yogurt is also very suitable for serving fresh fruit, so its use will be even greater for the elderly.
This is one type of food that contains high levels of lycopene, which is a natural chemical that helps protect the body from prostate cancer and also prevents lung cancer. Cooked or processed tomatoes (in juices, pastes, and sauces) may be better than raw tomatoes. Researchers believe that heating or mashing tomatoes can release more enzymes.
These foods are full of omega-3s, unsaturated fats, fiber, and protein. Nuts also contain heart-healthy nutrients. Seniors are advised to consume five 1-ounce servings per week. Some recommended types of nuts include almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, and walnuts. However, be careful with the teeth. If nuts are hard and difficult to chew, try ground peanuts or bean paste, etc.
Seniors should also avoid high-fat foods that contain saturated fat. Instead, eat foods with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Avocados are one of the healthy fatty foods that are good for the elderly.
Food Abstinence for Elderly Consumed
Older age causes the body’s metabolism to slow down. As a result, the elderly experience a decrease in appetite, and the amount of food that enters their bodies decreases. Even so, the elderly must maintain a good food intake to meet their body’s nutritional needs. This is done so that the elderly are not susceptible to various diseases. So that the condition remains prime, here are the types of foods that should be avoided by the elderly:
1. Raw Meat and Eggs
Some people consider raw foods to be very delicious, such as red meat, fish, and chicken eggs. However, this is not food that is recommended for consumption, because this type of food is not guaranteed to be clean. Food that is not cooked can contain bad bacteria that should be destroyed through the cooking process. Well, these bad bacteria can interfere with the health of the elderly.
2. Unpasteurized Milk
Unpasteurized milk is also often considered a healthy drink because of its intact mineral content. Unfortunately, the elderly should avoid this drink because unpasteurized milk has a higher risk of containing bacteria than pasteurized milk. Milk needs to be heated first to kill harmful bacteria in it so it remains safe for consumption.
3. Foods High in Sodium
Too much salt can also be a problem for the elderly, especially if you have a history of hypertension. If the food you are consuming doesn’t taste appetizing, try adding different types of natural herbs and spices instead of table salt. Also, always review the sodium content on nutrition labels. According to experts, seniors over 71 should limit their sodium intake, which is no more than 1.2 grams per day.
Caffeine also not only makes it difficult for someone to sleep well but can also increase anxiety and make a person’s heart beat faster or irregularly. This can be dangerous if an elderly person has heart problems. Besides coffee, caffeine is also found in many other foods such as tea, some sodas, chocolate, and some medications, including painkillers.
5. Soda and Sweet Drinks
Soda drinks mixed with ice may look tempting if the weather is hot and thirsty. However, soda and many other energy-boosting drinks contain a lot of sugar. One serving of cola drinks alone contains 39 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce serving, which is equivalent to nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar.
If an elderly person has prediabetes, regular consumption of these types of drinks can increase blood sugar and increase the risk of developing diabetes. Excess sugar can also lead to obesity and other health problems.
6. Low-Fat Foods
In various media, the invitation to fight against fat has been going on for a long time. In the end, not a few people avoid fat to maintain their health. Avoiding foods with fat (which is healthy) is not recommended. Healthy fats, such as those found in fish, nuts, and olive oil, have the benefit of protecting heart health.
In addition, healthy fats can help the elderly avoid many diseases. Therefore, it is important to choose foods that contain healthy fats. These healthy fats protect the brain, and joints and are an energy reserve for the body.
Apart from maintaining food intake, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle in other ways such as diligent exercise, avoiding stress, and excessive alcohol consumption. The reason is, alcoholic beverages can trigger liver damage if consumed too often, in large quantities. When alcohol abuse is carried out, the risk of developing heart disease is even higher.
Not only that, the risk of breast cancer, oral cancer, stroke, and chronic liver disease will also increase along with these bad habits.
Those are some of the best types of food and prohibited foods for the elderly. We hope that after reading the article about Healthy and Nutritious Food for the Elderly you can help and increase your knowledge to maintain health.