Nutrition for the elderly

Filed in: Nutrition.

Are the elderly in your life eating well? No matter how old you are, it is important to get the right amount of nutrients every day. However, the elderly are often at a greater risk of certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to a variety of factors, such as low activity, slow bodily functions, comparatively weaker immunity or a diet and consumption of unbalanced medications. Talk to your dietitian and your doctor about your changing nutritional needs as you get older, and ask about how to make changes in your diet or take supplements to help prevent any of the nutritional deficiencies.

Studies show that a good diet in their later years reduces the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease and certain types of cancer. As you get older, you may need less energy. But you still need the same amount of nutrients in your food. To obtain adequate nutrition for the elderly, see the following guidelines related to food and nutrition.

B12 vitamin

Elderly men and women have a higher risk of B-12 deficiency because their stomachs do not contain an adequate amount of hydrochloric acid, which helps the body absorb B-12 in food. For this reason, people over 50 should get most of their vitamin B-12 through supplements or fortified foods such as cereals, milk, etc.


Zinc is important for the health of the immune system, the healing of wounds and the coagulation of blood and thyroid function. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include loss of appetite, lack of taste or odor, hair loss, skin problems and depression. Men need 11 milligrams of zinc a day and women need 8 milligrams, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. You can get this amount by eating foods such as red meat, fish, chicken, cheese, legumes, whole grains and sunflower seeds.

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Calcium and Vitamin D

As you get older, the risks of losing bone mass and developing osteoporosis increase. Along with regular exercise, consuming adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D can help keep the skeletal system strong and delay bone loss. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, men and women over 65 need between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day, and good food sources include dairy products such as milk and cheese. The early morning sun is the best source of vitamin D.

Other considerations regarding nutrition for the elderly

Offer densely nutritious foods. Since many older adults do not eat what they should, the food they eat should be as nutritious as possible. Encourage whole, unprocessed foods that are balanced in calories and nutrients for their size.

Improve the aromas and flavors. Attractive foods can help stimulate appetite, especially in someone whose senses of taste and smell are no longer what they used to be.

Make eating a social event. Many older people who live alone or suffer from depression can stop cooking, lose their appetite and rely on convenience foods. If you are worried that your father or grandfather is not eating properly, make meals a family occasion.

Encourage healthy snack Many older people do not like to eat hearty meals or do not feel hungry enough to eat three full meals a day. One solution is to encourage or plan several mini-meals throughout the day.

Nutrition for seniors-How can they stay on the road? Eating healthy is a continuous commitment, but it's easier than you think. Here are some tips to keep you going:

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Ask for help. Admit when you need a hand to buy, cook, plan meals and find someone to help you. It is important that your health does not turn into frozen meals or take-away meals.

Variety, variety, variety! Try to eat and cook something new as soon as boredom arrives.

Make every meal "possible." Healthy eating does not have to be a great production. Keep it simple and you will stay with it. Storing the pantry and fridge with healthy options will make it easier to prepare quick and tasty meals.

Establish the mood at mealtime. Place the table, light candles, play music, or eat outside or through a window when possible. Get in order and your space will help you enjoy the moment.

Habits of rest. If you eat watching TV, try to eat while reading or use the time to catch up with your spouse or friend. If you eat at the counter, put the table in its place.

Read the full article "Nutrition for the Elderly" written by Ms. Swati Kapoor at here:

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