Healthy Nutrition and Aging
Healthy nutrition is important no matter how old you are, but the older we get, the more important it is to fuel our bodies with the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Physiological changes that occur naturally as we age can lead to reduced appetite and decreased food intake, and while we may not need as many calories as we once did, we still need just as many (if not more) nutrients to avoid unplanned weight loss, energy loss, chronic fatigue and illness.
The five most important nutrients for older adults are:
Bones naturally lose calcium and other minerals as we age. Getting enough calcium in our diet is essential for keeping our teeth and bones strong.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis.
- Vitamin B12
As we age, the brain compensates for slower processing by using more of its capacity for tasks that require reasoning and judgment. Vitamin B12 promotes proper nerve function and brain health.
Not only can fiber help aid proper digestion and ward off constipation, but it can also help prevent diseases and illnesses that commonly come with age like high cholesterol, diabetes and colorectal cancer.
Aging bodies process protein less efficiently, so they need more of it to maintain muscle mass, strength and other physiological functions.
Getting older and staying healthy with proper nutrition
The dietary department at Viera del Mar Health and Rehabilitation Center is ready to help you get the proper nutrition and rehabilitation support you need for your unique healthcare needs. Here are a few ways you can help prevent deficiencies and other age-related changes:
Drink plenty of water and eat foods with high water content to avoid dehydration.
Talk to your doctor to find out how you can aid digestion, protect brain health and prevent bone loss with supplements.
- Nutrient-rich foods
Dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats should account for most, if not all, of the food you consume.
Fiber helps promote proper digestion by moving food through the digestive tract more efficiently and protects you from many age-related illnesses.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Salmon, trout, flaxseed and walnuts can help keep your brain healthy.
Proper nutrition can help you maintain a healthy weight, stay energized and get the nutrients you need to thrive. It can also help lower your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Our certified dietary managers are dedicated to safe, effective senior rehabilitation services. Contact us at 321-775-6800 to find out how we can help you live your best, most healthy life.