How Nutritional Needs Change with Age
As we grow older, natural changes in metabolism and loss of appetite can make it difficult to get the right amount—and kind—of nutrition we need to stay healthy. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet can help boost immunity, fight illness, keep you from gaining excess weight and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, and cancer. A balanced diet with daily physical activity can also contribute to enhanced independence as you age.
Protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and calcium are particularly important as we age. Aging bodies process protein less efficiently and therefore need more of it to maintain muscle mass and strength. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for strong teeth and bones and vitamin B12 promotes proper nerve function and brain health. Keep reading to find out how to get more of these nutritional powerhouses into your diet.
Getting older and staying healthy with proper nutrition
The dietary department at Salerno Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center is ready to help you get the proper nutrition and rehabilitation you need to support your unique and ever-changing healthcare needs. Here’s how you can easily add more of the nutrients you need to your diet:
If you’re feeling tired or sluggish, try drinking a glass of water or eat foods with high water content. As we age our sense of thirst naturally declines so it’s important to avoid dehydration. Add a few tasty fruits and vegetables like watermelon, strawberries, peaches, cucumbers and yogurt to your diet to stay hydrated and regular.
- Focus on nutrient-rich foods
Nutrient-rich foods like dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats are good for your health and longevity so they should account for most, if not all, of the food you consume.
- Get more fiber
Digestion naturally slows with age. Fiber helps promote proper digestion by keeping food moving through the digestive tract efficiently.
- Increase omega-3 fatty acid intake
Add foods like salmon or trout to your diet to help keep your brain healthy. If fish doesn’t appeal to you, you may also mix chia seeds, flaxseed, walnuts or soybeans into your meal.
- Talk to your doctor about supplements
Help digestion and prevent bone loss with nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium.
Proper nutrition can help lower your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Our certified dietary managers are dedicated to providing you with safe, effective senior rehabilitation services so you can maintain a healthy weight, stay energized and get the nutrients you need to live a long and healthy life.