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Senior Nutrition: Why You Truly Are What You Eat!

October 28, 2015

Although our metabolism begins to slow down significantly as we age, and you may find that you do not have the same appetite you once did, your nutrition must still be top of mind. Even if your caloric intake is not as high, your body still requires essential vitamins and nutrients to perform at its best. Below are just a few things to keep in mind regarding your diet as you age.

 Always consult with your doctor or health professional before making any changes to your lifestyle, like starting a new diet or exercise regimen.

Boost Your Immunity

As we age, our immune systems begin to weaken—so we must attempt to counteract this decline by eating foods that support our immune systems. First and foremost, it is important to ensure that even if overall food intake is reduced, that the daily amount of vitamins and essential nutrients is achieved. This is why many seniors turn to Boost, Ensure, and multivitamins. However, limiting the amount of processed foods in your diet is also an excellent way to help ensure that you’re getting the proper nutrients. This is one of the great things about senior living centers, because they organize trips to local markets that sell fresh, healthy foods. Not only that, the meals served daily in the dining rooms are designed to provide seniors with the well-balanced meals they require.

Brain and Heart Health

Brain and heart health must also be considered as we age. While the brain and heart are two entirely different organs, there is much overlap when speaking of foods that are healthy for both the brain and the heart. A few brain and heart healthy foods to consider are:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Nuts and seeds (grind if needed)
  • Omega-3-rich fish, like salmon
  • Avocado
  • Green tea

Hydration

Hydration is extremely important, and often falls by the wayside as your overall appetite continues to decrease. Even if your meals are smaller, and your snacking is less frequent, the amount of hydrating fluids you consume each day must remain the same. In fact, depending on your digestion and your current medications, you may need to increase your daily hydration. While water is always an excellent choice, herbal teas, fresh fruit, and fresh fruit veggie smoothies are always an excellent choice. Keep coffee, alcohol, and sugar-filled beverages to a minimum because they are dehydrating.

Fiber and Digestive Health

fruitxYou are likely to experience some changes in your digestion, and maybe even an increased amount of constipation as you age. While hydration plays a role in digestion, try eating other foods that are high in fiber, or good for your digestion. This includes:

  • Whole grains
  • Plums, prunes, or plum or prune juice
  • Yogurt, kefir or other probiotic foods
  • Fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and veggies

Dietary concerns are one of the many reasons to turn to senior living centers that offer well-balanced meals each day. Even if some cooking is done in your apartment, senior communities should always make sure trips to the market for fresh foods are arranged no less than once each week.

Unlock health, happiness and so much more in your retirement years by moving into one of the beautiful senior living communities of Concordia Lutheran Ministries. With the area’s most extensive network of senior care services, you are certain to find just the right fit for all of your personal care and living needs. Start embracing your retirement years with help from Concordia Lutheran Ministries.

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