The Importance of Nutrition for Seniors

The Importance of Nutrition for Seniors

As we age and our bodies change, healthy eating becomes exceptionally important, yet sometimes difficult to achieve on a regular basis. What we consume (or don’t consume) affects our overall health, and believe it or not, the definition of healthy eating changes as we get older! In addition, diet plays a significant role in managing certain health conditions that we face as we get older. Sometimes, medications produce side effects like lack of appetite or upset stomach which can result in appetite changes, and subsequent dips in nutrition for seniors. Here are some great facts and tips to help you create a successful and enjoyable nutritional plan for yourself or your aging loved one.

 

We all know that metabolism slows down as we age. However, did you know that this means seniors need fewer calories, but at the same time, more of certain nutrients? Frequently incorporating brightly colored whole foods offers the best nutritional value without negatively impacting metabolism. Additionally, every meal should include lean protein, fruits and veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy (or milk substitutes) to ensure that seniors are getting optimal nutrition without unnecessary calories. Physical activity helps keep the metabolism up, so if possible, so try to implement a daily exercise plan that promotes a safe and enjoyable level of activity.

 

When it comes to using nutrition to manage high blood pressure, while you’re grocery shopping, be vigilant about buying foods that are high in fiber, and low in sodium, fat and added sugars. Also, to minimize the effect of sodium on blood pressure, add in foods that are high in potassium. For high cholesterol,  certain foods can help to lower and stabilize cholesterol levels. Some options include apples, grapes, oats, beans, whey protein, nuts, eggplant, and soy.  Also, replace red meat with fish, and avoid saturated and trans fats.

 

For those who still struggle to derive optimal nutrition from diet alone, supplements are highly beneficial. Vitamin D, Omega 3 (a fatty acid that prevents heart disease), and Calcium (to strengthen bone health) are three important nutrients that help us maintain good health as we age, and are great at preventing issues like bone loss and heart problems. Smoothies are a fun and easy option too- you can pack tons of nutrition in!


To encourage seniors to adopt and maintain healthy eating habits, first check with their doctor about incorporating new supplements, diets, and activity. To slowly help your loved one transition, see what works best for them, and lead by example, too! However, we know that sometimes it’s difficult to do it all yourself. Whether it’s grocery shopping, meal prepping, or companionship, Daughter for Hire can bring you some peace of mind- our team strives to ensure that your loved one receives the care and attention he or she is worthy of.

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