Healthy Nutrition and Aging
As we age our bodies change both inside and out. The most noticeable changes occur outside and include wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin. However, the changes that occur inside your body have a direct effect on your hair, nails, teeth and skin. Proper nutrition is essential to support proper digestion and hormone levels, ward off disease and pain, or to counteract a diminished sense of smell, taste or vision.
Though you may not feel as hungry anymore, your body still needs plenty of nutrients to stay strong, active and healthy. Proper nutrition can help you avoid unplanned weight loss, energy loss, chronic fatigue and illness.
Which nutrients are essential for aging adults?
The five most important nutrients for older adults are:
Bones naturally lose calcium and other minerals as we age. Keep your teeth and bones strong by boosting your daily intake of calcium.
- Vitamin D
Now that you’re adding calcium, your body needs enough vitamin D to absorb it efficiently. Together calcium and vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis in many aging adults.
Fiber supports proper digestion, helps ward off constipation and prevents other age-related issues like high cholesterol, diabetes and colorectal cancer.
Our aging bodies process protein less efficiently, so we need more to maintain muscle mass and strength.
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential for proper nerve function and brain health. It can also help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
How do I stay healthy as I age with proper nutrition?
The dietary department at Heritage Park Health and Rehabilitation Center is dedicated to helping you get the proper nutrition and rehabilitation support you need, in a nurturing environment. You can get started today with these simple tips:
- Stay hydrated
Make sure you’re getting the recommended daily amount of water to promote efficient body functions and healthy skin.
- Eat nutrient-rich foods
If you’re filling your plate with dark green leafy vegetables, colorful fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats then you’re doing your best to give your body what it needs to be healthy.
- Add fiber to every meal
Fiber helps promote proper digestion by moving food through the digestive tract more efficiently and protects you from many age-related illnesses.
- Say yes to cold water fish
Salmon, trout, flaxseed and walnuts are rich in Omega-3s and can help keep your brain healthy as you age.
- Ask about supplements
Talk to your doctor to find out how you can aid digestion, protect brain health and prevent bone loss with supplements.
Our certified dietary managers are dedicated to supporting your unique healthcare needs with safe, effective senior rehabilitation services. Call 352-567-8615 to find out how we can help you achieve the highest level of independence and health.