Healthy Eating As We Get Older

 

A Senior’s Guide to Healthy Eating

By Brenda Snow

Healthy eating and understanding nutritional requirements are important at any age, but it can be especially important for seniors. Seniors have unique nutritional needs, but also specific dietary considerations that need to be accounted for when it comes to the foods they’re eating. As people age, their metabolism slows down, which means that for most older people they need fewer calories than they did when they were younger. It’s not just changes in metabolism that are important to understand when it comes the healthy eating for seniors, however.

As we age, our bodies change and considerations to keep in mind with senior nutritional needs can include the gastrointestinal system and dental conditions. There are also certain lifestyle elements for seniors that may play a role in their diet and nutrition.

If seniors aren’t eating a healthy, balanced diet, it can wreak havoc on their immune system, making them more susceptible to common illnesses like the flu, as well as more serious conditions. It can also lead to weight gain or weight loss, and seniors who aren’t eating a healthy diet may have reduced cognitive function and lower energy levels. It’s not uncommon for older people to experience malnutrition, in varying degrees, often because of eating too little, deficiencies in certain nutrients, or an imbalance in the diet. Even a mild level of malnutrition can lead to fatigue, lethargy, and a lack of interest in other areas of health and wellness.

For seniors who make healthy eating an essential part of their life, they’re more likely to enjoy a stronger immune system, better overall health, and a stronger quality of life.

To help seniors, their families and their caregivers ensure they’re making the right nutritional choices, I put together this guide. My goal with this guide is to help seniors live a fulfilling life, starting with a foundation of good nutrition. From the limitations that can cause seniors to have poor nutrition, to easy tips to incorporate healthy foods into your lifestyle or the lifestyle of your loved one, this guide has a lot of information that I hope will be valuable to you.

Can Cranberries be good for you?

(Photo : Getty Images)

A study has shown that cranberry juice could help protect people against heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) tested for benefits of its high levels of polyphenols, which help protect the body.

Cranberry juice is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and salicylic acid. By containing only 45 calories per cup, cranberry juice fits very well within most dietary guidelines.

The latest study reveals that drinking low-calorie cranberry juice cocktail may help lower the risk of chronic diseases that rank among the leading causes of death worldwide, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

“At the start and end of the experiment, the researchers measured things like blood pressure, blood sugar levels, blood lipids, as well as C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation,” said Dr. Khoo.

“These findings suggest that polyphenols help to protect our bodies, and may be adept at keeping a large number of ailments at bay,” he added.

Cranberry juice is best known for beating off urinary tract infections (UTIs), but its healing powers do not stop there.

The tart juice appears to promote cardiovascular health, and compounds in cranberries can even increase the effectiveness of certain ovarian cancer drugs.

Unsweetened cranberry juice tastes slightly sour, but for medicinal purposes, 2 ounces of cranberry juice diluted in 8 ounces of water is recommended.

It is very good for overall health as it is able to strengthen the immune system and help relieve stress. The mixtures also works well for skin conditions like acne.

But cranberry juice also has its down side. The powerful juice, not to be confused with the cranberry juice cocktail, isn’t as sugary as other fruit juices, but its high acidity can sometimes contribute to bladder problems besides UTIs.