Nutrition as the Key to Healthy Aging
Our bodies depend on various nutrients in order to function optimally and remain strong, and eating a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, protein and fats is crucial to keeping weight down while lowering risks of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Studies also demonstrate how specific food items can boost our immunity while supporting organ health.
An elderly diet must include balanced nutrition to avoid nutritional deficiencies that are common at this age group and could contribute to osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease as well as anemia, frailty and cognitive decline. Vitamin D and C are especially essential in supporting bone health while vitamins B9, B12 and iron aid normal neurological functioning and blood health; lack of dietary fibre increases the risk for chronic conditions like constipation or even bowel cancer.
Ageing-related changes can have an enormously detrimental impact on nutritional status, with elderly populations typically showing greater levels of malnutrition than younger ones. Sensory impairment, loss of mobility and isolation all influence diet intake while decreased gastric acid secretion decreases nutrient absorption; all this compounded with muscle atrophy due to age (sarcopenia), further compounded by protein malnutrition.
Dieting for optimal health means selecting a variety of nutritious foods like whole fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy. Reducing salt, sugar and saturated fat intake is vital in combatting high blood pressure; red meat consumption should also be reduced in order to reduce cholesterol levels. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water throughout life will ensure an enhanced sense of thirst is felt by your body as it ages.