We all know that there is a huge correlation between staying healthy, proper nutrition, and healthy living. As you mature, your nutritional needs shift. Prevent the development of age-related illness, with these dietary changes.
Good Senior Nutrition Means a Primarily Whole-Food Diet
Giving up the junk food may be hard, but it’s important in maintaining your health into your golden years. Slowly wean off highly-processed foods such as fast food, microwaveable meals, and prepackaged snacks. Instead, invest in healthier fare.
As you age, your digestive enzymes decrease and your overall digestive motility slows down. This is why, if you’re over 50, it’s doubly important to eat more nutritionally-dense foods to offset this change.
Green vegetables, fruit, nuts, nut butters, beans, chick peas, hummus, grass-fed beef, poultry, and wild-caught fish offer a healthy energy boost while helping to starve off age-related health conditions.
Healthy fats such as coconut oil, butter, and extra virgin olive oil can be surprisingly good for your health as well! Coconut oil is especially ideal for senior nutrition. Multiple studies have confirmed its effectiveness in treating inflammatory disorders and staving off the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
7 Optimum Nutritional Supplements for Older Adults
Digestive changes, chronic medical conditions, and certain medications may make it difficult to absorb all the vitamins and minerals you need from food. This is where supplements can come in to help fill in those nutritional gaps. Be sure the supplements you select are free from unnecessary binders and fillers such as magnesium stearate (vegetable source okay), polysorbate 80, and propylene glycol.
Vitamin D3 deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the United States and Canada. Without adequate levels, your body cannot properly absorb calcium or magnesium, minerals critical to the prevention of osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about getting your vitamin D levels checked. Most naturopathic physicians recommend a dose of 2,000-5,000 I.U.s to get levels back up to optimal.
If you consume a lot of dairy, you may think you’re getting all the calcium you need. Not necessarily. The calcium in pasteurized milk is synthetic, making it difficult for your body to absorb. Adding a calcium supplement to your diet can help prevent brittle bone disease.
Without adequate levels of this essential mineral, you may experience mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and insomnia. Adding a chelated magnesium supplement to your diet can cause a marked difference in your overall feelings of health and well-being, especially if you have a deficiency.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research studies have shown that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Krill oil is more potent and sustainable than regular fish oil and often contains far less mercury.
As your digestive enzymes decrease, you may notice bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, and constipation. Taking a digestive enzyme before meals can help ease occasional gastrointestinal upset and ensure you’re getting the most nutritional benefit from each bite.
Speaking of constipation, adding a bulk fiber supplement can help get things moving again when you feel stuck. If your digestion is normally slow, use fiber supplements only once or twice per week to avoid worsening your constipation.
Vegetarian seniors or those who don’t consume much meat should consider adding a vitamin B12 supplement. Without this critical nutrient, you may notice a significant decline in energy as well as mood swings. Vitamin B12 is also essential for red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis.
A healthy diet, the right supplements, and regular exercise program can help you feel fit as a fiddle for decades to come.
Written by: Jaime Heidel, FizzNiche Staff Writer