7 Nutrition Tips for Seniors

  • By Western Home Communities
  • 16 Oct, 2017
stay healthy by following these 7 nutrition tips for seniors

Why Proper Nutrition is Key for Healthy Aging

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important at any stage in life. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly can provide a variety of health benefits to both children and adults. However, as we age, our metabolisms slow down and we become less active. Seniors who do not maintain an active lifestyle require fewer calories and develop smaller appetites, making it difficult to consume the necessary number of daily calories needed for proper nutrition.

According to the National Institutes of Health , proper nutrition can reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, bone loss and even some types of cancer. Aging adults who eat a nutritious diet can also lower their risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Staying Healthy as You Age with Good Eating Habits

It is never too late to improve your eating habits and achieve better health. Follow these seven senior nutrition tips to begin reaping the benefits of a healthy diet:

  1. Eat breakfast. Studies have shown that eating larger meals in the morning as opposed to in the afternoon can provide the body with numerous health benefits. Along with giving us the energy needed for the day, breakfast foods are a great source of nutrients such as calcium, iron, B vitamins, and protein and fiber that are often missed in the meals we consume later in the day. Additionally, breakfast restores glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate needed for the brain to function.
  2. Plan your meals. Set time aside to plan your meals before grocery shopping. Creating a list of items you need to purchase for the week can help you avoid buying unhealthy packaged junk food such as cookies or chips. Look for meals that incorporate a healthy amount of fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains.
  3. Create a routine. Routine eating habits are just one of the many ways humans incorporate a schedule into our day. Designate eating times throughout your day to ensure you do not miss a meal.
  4. Increase nutrients, not portions. Since aging adults experience a decrease in appetite, it is important to ensure the proper nutrients are being received. Rather than eat more, consider incorporating more nutrients into your diet as a substitute. For example, use peanut butter instead of butter on your toast or add berries and milk to your oatmeal in the morning.
  5. Eat healthy snacks between meals. Try enjoying healthier snacks between meals. Chop up vegetables or portion out whole grains, nuts and fruits into containers to eat throughout the day when hungry.
  6. Stay hydrated. Seniors are at a higher risk for dehydration. There are many reasons seniors can experience chronic dehydration, including the loss of water content in the body as we age. Additionally, seniors do not experience thirst like younger adults, as their thirst signals become less active as they age. Because seniors do not often show signs of dehydration such as increased thirst, dry mouth, dizziness, weakness or headache, it can be difficult to identify. Make sure to stay hydrated as you age by setting aside specific amounts of water to drink each day.
  7. Enjoy meals with others. Studies have found that seniors who eat in a social setting tend to have larger appetites than those who dine alone. Plan regular meals with friends or family to enjoy.

Achieve Healthy Living with Western Home Communities

Western Home Communities offers a variety of dining options   that provide exceptional nutrition for seniors. Experience dining designed to meet your unique needs. To learn more about our nutrition programs for seniors or any of our available senior living options, c ontact our community   today, 319-277-2141.   

The Western Home Communities Blog

By Western Home Communities 30 Oct, 2017

As we age, our bodies begin to go through physical changes. We lose flexibility and range of motion, or develop pain associated with certain chronic conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. In fact, by the time adults enter into their forties, they begin to losing around three-to-five percent of their muscle mass with each subsequent decade of life.

Although most aging adults are aware of the risks associated with living a sedentary lifestyle, many stray away from taking part in a routine fitness program out of fear they will not be able to safely complete the exercises. A recent study revealed that approximately 67 percent of people aged 65 or older are inactive for over eight hours each day. Staying active as you age is vital to physical health, but also is an important part of maintaining independence and social well-being.

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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important at any stage in life. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly can provide a variety of health benefits to both children and adults. However, as we age, our metabolisms slow down and we become less active. Seniors who do not maintain an active lifestyle require fewer calories and develop smaller appetites, making it difficult to consume the necessary number of daily calories needed for proper nutrition.

According to the National Institutes of Health , proper nutrition can reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, bone loss and even some types of cancer. Aging adults who eat a nutritious diet can also lower their risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Managing chronic conditions. The more you move, the better you feel! Exercise is crucial for managing and reducing pain from conditions like arthritis, as regular movement helps lubricate the joints and decrease stiffness. Exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease, cognitive impairment, diabetes and stroke.

Boosting mental health, memory and cognition.
Exercise is a known mood-booster, and it may be one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your memory performance, too. Exercise increases heart rate, which helps pump more oxygen to the brain. It also releases a variety of hormones in the brain that promote new cell growth.

Decreasing the need for some medications.
A combination of aerobic activity, strength training and flexibility exercises can reduce the need for the variety of medications you may take daily to manage your physical and mental conditions. For instance, exercise can help reduce systolic blood pressure and decrease your need for blood pressure medication.

Preventing falls.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries in seniors; in fact, one out of three adults age 65 or older suffer a debilitating fall each year. Adding balance exercises can help keep you steady on your feet and lead to a higher level of independence.

Improving sleep habits.
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