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The Importance of Proper Nutrition for the Elderly

Posted by Deb Spinelli on 7/2/2015
Nutrition is important for everyone but it is particularly impactful for older individuals. Proper nutrition can mean the difference between a healthy older adult life and one that requires frequent medical intervention, so it's important for caregivers to emphasize the need for adequate nutrition in order to maximize the quality of life for their patients or loved ones.

Important Nutrients for Older Adults

The nutritional needs for older individuals are not the same as those of a person in their 20's or 30's so different priorities should be placed on the various nutrients in their diet. These are the top 5 nutrients an older adult should be mindful to keep in their diet.
  • Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerve function and this is one nutrient that is incredibly important in older individuals, especially those who may have nervous system disorders or nerve damage. Some foods rich in vitamin B12 are fish, eggs, milk, and poultry.
  • Calcium – Osteoporosis is a major problem for older individuals and calcium can help to keep bones strong and healthy through the senior years. As we age, we tend to consume less and less calcium, allowing bones to grow even weaker, so this is one nutrient that should always be included and prioritized in an older person's diet. One easy way to ingest calcium is through dairy products like milk or yogurt.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D is one nutrient that goes hand in hand with calcium. During digestion, proper vitamin D levels can help to better absorb calcium into the body, thereby aiding in bone strength. Vitamin D can often be found in dairy products, much like calcium, as well as many cereals.
  • Fiber – As we age, our digestive systems age with us and fiber can help to aid in digestion. Many fibrous foods also have the added benefit of being heart healthy, which is another aspect highly important for older individuals. Some delicious high in fiber foods easy to incorporate into any diet are whole grains, beans, and vegetables like broccoli.
  • Potassium – Potassium is a nutrient that can help to keep both bones and cells throughout the body healthy. A proper level of potassium in the diet has been shown to aid in reducing high blood pressure and lessening the risk of kidney stones. Some great sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables such as bananas, prunes, and potato skin.

At TheMedicalMaven.com, we have nutritional additives and supplements to aid older individuals in getting the proper nutrition they need for a long and healthy life. To see just what we have in store, or to learn more about proper senior nutrition, check us out at TheMedicalMaven.com today!

Statement:

While nutrition is important for everyone, proper nutrition is even more important for aging adults.

Posted in: Elderly Care, Nutrition