Seniors often find that their appetites decrease as they age. And often their sense of taste diminishes as well. However, diet is important at all stages of life, and eating well can make a big difference in our physical and mental health. In this blog article, we are going to talk about some basic dietary advice for seniors.
Drink enough water
Our bodies are mostly water, and we need to drink water every day. Drinking caffeinated beverages has a diuretic effect, so you cannot count these drinks toward your water intake. Drink water, and if you don’t like it plain, then drink some herbal (no caffeine) tea or add a little fruit juice to the water to make it more interesting. Getting dehydrated is not uncommon in seniors, and it can lead to all sorts of health problems including confusion.
Fruits and vegetables
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, fruits and vegetables are good for you. They not only provide lots of micro-nutrients, but they help with your gut health as well. Fruits and vegetables also require more chewing, so they take longer to eat and fill you up more than processed cookies or crackers. A more plant-based diet is good for every part of your body including your brain.
Eat fewer processed, sugary, and fried foods
You probably already know this, but it bears repeating. Overly processed foods usually have most of the nutrition processed right out of them. Refined sugar and fried foods likely contribute to inflammation. Reach for an orange instead of a bag of chips. You will feel better in the long run.
Vitamin C (like in an orange) is water soluble which means it’s not stored in the body. And while we’re on the subject on oranges, try those Cara Cara oranges that have a mild flavour and slightly pink colour. They’re fantastic. You need vitamin C every day. And make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D which is especially important at the northern latitudes.
Some seniors find it hard to eat a lot at one sitting. Then feel free to eat smaller meals or snacks more frequently, but be thoughtful about what you’re eating. Nuts and dried fruit is much better for you than cookies and potato chips. We are not saying to deprive yourself, but small improvements to your diet will make you feel better, lower inflammation, and help you to think more clearly and sleep better. We are absolutely sure of it!
The Hamlets at Red Deer, located in Red Deer, Alberta, is at the forefront in the provision of services for those suffering from dementia in an assisted-living environment. The Hamlets at Red Deer has values based on tenets of Christianity and is committed to helping residents attain the highest physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our Red Deer community, please call us at (403) 986-1250.