Nutrition is an integral part of health and development. The best nutrition is related to the improvised child, maternal, and infant health. It is also related to safer pregnancy, childbirth, and stronger immunity. The same also implies a lower risk of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular issues and diabetes including longevity. People having proper nutrition are more productive. They can further create opportunities for breaking the cycles of hunger and poverty.
What do you mean by nutrition?
Nutrition refers to the physiological and biochemical process by which an organism uses food items to support its life. It includes processes like absorption, assimilation, ingestion, catabolism, biosynthesis, and excretion. It is all about eating a balanced and healthy diet. Nutrients refer to the substances in foods that the human body needs to function and grow. They include fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water.
Why is nutrition important for older adults?
Good nutrition is extremely important for human beings, irrespective of age. It gives energy to humans and helps them control their weight. It also helps prevent diseases like high blood pressure, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, and cancers. However, with coming age, your body changes. That requires you to stay healthy. For instance, you may need fewer calories, but you may need more nutrients. Moreover, some older adults need more proteins.
Things that make it harder to eat healthy as people age
- Homelife such as living alone
- Health that makes it harder for anyone to cook for themselves
- Medicines that can change the way how food tastes
- Income that means one may not have money for food
- Sense of taste and smell
- Problems swallowing or chewing food
How to eat healthy in older age
To stay healthy, older people should do the following:
- Eat foods that give them lots of nutrients without extra calories.
- Avoid empty calories. They should avoid food with more calories and fewer nutrients like candy, chips, soda, alcohol, baking soda.
- Pick foods that are low in fat and cholesterol. They should also avoid trans and saturated fats. The latter usually come from animals. On the other hand, trans fats are processed fats. They are mostly found in baked goods or fried foods in restaurants.
- Drink sufficient liquids. Older people should especially take care of the same to avoid getting dehydrated. Few people lose their sense of thirst as they age with time. Certain medicines also make it important to have plenty of fluids.
- Be physically active. Exercising helps people feel hungrier. So, if someone is losing appetite, exercise is the best option for that person.
The final words
Sometimes, issues with health and other problems make it harder for people to eat healthily. You can follow the below tips that might help you:
- If someone is tired of eating alone, it is recommended to cook with others or organize frequent get-togethers.
- Check with a dentist regarding any chewing problems.
- Try drinking plenty of liquids when having difficulty swallowing.
- Adding colour and texture to food is another method of curbing smelling and tasting issues.
- Add some healthy snacks to your daily diet.