What are the Best Foods for the Elderly?
|The Best Foods for the Elderly - Photo: Aging.com|
As you get older, it’s important you continue to eat well. Changes in your body result in lower energy (calorie) requirements. It is therefore important to reduce portion sizes if the activity is low and to cut down on sugary snacks such as cakes and buns. Let's read this article to find out the best foods for the elderly!
If it’s good for Popeye, it’s good for you! Leafy greens, not including iceberg lettuce which has little nutrient value, like spinach are perhaps THE most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Spinach is especially high in vitamin K, which aids bone health.
To get your daily dose of greens, you can sauté spinach in olive oil until wilted, blend into a delicious smoothie (you’ll barely notice the taste), or make yourself a fresh spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
You should eat plenty of foods rich in starch and fibre. Starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta are a good source of energy, fibre and B vitamins and should be used as the basis for meals.
Choose higher-fibre, wholegrain varieties such as whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, or simply leaving the skins on potatoes. As well as being low in fat and high in fibre, they are good sources of other essential nutrients - protein, vitamins and minerals.
Beans, pulses, fish, eggs and other proteins
Beans, peas and lentils are good alternatives to meat because they’re naturally very low in fat, and they’re high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. Other vegetable-based sources of protein and meat substitutes are widely available in most major supermarkets.
Eggs are a convenient alternative to meat and are extremely versatile. They can be scrambled, boiled, poached or made into an omelette.
Adults are recommended to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily. Tinned fish, such as salmon, mackerel and pilchards contain lots of omega 3 fatty acids and are good for heart health.
While most nuts are high in fat, not all fats are bad. Nuts are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help with inflammation and prevent chronic diseases like cancer.
Almonds are high in magnesium, pistachios are high in potassium, and even peanuts are considered pretty healthy for seniors. If your doctor wants you on a sodium-restricted diet, you can opt for unsalted mixed nuts.
Not everyone cares for fish, but for those who do salmon is an excellent choice. Salmon is chalked-full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep your heart healthy and greatly decreases brain cell loss. It’s also high in vitamin D (which is especially important during the winter), which helps keep seniors’ bones strong.
Aim for eating oily fish like salmon 1-3 times/week, and avoid smoked salmon (or lox) if your doctor recommends a low sodium diet for you.
What to drink?
Besides the mentioned foods you should eat, it is worth paying attention to the ones you drink. It's very important to make sure you’re drinking enough. Your body needs plenty of fluid to work properly and to help stop you from getting constipation. Aim to drink about six to eight glasses of water, or other fluids, every day to stop you getting dehydrated. When the weather is warm or when you get active, your body is likely to need more than this.
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