Nutritious food is an essential aspect of daily life at any age. The right kind of food keeps you active, energized and prevents you from overeating. Conversely, eating unhealthy foods in excess can cause various health complications not limited to obesity, incontinence and put you at risk for certain cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, while nutritious food is important, each of us has different needs so one person’s ideal meal may look very different from someone else’s. Here, we have identified common issues that your loved ones may be facing and hope to suggest steps to improve their nutrition. Moreover, we recommend ways that you can help your loved ones be more independent in terms of nutrition.
Nutrition for Muscles
As we age, our muscles naturally weaken. This may not be due to any fault of our own. Think of our muscles as components of a machine. Natural wear and tear mean that they may not be as strong as they used to be. Of course, there are ways to take care of our muscles with the right nutrition. The building blocks of protein, known as amino acids, repair muscles and help them grow.
A good source of protein is any kind of meat like chicken and beef. While eating meat will help, it is important to realize that meat is not the only source of protein, so don’t be alarmed if you are unable to eat meat owing to religious or lifestyle choices. Moreover, meat is sometimes tough and chewy which may not always be pleasant. Thus, alternative protein sources like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, and legumes could be incorporated into meals. Dairy products can serve as breakfast while nuts are good snacks to munch on.
Nutrition for Bones and Teeth
To combat the loss of bone density, calcium and Vitamin D can help us remain in the best of health. Some of us may know that the sun is a good source of Vitamin D, and indeed it is! However, it is not the only source. Foods like egg yolk, yogurt, tuna, and sardines contain this nutrient. As for calcium, you can eat food like milk, leafy vegetables, lentils, tofu, and figs to get your dose! It is important to consult your primary care physician on the quantities that are best for your needs.
Nutrition to Combat Incontinence
If your loved ones are experiencing constipation, a diet that is rich in fiber is bound to help. A fiber is a carbohydrate that your body finds difficult to digest. This may seem counterintuitive, but it can help with incontinence and reducing cholesterol. Many fruits like pears, bananas, strawberries, and apples contain fiber. These can be eaten as healthy snacks. Breakfast food like quinoa and oats could complement traditionally dairy-heavy breakfasts.
Preparation of Meals
It is important to empower your loved ones. They may be more receptive to eating nutritious food if they have prepared it themselves. You can help by precutting ingredients or placing utensils in convenient locations. Of course, community dining with tableside service helps one foster bond with peers while independently eating healthy, tailormade meals.