How Nutritional Needs Change With Age
Natural changes in metabolism and appetite can make it difficult to get the right amount—and kind—of nutrition as we grow older. Physiological changes like increased blood pressure and decreased blood flow can lead to reduced calorie needs and decreased food intake. All of these factors can result in unplanned weight loss and reduced energy.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure you’re getting the right kind and amount of vitamins, nutrients and minerals you need to stay healthy. Protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and calcium are particularly important for older adults. Aging bodies process protein less efficiently and need more of it to maintain muscle mass, strength and other physiological functions. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for strong teeth and bones, and vitamin B12 promotes proper nerve function and brain health.
Getting older and staying healthy with proper nutrition
The dietary department at Greenbough Health and Rehabilitation Center is ready to help you understand how to get the proper nutrition and rehabilitation you need to support your unique and ever-changing healthcare needs. Here are a few easy nutritional changes you can make to help prevent deficiencies and other age-related changes:
- Drink (and eat) more water
Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat foods with high water content to avoid dehydration. Watermelon, strawberries, peaches, cucumbers and yogurt are a few tasty choices.
- Consider supplements
Help digestion and prevent bone loss with vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium supplements.
- Choose more nutrient-rich foods
Nutrient-dense foods like dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats should account for most, if not all, of the food you consume.
- Eat more fiber
Digestion naturally slows with age. Fiber helps promote proper digestion by moving food through the digestive tract more efficiently.
- Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids
Add foods like salmon, trout, flaxseed and walnuts to your diet to help keep your brain healthy.
Proper nutrition can help you maintain a healthy weight, stay energized and get the nutrients you need to thrive. It can also help lower your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Our certified dietary managers are dedicated to safe, effective senior rehabilitation services that help people maintain a healthy weight, stay energized and get the nutrients they need to live a long and healthy life.