We all know the importance of having a proper balanced diet, but many of us struggle to follow it daily. But, when it comes to your elderly loved ones, it is important to make sure that they have a proper balanced diet. There are many benefits of healthy eating for the elderly.
What is a balanced diet?
A well-balanced diet means eating the right amount of nutrients to supply the body with the energy it needs to function properly. It also means getting the right amount of nutrition to support growth and development. A well-balanced diet contains nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups.
So why is it so important to maintain a balanced diet when we get older?
For the elderly, disabled and ill, having a healthy diet is crucial. These groups of people are often at higher risk of malnutrition, in the form of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, for several reasons.
As people grow old they tend to suffer from low immunity, poor digestion, weak bones and muscle fatigue. Some may also suffer from diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, high blood pressure or high cholesterol etc.
Malnutrition is a state in which a deficiency, excess or imbalance of energy, protein and other nutrients causes adverse effects on body form, function and clinical outcome. Many elderly people suffer from diseases caused by dietary factors.
However, it does not mean that you must eat less, it means to eat right.
According to the World Health Organization: At least 80 percent of all heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes, and up to 40 percent of cancer could be prevented if people ate better and exercised regularly.
So, a healthy and balanced diet is incredibly important for elderly people. Nutrition deserves special attention as people reach older age and is essential for good health. Eating properly can help reduce the risk of potential health problem, and a balanced diet simply leads to a better quality of life.
The need for vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals is different in old age than when we are young. All these nutrients must be packaged in easy-to-digest small frequent meals which are spread out and spaced well over the entire day.
Tips to eat right with growing age:
- Have a seasonal fruit at least twice a day, as they work as antioxidants and prevents constipation
- For the repair of worn out cells and tissues, egg whites are a good source of proteins
- To prevent high cholesterol and improve good cholesterol in blood, use mustard oil or olive oil for cooking
- Six to seven small meals in a day helps in digestion and prevents fatigue
- Oats porridge is an excellent breakfast for seniors
- For muscular flexibility, preventing water retention, swellings and to maintain blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods like cumin seeds, sweet limes, fenugreek seeds and coconut water are good.
- Drink atleast 5 glasses of water in a day to prevent dehydration. In old age muscle density reduces and susceptibility to dehydration is always very high, especially in summer.
One way to be sure that your elderly loved ones are eating well in your absence is by hiring eldercare support staff. If you need one do check here.
Here are some referral videos for you & your caregivers on how to feed elders and patients from Helper4u.in