A balanced diet is one of the most powerful health tools out there. By simply eating the right foods, our bodies can become much more formidable against disease and germs. And of course, those eating a proper diet will feel better than ever! As bodies age, they need important vitamins and nutrients to function as best as they can. Fortunately, there are many foods that taste great and are good for the senior body, too.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet at the Nursing Home
Some seniors may worry that they cannot keep the diet they would like when living in a nursing home. While options may be limited at some facilities, others prioritize seniors’ health and nutrition. The right facility should always help seniors maintain a healthy diet.
Certain long term care facilities may even allow residents to request items or have family members bring their favorite foods. Of course, the number of healthy food options comes down to the specific facility and its policies. That being said, many facilities do try to offer residents a healthy diet.
Lean Meats for Seniors
Seniors should incorporate portions of lean meat into their healthy diets. Lean meat can include poultry, fish, beef, pork, or others. Keeping up on protein will help seniors maintain their current muscle mass, as well as strengthen their muscles, too. This can be especially helpful if seniors are on an exercise regimen.
Lean protein can also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve bone health, and much more. In fact, according to a 2018 study, seniors with high levels of protein consumption were less likely to lose daily function. Daily functions include activities like getting out of bed, going up the stairs, getting dressed, and more. The study followed nearly 3,000 seniors for 23 years. Data revealed that those with a higher protein intake were 30% less likely to experience functional impairment than those with a lower protein intake.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in the Senior Citizen Diet
It’s likely you were told to eat your fruits and veggies all the time as a kid. It’s no different as a senior citizen. This rule can be applied to all ages. Seniors should include plenty of fruits and vegetables in their diet. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and nutrients, including:
Vitamins A, C, and E
Folic Acid (Folate)
And much more
Eating a diet packed with fruits and vegetables can also help to lower the risk of developing life-threatening conditions. Conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and others can be prevented with a fruit and veggie-rich diet along with other regimes.
Low or No Fat Dairy Products
Dairy can be a great addition to a senior diet, but low-fat or fat-free is most often recommended by experts. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to find low-fat or fat-free versions of milk, cheese, yogurt, and virtually any other dairy product.
Dairy offers two very important nutrients to a senior’s diet, which are calcium and vitamin D. These two nutrients are critical in helping keep bones strong, which is especially important in later years. These products also contain a good amount of protein.
Looking for Senior Living Services for Yourself or a Loved One?
For those who are searching for senior living for themselves or a loved one, Mitchell Hollingsworth is here to help. Our goal is to treat our residents like members of our own families. If you have any questions about our services, please contact us at 256-740-5400.