As we age, our metabolism starts to slow down and we are not required to consume as many calories as we used to, which makes it challenging to consume sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals.
If we don’t consider the right foods in our diet, it can make a huge dent on our health. If you are living with an elderly, it is important that you know the right foods to prepare. How can we ensure that the elderly still get proper nutrition? What are the best foods for the elderly? This short post can answer these questions.
Nutrition and Diet Tips for Elderly Diet
1. Have protein-rich foods in every meal to help maintain physical function and reduce muscle loss.
A 2018 national nutrition survey by HPB shows that 2 in 1 people aged 50 and older do not meet the daily protein requirement of 1g to 1.2g for each kilogram of body weight. Without adequate intake of protein for a long period of time, it leads to loss of muscle mass, strength and function called sarcopenia. Protein helps the elderly to build and maintain muscle mass, also related to better bone mass and lower the risk of osteoporosis. The elderly can get protein from food such as eggs, chicken breast, lean meat, tofu, whole grains and beans.
2. Include calcium-rich foods for stronger bones.
Calcium gives our bones the structural strength they need to support our body. The recommended calcium intake for elderly is 1000mg per day. A lack of calcium will result in an increased risk of osteoporosis. Thus, an elderly should always get adequate calcium intake in order to maintain healthy bone mass and bone density. The food source of calcium such as spinach, broccoli, ikan bilis, sardines and milk.
3. Choose wholegrains & eat 2 servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables daily
Wholegrains foods such as brown rice are a rich source of nutrients, like B vitamins, folic acid, iron and copper. They have been associated with lower risks of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. They also maintain good digestive health thanks to their rich fibre content.
Most of the essential vitamins and minerals come from fruits and vegetables, many elderly preferred not to consume them due to chewing problems. Vitamins and dietary fibre deficiency may be considered as a problem of the elderly. In order to meet the two-fruit daily requirement, elderly can choose those fruits and vegetables that are soft to chew such as papaya, kiwi, pineapples, berries etc. For greens, cut it into smaller bite-size or blend it together with fruit juice can help to increase their daily intake.
Healthy ageing starts with maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Apart from the foods mentioned above, you can also try GoodMorning products which are suitable for the older generation. They are nutrient-dense food which provides good carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals. Its aromatic grain taste fits elderly taste bud and you can easily prepare it anytime, anywhere!