Best Health Foods For The Elderly
Eating healthy foods is very essential in all stages of life. However, some misconceptions arise in terms of diet for the elderly because some believe that our elderly family members should have limited food choices in order to prevent conditions in the elderly that may arise. Some geriatric clients are even fed things similar to infant food, such as porridge, cereals and basic foods only, when in fact; they need similar foods that the general population eats as well. To maximize the health of seniors, here are the best foods to include in their diet to improve their health and longevity:
Foods to Improve Bone Health
The elderly especially need foods to improve bone health because of the increased risk of osteoporosis and bone disease. The following foods are essential in promoting bone health:
- Fortified milk: seniors need milk fortified with vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone loss.
- Orange juice is also fortified with vitamin D and phosphorus that are needed for healthy bones.
- Cottage cheese is rich in calcium and it does not contain many fats that other types of cheese contain.
- Yogurt is also needed by seniors because it does not only contain loads of calcium, but it is also good for the digestion.
- Cabbage is a great vegetable for aging women because it raises the estrogen levels to prevent bone loss especially after menopause.
Foods to Improve Brain Health
The cognitive functioning of the elderly is also essential because aging normally slows down their cognitive abilities. In line with this, these foods are needed in the regular diet of the elderly:
- Eggs are never prohibited among seniors. Eggs contain choline, which improves memory and concentration.
- Shellfish are also great for the elderly because they contain potassium, magnesium, iron and B vitamins for improved brain functioning.
- Salmon is also best because it contains omega-3 fatty acids to promote health of the brain cells.
- Almonds are one of the best brain foods because of a lot of B vitamins and fatty acids they contain.
Foods to Improve Digestion
Seniors have the increased risk of developing colon cancers and problems associated with digestion. In this regard, it is essential for seniors to take the following foods:
- Cranberry juice contains dietary fiber to improve bowel elimination. It is also essential to prevent urinary tract infections that seniors are susceptible to.
- Red beets. A red beet is also a good food to relieve and prevent constipation.
- Green Tea. Geriatric clients usually have problems in their gastrointestinal tract. Green tea helps relieve inflammation in the bowels because of its anti-inflammatory effects.
- Turnips are loaded with dietary fiber that helps improve waste elimination.
- Prunes are also one of the greatest foods to improve the digestive health of the elderly because of high amounts of dietary fiber.
- Cod liver oil. This oil is essential to prevent heart diseases as well as prevent digestive problems.
Foods to Promote Healthy Eyesight
The elderly also commonly experience vision problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and others. To prevent these and improve the vision, these foods are essential for the aging population:
- Kale is rich in lutein, which is an antioxidant for the eyes. Lutein can also be gotten from spinach.
- Garlic is also good for the eyes because it contains sulfur, which helps synthesize glutathione, an antioxidant for the eyes.
- Fish oil found in salmon, mackerel and flax seeds, helps preserve and improve eyesight.
To help prevent deterioration in both physical and mental functioning of the geriatric population, it is essential they consume the above foods. Also, it is essential never to limit the food intake of seniors, but make sure to prevent fatty and salty foods to prevent possible conditions such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.