Eating well for your best life: Nutrition for your life stage
Good nutrition isn’t always about what you bring home from the store. Sometimes the challenge is getting to the store in the first place.
Lots of things can affect how well you eat as you age. Losing teeth might make it harder to you give up certain foods, for example, or your senses of taste and smell may change as you get older.
And some seniors have physical problems that make it harder to get around, or they don’t have transportation. Financial problems, depression, or isolation are more common as people age, too.
Ageing is linked to a variety of changes in the body, including muscle loss, thinner skin and less stomach acid. Some of these changes can make you prone to nutrient deficiencies, while others can affect your senses and quality of life. As we get older, nutrition rules change—or at least get stricter. Some vitamins, such as B12, become even more important with time.
Here is a quick summary of how you should eat in your 30's, 40's, 50's and beyond to maintain good nutrition.
Fiber - constipation is a common health problem among the elderly. this can be due to the reduction in movement and the increase in different medication. Increasing the intake of food high in fiber can help prevent constipation. Fiber can also help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation. which can lead to a healthier heart. Food such as wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, fruit, dried fruit, dried peas, beans and lentils are an excellent source of fiber. Also, remember to drink lots of water, as that also help to relieve constipation and just good for your overall health.
Calcium - Calcium is good for your bones and is found in dairy products and other foods. Adults should get 1,000 milligrams a day, but that rises to 1,200 milligrams for women over 50 and men over 70. It's very common for you to lose muscle mass and strength as you age. In fact the average adult loses 3-8% of their muscle mass each decade after the age of 30. It’s a major cause of weakness, fractures and poor health among the elderly. Milk and milk products such as yoghurt and cheese are high in calcium, and fish with soft, edible bones, such as canned salmon or sardines, are also good sources of calcium. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that women over 51 should consume four serves of dairy per day, while men aged 50–70 should consume two and a half, and men over 70 should have three and a half serves of dairy per day. Additionally, weight-baring exercise such as walking or light weights also supports bone health.
Vitamin B12 - is essential for making red blood cells and maintaining healthy brain function. Unfortunately, studies estimate that 10–30% of people over age 50 have a reduced ability to absorb vitamin B12 from their diet. Vitamin B12 is bound to proteins and for it to be absorbed into the body the stomach acid must help to separate it from those proteins. However, older people are more likely to have conditions that reduce stomach acid production, resulting in less vitamin B12 absorption. Therefore fo this reason, older people would benefit from taking a vitamin B12 supplement or eating foods fortified with vitamin B12.
Fish oils - have been seen to benefit for rheumatoid arthritis, so eat fish at least twice a week.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is important to allow you to enjoy eating, and to eat well. Have your teeth checked regularly and ensure your dentures are adjusted correctly so that you can continue to enjoy eating and a variety of foods without any restriction.