Good nutrition is important at any age.
Unfortunately, some seniors are not getting the proper food they need to feel good and stay healthy. A balanced diet and physical activity contribute to a higher quality of life and enhanced independence as you age.
For seniors, the benefits of healthy eating include:
- Increased mental acuteness
- Resistance to illness and disease
- Higher energy levels
- A more robust immune system
- Faster recuperation times
- Better management of chronic health problems
As we age, eating well can also be the key to a positive outlook and staying emotionally balanced.
Malnutrition is a serious issue that affects many senior citizens. It occurs when an individual does not ingest enough food and too few nutrients. It can cause fatigue, weakness, depression, anemia, and many more health issues. How many calories does the average senior need to maintain a healthy body weight? The National Institute of Aging makes the following recommendations:
A woman over 50 who is:
- Not physically active needs about 1600 calories a day
- Somewhat physically active needs about 1800 calories a day
- Very active needs about 2000 calories a day
A man over 50 who is:
- Not physically active needs about 2000 calories a day
- Somewhat physically active needs about 2200-2400 calories a day
- Very active needs about 2400-2800 calories a day
A senior’s diet should be well balanced. He or she should eat foods that are nutrient rich and flavorful. A person needs to eat three meals a day and include snacks in between. Don’t forget to encourage your loved one to drink plenty of water. Seniors are prone to dehydration because as we age, our bodies lose some of its ability to regulate fluid levels and our sense of thirst is dulled. Remind him or her to sip water every hour and with meals to avoid urinary tract infections, constipation, and possibly confusion.
If your loved one is having difficulty preparing nutritious meals, look into community programs like Meals on Wheels that deliver healthy meals to seniors in your area.
For more information
Call us at (800) 927-0716 or email us and we will help guide you through health care planning.