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  • Category: Nutrition

    What should be the special considerations in the nutrition of senior citizens?


    Have a query about diet for senior citizens? Check out this Ask Expert page for all answers to your queries.

    The dietary requirements of the individuals in different age groups are likely to be different. What should be the special considerations in the nutrition of senior citizens? Please list some food items which should be preferred and the others which should be avoided in the case of senior citizens. Also, is it advisable to take some ready made nutritional food supplements available in the market?
    Awaiting response.
  • #138959
    In my opinion ready made nutrition foods may show immediate effect, but in future may be harmful to health. Many people say that non-veg is good but according to me it is better to avoid non-veg items by senior citizens to live healthy long life. It is enough to take normal food items and fruits. I give this answer by experience only (i see many people in villages) and i'm not a doctor.

  • #138968
    There are a few points which should be taken into consideration for the supply of nutrients to senior citizens.
    1) Supplementation with Vitamin D and Calcium- These are the valuable nutrients for the older people for the maintenance of bone - health. In order to get it a requisite amount, consultation with the Physician is essential. Exposure with Sun - Ray for at least 30 minutes daily would compensate the loss of Vitamin - D and for the enrichment of Calcium one may take abundant amount of Milk and Curd.
    2) Vitamin B and Iron - Vitamin -B is essential for the upkeep of good health including brain - functioning and as such the old people should be given green vegetables, eggs, chickens and enough fruits such as Apples, Papaya and oranges. In order to absorb iron, intake of Vitamin- C such as Grapes, Oranges and Lemon are essential.
    3) Intake of Almonds, Walnuts and Cashews to a little amount daily would strengthen their heart health because of presence of valuable nutrients in them.
    4) Supplementation with Omega 3 would improve their overhaul health and they should be given Fish - oil, Tuna, Walnuts. Fish - oil should be taken as per advice of the Doctor.
    5) Intake of Olive - oil and Rice - bran oil would take care of excess cholesterol and trans- fat present in the metabolism.
    6) Garlic contains Allicin and hence two buds of Garlic if taken regularly in the morning in the empty - stomach would improve heart health, maintenance of healthy Blood - pressure, strengthening of eye- sight and healthy cholesterol. It even takes care of cough and cold because of Allicin - content.
    7) Intake of Protiens in the diet would make them healthy since Protiens helps to strengthen cells of the body. Eggs, Chickens, Pulses etc should be taken regularly to make up its loss.
    Apart from the points indicated above, they should remain active by involving with some physical - exercise such as brisk walking and cycling etc so that they maintain healthy metabolism.

  • #138983
    As the person aging there is tremendous changes in the the body structure and other human systems such as circulatory system,nervous system.Bone density starts lowering,weakening of bones, cardiovascular disease. To avoid the fast aging and repair of body systems a good, light and full of nutrients and minerals diet is required. Some of the foods need to be include in daily diet chart are-
    1. Skimmed Milk, curd
    2. Fruits such as orange, apple,guava,banana etc.
    3. Dry fruits such as almond, cashew nut, akhrot.
    4. Green vegetables such as tori, palak, radish, carrot, vegetable soups etc.

    The greatest wealth in this world is mental peace and good health.

  • #139032
    Common health issues that plague the elderly include low immunity, loss of muscle mass, weak bones, sluggish digestive system and general weakness. Metabolic disorders also surface as we age, and it is not uncommon for the elderly to suffer from at least one debilitating disorder such as arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis and high-cholesterol.

    Therefore, food intake must be carefully planned to ensure proper nutrition that can control and abate these health problems.

    An elderly person's diet must be rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fiber and fluids. It is best that these nutrients are obtained from natural sources and not through supplements. The foods must be well-cooked, light and must digest easily, so the body can absorb the nutrients well. It is advisable to have a number of small meals spaced through the day, instead of 3 heavy meals. A wide range of colors and textures should be included in the diet.

    Here are foods that can be included in the diet:
    1. Copious amounts of seasonal fruits. These are healthy because they have a high-antioxidant quotient, are nutrient rich, provide fiber and water and are easy to digest.
    2. Egg whites, tofu, low-fat dairy, fish, lean meat and well-cooked beans and pulses. These are wonderful sources of protein.
    3. Intake of healthy fats such as olive oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil, canola oil etc. Healthy oils lower cholesterol and prevent arteries from clogging, thus preventing cardiovascular problems. Seeds and nuts may also be included in the diet, as they are packed with nutrients and omega-3 *6 fatty acids, that are beneficial for the heart health.
    4. Seasonal vegetables and including a lot of greens in the diet will ensure a steady supply of minerals and vitamins.
    5. Whole grains product, instead of processed products should be eaten.
    6. Clear soups made from fresh ingredients can be nutritious as well as filling.

    Here is a meal plan:

    1. Breakfast can comprise of oats, wheat porridge, muesli, idli, poha or cornflakes. Egg white omelettes with butter and toast can also be eaten. A glass of fresh juice or green tea can complete the meal.
    2. A mid-day snack can comprise of a fruit or a few healthy biscuits and buttermilk
    3. Lunch can include pulses or meat, greens, seasonal veggie, salad and chapatti/rice and a platter of chopped fruits.
    4. Teatime healthy snacks include like fruit salad, vegetable crudites with a healthy dip, Moong dal chila, etc.
    5. Dinner can consist of boiled veggies or veggies cooked in very little oil. Grilled fish or meat can be served with rice or roti. A fruit can complete the meal.
    6. A glass of toned milk can end the day, and if the individual prefers a drink, a glass or two of wine or 2 small pegs can be had.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak" - Michael Garrett Marino


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