Essential Nutrition for Healthy Aging: A Diet Guide for Older Adults

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Thanks to breakthroughs in medical research and increased knowledge about how nutrition affects our health, today’s seniors are living longer and better lives than ever. However, some seniors are still unaware of the large role nutrition can play in their overall health. When assisting with an aging loved one’s meal preparation, family caregivers should focus on the following food groups, which have been shown to boost health, wellness, and mood in seniors. 

 

Whole Grains

The average senior requires about seven ounces of grains per day, and it’s recommended these come from whole grains rather than from food items made with white processed flour. Whole-grain foods include wheat bread, wheat pasta, and cereals specifically formulated with whole grains.

A professional caregiver with expertise in nutrition can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for your loved one. Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

 

Fruits

Eating fruit provides much more nutritional value than drinking fruit juice, as many juices also contain high amounts of sugar. In general, colorful fruits such as mangoes, melons, pomegranates, and blueberries pack the biggest nutritional punch. The average senior should strive for at least two servings of fruit per day.

 

Vegetables

As with fruit, color matters with vegetables as well. Brightly colored vegetables such as yams, carrots, tomatoes, and squash contain the most nutrients, followed closely by dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale. However, seniors who are taking blood-thinning medication should check with their physicians about the advisability of consuming kale. High in vitamin K, kale can promote the clotting of blood and may interfere with certain medications.

If your loved one needs help planning and preparing nutritious meals, a professional caregiver can be a fantastic source of support. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Reston, VA, Assisting Hands Home Care are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

 

Protein

Getting an adequate amount of dietary protein is important for seniors because it helps them maintain optimal physical functioning and reduces muscle loss. Low-quality protein sources such as hot dogs and other processed meats can contribute to cardiovascular disease, so seniors should take care to consume protein sources such as fish, nuts, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.

If your loved one finds it challenging to follow a healthy diet, consider enlisting the help of a professional home caregiver. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Reston families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call us today.