Nutrition elderly is one of the factors that cannot be ignored when you care for the elderly. Older people are often at risk of nutrient deficiencies. Poor nutrition is often caused by anorexia, overeating, or an ineffective digestive system. In fact, it can also be caused by many other physical, psychological, and social causes. Poor nutrition in the elderly can lead to serious health problems such as A weak immune system increases the risk of infection, susceptibility to diseases, the wound heals for a long time; malnutrition also causes loss of muscle layer, osteoporosis can lead to fractures when falling.
1. Elderly often suffer from nutritional deficiencies
- Metabolism slows down: As the body ages, the amount of muscle decreases, and metabolism slows down. When metabolism slows down, the body does not burn many calories, which makes the elderly without hunger and cravings. So the elderly should choose a suitable sport to stimulate the body’s metabolism, making you eat better.
- Weak digestive system: Elderly teeth are weak or fall out, making chewing and crushing food ineffective. The stomach of the elderly is weak, the capacity of gastric secretion is reduced as well as the intestinal motility is poor, so the elderly are prone to digestive disorders. In addition, the body of the elderly also produces less fluid. Fluids are essential for the absorption of food from the digestive system. Therefore, these changes can make it difficult to absorb important nutrients like folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Nutrition menu for the elderly needs to choose soft, easy to swallow, easily digested foods to increase absorption, and avoid constipation.
- Anorexia: The taste of people in old age often declines to lead to anorexia. Moreover, many elderly often feel depressed or lonely and often are not interested in eating.
2. Nutrition strategy for the elderly
A balanced, healthy diet with all the essential nutrients can help the elderly prevent common health problems such as constipation, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, excess cholesterol. … Healthy foods also help older people maintain a healthy weight and stay energetic. You should note the following :
- You should split the diet for the elderly, avoid eating too full, especially before bedtime and when there is a disease in the cardiovascular system or diabetes.
- When processing the food should make soft food, cook thoroughly because the salivary glands and teeth of the elderly are poorly functioning make it difficult to chew and swallow food. Ensuring hygiene when cooking to avoid digestive disorders.
- Make sure to drink enough water: white water or tea, limiting the intake of soft drinks. However, it is important to avoid drinking lots of water at night, which will make you urinate a lot, causing insomnia.
- Pay attention to plant-based foods as they are healthier. In addition, you should supplement vitamins and minerals daily to ensure nutrition for the body.
3. Good nutrition for the elderly
- Unsaturated fats: The elderly need to add foods rich in healthy fats such as nuts, avocados, fatty fish, and vegetable oils … especially olive oil to the diet for the elderly. The elderly need to minimize saturated fat such as animal fat, fast foods.
- Water: Old people should actively replenish enough water for the body. In addition, fruits and foods that are healthy and contain lots of water such as oranges, grapes, and watermelons are good for health.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are rich in fiber, nutrients that help support digestion, and are good for the heart. You should choose brown rice in the diet for the elderly.
- Fiber-rich foods: Older people need fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains every day. They helps prevent constipation, provide vitamins and essential nutrients for the body, maintains weight, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Protein: Older people need more protein from beans, eggs, chicken, fish as well as nuts to provide energy for the body.
- Calcium, vitamin D: Calcium is a trace element that plays a very important role, helping the elderly have a strong and strong skeletal system. Therefore, the diet for the elderly needs to supplement foods rich in calcium and vitamin D.
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