We all know how much of a role a good diet plays in supporting our overall health. But did you know that your nutrition needs change as you age?
Whether you are a senior looking to make sure you get all the nutrients you need to feel your best or you are someone who cares for an elderly relative or loved one, we can help you figure out how to get good nutrition for older adults. Read on to learn more about the nutrients seniors need and the best ways to make sure your body stays healthy and strong through your golden years.
Calcium is one of the most important building blocks of nutrition for older adults. Why? Calcium supports bone health and our bones tend to weaken and become more brittle as we age, leaving elderly people more prone to fractures. General recommendations for calcium intake for those over 55 is 1000mg a day for men and 1200 for women, and for those over 70, 1200 mg is recommended regardless of gender.
As far as calcium sources go, dairy is among the best healthy food options for the elderly, as it is naturally high in calcium that helps bones stay strong. One cup of milk boasts 305 mg of calcium alone—almost ⅓ of those daily requirements. In addition to dairy, dark, leafy greens contain lots of calcium, as well as calcium fortified foods like cereals and granola bars for easy snacks and meals that seniors will be able to make on their own.
Magnesium is involved in many of the body’s most important functions and processes, such as blood glucose control, nerve function, protein synthesis, muscle contraction and more.
Magnesium deficiencies can cause a wide range of negative physical effects, including fatigue, nausea, and abnormal heart rates, so it is imperative that nutrition for older adults includes sufficient magnesium levels. Aging can cause decreased magnesium retention, so it is especially important that older adults get plenty of magnesium through their diets or through a magnesium supplement. The current magnesium recommendations are 420 mg of magnesium a day for men over 55 and 320 mg a day for women over 55.
Magnesium is found in legumes, nuts and seeds, and leafy greens. When it’s more challenging to incorporate these foods into the diet, a naturally-derived magnesium supplement can help boost the body’s magnesium stores. Nutrition Greenlife’s magnesium capsules, taken 3 times a day, contain 432 mg of magnesium chloride to help support your body’s essential functions.
Muscle loss is common as we age, so protein is key when it comes to nutrition for the elderly. As it turns out, older adults require more protein than younger adults, and sufficient protein intake in seniors is associated with better immune function and better healing from illnesses. Older adults should aim for a protein source at every meal, whether that’s meat, eggs, beans, legumes, or protein-fortified grains.
One way for older adults to get more protein is with an appetite boosting supplement. Nutrition Greenlife’s appetite stimulant supplements come in both capsule and liquid formulas for easy integration into any diet. The liquid form is especially easy to incorporate into drinks such as smoothies, which is a great option for seniors who have difficulty chewing or swallowing or simply want an easy meal they can eat on the go.
Potassium is a nutrient powerhouse and is responsible for normal cell function in all areas of the body, helps muscles contract properly, and supports normal blood pressure.
Potassium deficiencies can have serious consequences that can affect the quality of daily life, and too little potassium can lead to heightened confusion, low energy levels, and irregular heart rhythms. Older people often take additional medication for health conditions or daily health support, which can affect potassium levels and as a result it is recommended that seniors get at least 2600 mg daily for women and 3400 mg daily for men.
When it comes to nutrition for the elderly, the ideal potassium intake is usually available via diet alone, so long as you are getting enough whole foods. Fruits and veggies, dried fruits, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, bananas, and butternut squash are all great high-potassium foods to incorporate into any nutrition plan for older adults.
VItamin B6 offers a wide range of benefits to all adults, but especially older adults whose health concerns are starting to shift as they age. Vitamin B6 is shown to protect the body as it ages including the support of eye health, cognition, heart health, and antioxidant activity.
All nutrition for older adults should include sources of B6, and luckily most adults are able to get what they need from dietary sources with careful dietary planning. Healthy food for the elderly that contains lots of Vitamin B6 includes chickpeas, bananas, avocado, salmon, leafy greens, oranges, and cantaloupe.
Vitamin D works hand in hand with calcium to strengthen your bones—Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption. Vitamin D is also recognized for its contribution to brain health and potential for supporting mental health in the elderly, making it a vital part of any nutrition plan for older adults. After the age of 70, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 800 IU per day.
Vitamin D can be difficult to get via diet alone, but top healthy food options for the elderly include fortified orange juice, salmon, tuna, eggs, and fortified cereals. Time spent outside also helps increase the body’s natural Vitamin D stores, but few people live in a climate where sunlight is a reliable source of Vitamin D year-round.
A vitamin D supplement or multivitamin containing Vitamin D is often the easiest way to get the amounts required to support calcium metabolism and keep your bones, brain, and the rest of your body healthy.
Shop Naturally-Derived Supplements at Nutrition Greenlife
Nutrition Greenlife is your resource for naturally-derived supplements online. All of our products are formulated by chemical engineers in the USA for the highest quality. Shop today to find supplements to support your health and well-being.