Better with age: Nutrition for adults
For the Nevada Appeal
This column addresses topics related to the health of our community. March is National Nutrition Month. This is the third in a series of articles about good nutrition.
Many of us are familiar with the stereotypical young male who seems to subsist on a diet made up entirely of frozen pizza and ramen noodles. This might work for a few years in college, but as we get older, our nutritional needs change. Our metabolism slows, and we need extra vitamins and minerals to support bone health and brain function.
The total caloric needs of adults decrease as we get older. This is due to less muscle mass, which slows our metabolism. Taking part in strength and resistance training through adulthood can aid in maintaining muscle mass and can help prevent osteoporosis, or brittle bones. The best exercises use the whole body, and are performed standing. However, if you can’t stand, exercises sitting down are better than no exercise at all.
Increasing fiber intake can be beneficial for adults. Eating plenty of fiber can help move food efficiently through your digestive system and can reduce the risk of diseases, including colon cancer. Some people choose to take a fiber supplement, while others eat plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetable, which also have other beneficial nutrients.
Many Americans eat far more salt than they need, which can contribute to high blood pressure. As we age, it is a good idea to reduce salt intake to help keep our hearts healthy. Making your own foods from scratch is a healthy alternative to purchasing prepared foods, which are often high in salt. When you cook at home you can control how much salt you add.
At any age, it is important to consume a variety of foods from all food groups to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients and to make sure that you are taking part in physical activity to keep your muscles and bones healthy and strong.
For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at http://www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or visit us on Facebook at Carson City Health and Human Services.
Carson City Health and Human Services
Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday, by appointment
WHERE: 900 East Long Street, Carson City
Men’s Clinic: 4-6 p.m. Mondays. Call for an appointment.
Vaccination is the best defense against the flu!
Immunization DaY: 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays. No appointment needed.
COST: CCHHS offers flu injections for $10.
• Cortney Bloomer and Valerie Cauhape are with the Carson City Health and Human Services.