Eating right for your age
Special to Nevada Appeal
It’s important to eat well at any age, but older adults especially require plenty of vitamin-rich foods to stay healthy. Eating well helps keep your body strong, your mind sharp and your energy level up as you age.
What your body needs now
According to the modified food pyramid for older adults, brightly-colored, antioxidant-rich vegetables are necessary for a healthy metabolism, which can slow with age, causing weight gain.
You should also eat high-nutrient, low-fat foods, like fish. This protein-rich food keeps muscles strong, and a report from the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases found that individuals who eat fish regularly are less likely to develop arthritis as they age.
Calcium-heavy dairy and Vitamin D are especially vital for healthy bones. Losing bone density is a normal part of aging, but medical conditions like osteoporosis can further weaken musculoskeletal strength.
For women especially, it’s important to pair at least 1,500 mg of calcium a day with low-intensity activity, like walking to stay strong.
Aging adults might also find that food tastes differently and might be less flavorful. Instead of reaching for the saltshaker, try adding other, healthier seasonings to your plate like basil, cumin or fennel. Sodium is a necessary nutrient for our bodies, but it can be harmful in excessive amounts.
The importance of soul food
Especially during the holidays, food is a sentimental part of our lives — aiding in reliving cherished moments and allowing us to enjoy family traditions all over again. We understand the importance of eating familiar foods and we incorporate family favorites into the menu for our residents, to give them a sense of home.
Eating foods from your past can bring back fond memories and help those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease recall experiences that they may have otherwise forgotten.
That’s why food is part of Prestige Care’s award-winning memory care program, Expressions. Our food-focused component, Tasty Expressions, draws from individual residents’ lifelong experiences with food, aiding in memory recovery and rehabilitation.
Nutritious food does your whole body good — from your head to your heart. Next time you fill up your plate, remember to give your body what it needs at this stage in your life.
Juliee Morrison, BSN, RN, is the Expressions director for Carson Tahoe Expressions Memory Care at Carson Tahoe Care Center. Go to http://www.prestigecare.com/carsontahoe to learn more.