Nutrition Tips for Seniors
December 28, 2022
As we turn our attention to January and the obligatory New Year’s resolutions we love to make (and break), about 23% of Americans will commit to bettering their health in some way. And though most resolutions are ditched within weeks, the need for continued attention to health is essential for seniors—and it looks a little different than it did in their younger years.
The actual nutritional needs of older adults aren’t much different from those of their younger counterparts, but seniors have lower caloric needs because their metabolism is slower. This means that seniors need to eat more nutrient-dense foods, packing as many nutrients as possible into fewer daily calories. An easy way to do this is to ensure that your plate looks like a rainbow; choose brightly colored fruits and vegetables partnered with lean sources of protein, whole grains, and dairy. The following nutrients are vital for those over age 65:
- Protein: helps prevent the loss of lean muscle mass. Besides meat and poultry, plant-based foods like tofu, lentils, peas, and beans are great options for increasing protein intake.
- Vitamin D: too little of it can contribute to bone loss, and seniors tend to have less as they spend less time outdoors in the sunshine. Foods containing Vitamin D include salmon, tuna, beef, egg yolks, and fortified cereals.
- Vitamin B12: the body’s ability to absorb B12 decreases with age; a deficiency in B12 often causes fatigue, tingling sensations, and problems with balance. Vitamin B12 is found in foods like meat and dairy or fortified cereals.
So, forget those resolutions you never keep anyway. If you’re a senior, it’s never too late to start focusing on your health—and there’s no better time than now to commit to consuming a nutrient-rich diet that will leave you feeling your best for many more New Years’ to come.
In 1891, Sallie Sharpless and Lydia Hall founded The Hickman as a safe and homelike place for older single women to live and receive care. Today, The Hickman is home to men and women enjoying active and enriching lives within our beautiful, park-like setting in the heart of historic downtown West Chester. Call us today at 484-552-9602 to schedule your tour!