7 Healthy Tips for Your Golden Age
After age 50 there are many metabolic and physiological changes which impact on the nutritional needs of an individual. The metabolic rate slows and can decline as much as 30% over a lifetime. Decreased caloric needs can be complicated by changes in an older person's ability to balance food intake and energy needs. Even with a decreased caloric need, many older people have difficulty getting sufficient calories which can eventually lead to chronic fatigue, depression, and a weakened immune system.
As we age our body composition changes with a decrease in lean tissue mass (as much as 25%) and an increase in body fat. Such changes can be accelerated because older adults utilize dietary protein less efficiently.
Other contributing factors include loneliness, lack of cooking skills, depression, economic concerns, weakness and fatigue. All these factors can contribute to the fact that a significant number of older adults are at moderate to high nutritional risk.
As we age:
We have more issues with our teeth and decreased saliva production can result in chewing difficulties.
We have reduced taste: due to deterioration of taste buds.
We have slower less efficient digestion: reduced saliva and digestive juices
Follow these seven healthy tips for your Golden Years:
1) Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement -
It’s an insurance policy for your health – when you can’t get enough of the good stuff in!
2) Increase your fiber –
Promotes bowel regularity, helps manage blood sugar and helps control cholesterol levels.
3) Exercise –
Studies show by the age of 65 we double our fat pounds and lose 50% of our muscle. Muscles keep us from falls, strengthen bones, and help us keep up with the grandkids and golfing buddies.
4) Beneficial bacteria –
Your nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine. There is over 400 strains of beneficial bacteria – unfortunately medications, stress and chemicals in our diet and our world compromise healthy gut flora numbers. As we age our flora decreases. Your gut flora has a significant impact on your immune health and absorption of all the good stuff!
5) Calcium & Vitamin D –
Proper supplementation with calcium and vitamin D could reduce the rate of hip fracture by at least 30%–meaning 50,000 to 60,000 fewer hip fractures each year in the United States.
6) Greens/Antioxidant Drink –
There is growing scientific evidence of the positive impact of antioxidants on both eye and brain function. Studies have linked antioxidants with a reduced risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration; use of antioxidant supplements had a significant protective effect in reducing the risk of dementia, as well as in improving overall cognitive function.
7) Protein –
Older adults utilize dietary protein less efficiently and may actually need a greater than recommended amount of protein in their diet to maintain lean tissue mass (muscle). Whey protein is alkalizing to the body and is packed with immunoglobulins to help support immune health.
Amy Keller, Holistic Nutritionist www.INSIGHTNUTRITIONBOULDER.com
Insight Nutrition, 4150 Darley Ave, Suite 6, Boulder, CO 80305 303-642-2232