Superfoods for Elderly Diet
Although the term “superfoods” is not really considered to be a scientific term, it is commonly used today when referring to food groups that are high in vitamins and minerals. People of all ages will surely benefit from nutritious food; and for this reason, the interest in these so-called superfoods has dramatically increased through the years. However, the elderly are more in need of such types of food because of their fragile condition. Serving them these types of foods can therefore build their stamina and make them more resistant to diseases.
Preparing the Right Types of Food for the Elderly
An elderly person may find it hard to appreciate normal food as he or she gets older and older. At this point in their lives, the sense of taste can deteriorate rapidly so that even their favorite foods may appear to be bland and tasteless. Because of this, their appetite can be greatly affected; and this can lead to malnutrition if not properly monitored.
Since the amount of food intake is reduced, it is important to serve the elderly with nutritious foods that can supply all their nutritional needs. Food groups that are high in vitamins and minerals should therefore be given to them in the right proportions, and these are to be served in appetizing ways too.
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamins and minerals, and these are high in fiber too. These are the types of food that should be regularly included in their diet so as to provide them with nutritional food that are high in fiber yet low in fat and calories. As some people are also prone to gaining weight as they grow older, it would also be wise to avoid giving them high-calorie foods.
Choosing Superfoods for the Elderly
Lean meat as well as poultry and fish can be served to the elderly. The proportion will depend on their age as their digestive systems are no longer as efficient as it used to be. The food should be well-cooked so that they are easy to digest. And it is also advisable that these are served in small pieces so that they are easier to chew and swallow.
Soups can also be given to the elderly; but creamy soups that are high in calories should be avoided. Clear soups like onion and cabbage soups can be served to them as appetizers. And whole fruits and fresh juices can also be given as desserts.
If rice is included in their meals, make it a point that they are given brown rice instead of white rice. You see, brown rice is more nutritious; and this type of rice is easy to digest too.
Swapping Junk Food with Superfood
The elderly can be quite picky with their food. And as their caregiver and caretaker, you need to adapt yourself to this behavioral change as it’s really quite normal. If an elderly is fond of milk shakes, for example, then this can be substituted with smoothies. Fruit and vegetable drinks are definitely more nutritious than milk shakes, as milk shakes can contain high levels of fat and calories.
Even potato chips can be replaced with more nutritious snacks. Kale and spinach chips can be substituted for potato chips as they are more nutritious and beneficial to one’s health.
Health Benefits of Superfoods to the Elderly
By supplying the elderly with nutritious foods, their stamina and resistance to diseases can improve a lot. This will make them less vulnerable to coughs, colds, and other infections that can lead to complications and even death.
Nutritious food is also good for brain health. This will supply the brain with oxygen so that brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can be avoided.
Superfoods are also said to carry anti aging properties. The vitamins, minerals, and anti oxidant components contained therein can help reduce stress and anxiety which is common to old people. Said nutrients will also make their skin more elastic and pliable so as not to develop wrinkles and dry skin.
As the term superfoods implies, these types of food can also supply the body with energy. And as we all know, old people often have that weak sensation because of their fragile condition. Eating the right kind of food will therefore make them feel more energized and happy as well.
Superfoods are Natural Pain Relievers
Old people are prone to joint pains and arthritis; and foods that belong to the superfoods category can help ease the condition. A banana, for example, is high in Potassium and Vitamin B which can combat joint pains and rheumatism. B complex vitamins are also commonly found in green leafy vegetables.
Superfoods for General Health
Food groups that are high in calcium are particularly beneficial to the elderly because they are prone to bone and teeth problems. This mineral is commonly found in a variety of vegetables; that’s why regular serving of such types of food is recommended.
Likewise, veggies such as carrots and pumpkins are good for the eyes because of their high Vitamin A component. This vitamin helps in avoiding eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts, and even macular degeneration.
The Omega vitamins that are commonly found in fish products are also good for the old people. Omega 3 and 6 are good for the heart; and it will make them less prone to heart attacks and other heart problems.
A Balanced Diet is Still Important
The elderly may be picky with the types of foods that they want to eat, but those who are taking care of them need to ensure that they are provided with well-balanced meals all the time. Improper diet can result in having a weak immune system, and this will expose them to deadly diseases like pneumonia, liver disease, kidney disease, and even cancer.
Should you notice a decrease in their appetite, a thorough investigation should be readily taken so as to avoid any untoward incidences. Ask them if they have any chewing and swallowing problems so that you can serve them the types of food that they can tolerate well. It may also be necessary to consult a doctor so as to find out if there are any underlying causes to their lack of appetite.