Tips to Eat Well and Age Well
Old folks aging well
How aging affects your body
Today, you can see more people live until the ripe age of 80 and even 100.
Regardless of your gender, your body and mind changes suddenly as you grow older. You may noticed that all of a sudden, your memory is failing, you don’t have much strength to carry the grocery bags or walk further, the joints on your knees are aching , indigestion happens frequently and your five senses are losing their sharpness.
The truth is, aging can affect with the food you consume in many ways.
It is common that your taste buds have changed, feeling picky that every food doesn’t taste yummy at all. You may have to alter the taste of your dishes and beverages to meet your current situation.
The cause of sudden change may be due to age and medications that you are taking under doctor’s order, if you are sick. In addition, elderly people start to lose teeth or wear dentures to help them to chew food.
All these reasons can interrupt your eating behavior, decrease appetite and effect nutritional intake from food that you consume.
Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.— Betty Friedan
For those with single or both parents...
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Elderly people losing appetite
- Majority elderly people are eating less and experiencing losing appetite because they are feeling lonely or low in spirit due to lack of family love and care.
- You may notice that elderly people staying with you have a very good appetite which improved tremendously when family members and relatives gather together for a simple meal during special occasions and yearly celebrated festivals.
- It is obvious that old folks needed companionship badly, someone to confide to about their past grievances and help them to instill new knowledge regarding health issues because majority are illiterate and stubborn to change their stuck to the mud lifestyle.
Eating less or not
Should we eat less as we age?
As people grow older, when age is catching up, you don’t have to eat less as long as your family doctor confirmed that you are still fit and strong, healthy while no major illness detected.
- Likewise, if the doctor has diagnosed that you have contracted any chronic disease(s) or sickness, you ought to obey your doctor’s order to lower your calorie intake and abstain yourself from certain food that may agitate your illness further.
- In addition, those who had reached the menopause stage may become less mobile, less motivated to exercise and prefer to turn themselves into couch potato in front of their favorite television so as to occupy their past times.
- Therefore, with less physical activities involved, it is wise to eat less in order to prevent yourself from putting on weight and reduce the chances of contracting the most common chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes.
What are you going to do...
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The Food Pyramid
Tips to Eat Well to Age Well
1) What are the foods that are recommended for healthy aging?
At this age, elderly people need food with nutrients that are easily digested, easily absorbed into the body system and not complicated to cook. Basically, the range of food recommended for elderly folks is to follow closely the Food Pyramid which shows eat more starchy food, fiber and proteins.
- For breakfast, eat a bowl of oatmeal mix with porridge or muesli because oats are high in fiber, minerals and protein.
- Oats benefit your heart, cholesterol free and help to reduce cholesterol level.
- In order to reduce fats, remove the chicken fats and skin before cooking.
- Cut the chicken meat into small pieces for easy consumption, use small quantity of chicken meat in your dishes, to supply you low fat and a good source of protein, vitamin B, zinc and iron.
- Sweet biscuits, a bowl of sugary breakfast cereal, chocolate bar are examples of food high in sugar that are converted quickly into glucose and raise the blood sugar levels quickly.
- Hence, cut down these foods to once a week or simply cut them off from your daily diet.
High calcium food
2) Consume High Calcium Food
As you grow older, it is essential to consume high calcium food that benefits bones and teeth.
Calcium helps to reduce the risk of contracting :
- osteoporosis (especially older women)
- prevent muscles cramps
- blood clotting
- high blood pressure.
A glass of skimmed milk, a carton of natural yogurt, cheese, tofu, canned sardines, seaweed and large amount of green vegetables contain the most easily absorb calcium that benefit your body.
Natural Anti-oxidant Foods
3) Consume Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
You can get natural antioxidants from fruits and vegetables that are high in phytochemicals which are good protection to your body against chronic diseases.
Furthermore, antioxidants protect your skin from aging prematurely.
You can obtain antioxidants from inexpensive fresh fruits and vegetables with deep color such as:
- dark green (kale, spinach, mustard greens, any leafy vegetables)
- deep red (dragon fruit, strawberries)
- purple (eggplant, grapes, purple cabbage, figs, blackberries )
- blue (blueberries)
- yellow (capsicum, lemon, banana, corn, chickpeas)
- bright orange that are high in beta-carotene.
- Prunes, blueberries, strawberries, spinach and Brussels sprouts are the best sources.
How to wash vegetables and fruits
4) Vitamin supplements
Are vitamin and mineral supplement recommended?
Is it necessary to consume vitamin and mineral supplements?
It depends entirely whether your body is under nourish or not.
- Everyone has different opinion over this supplement issue. Some people feel that they are too busy with work and household chores, don’t have much spare time to buy the right food ingredients for the nutrients that they are lack of.
- People from all walks of life usually lack of at least one or two of the essential nutrients in their diets.
- Others feel that vitamin and mineral supplements help them to boost their energy levels and improve the 5 senses which had been failing previously.
- In addition, elderly folks with chronic disease(s), those who are suffering from allergies or food intolerance may find it difficult to choose the right food to obtain the sufficient nutrients they required.
- Hence, they need to depend on vitamin and mineral supplements to replace the lacking nutrients in their body.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist for the specialized diet such as sodium, sugar control diet to compromise your health conditions.
- Of course, it is better to obtain your essential nutrients from natural food and fresh fruits rather than relying on pills.
- It takes a much longer time for the pills to dissolve into your body.
- There are others who feel that it makes no difference in consuming the vitamin supplements as they could not see the positive results at all.
Exercise For Older Adults (10-20 minutes per day )
How to keep Healthy as you Age
1) Exercise Regularly and Lightly
Majority elderly people have the habit of reducing their mobility as they age. The less you do, the less you can do.
Exercise is highly encouraged to increase metabolism rates and produce the feel good hormone which helps to reduce the chances of depression and enhance good appetite.
You don’t have to do rigorous exercise at the gym.
- For a good start, simply move your arms, shoulders, neck and exercise your knees while in sitting on a chair.
- Doctors had confirmed that exercising painful joints such as kneecap can cause discomfort for the first few times, but it is worth the effort.
- Once you can bypass the slight discomfort, gradually the pain will fade as you exercise regularly.
- Walking is the best exercise method for elderly folks too.
- In addition, it is also important to have sufficient rest and sleep well to avoid muscle aches.
- If you are a woman in the menopause stage, you may experience insomnia, unable to sleep at the right time, uncomfortable sleep with frequent waking up in the middle of the sleep that causes hot flushes and sweating profusely at night.
- Therefore, menopause symptoms may affect your swing mood and disturbing appetite.
Hence, it is advisable to seek treatment at your family doctor for quick relief.
Give support and love
2) Avoid Depression in Elderly Parents
- Do take note of your elderly parents' appetite and mood.
- It is essential to detect early signs of loneliness and depression which they are experiencing because these unforeseen problems could greatly affect in consuming the right nutritious food and lead the healthy lifestyle regime.
- Some working adults do not stay with their elderly parents, live outstation or have their own family to take care.
- They may visit the parents only on special occasions or festivals. Therefore, elderly parents who are left to stay alone at their own home tend to feel lonely ,lack of love and developing depression.
- Since they have no one else to talk to, they constantly bicker among themselves, in order to attract children attention, feeling bored with not much activity to occupy their time and no grandchildren to babysit.
- Keep contact with each other through phone calls, online chats with camera to see each other faces or simply visit them on Public Holidays.
Be a Pet Owner
3) Keep a Pet
Therefore, numerous studies had been conducted to prove that rearing domestic animal as a pet could create a great impact by improving the daily lifestyle of elderly folks.
The benefits of having a pet are :
- to give a second companionship to entertain their mood
- give them assurance and comfort when they are low in spirit
- feeling lonely , pets will lightened up their spirits when the pet lick or caress its body against the new pet owner.
- A pet could help elderly parents to pour out their grievances, displeasure, unhappiness and joy whenever they want to ( because pets do not talk back!)
- Although the pet may not understand a single word of human talk, it may understand the pet owner facial expression and emotions. That is how “a dog is a man best friend” came about.
- In addition to it, a cat could do a better job by sleeping soundly on your lap to keep you warm and cozy too.
- Rearing a pet means a second time being a parent to a new young life. He needs to take care of the pet’s daily needs, food, drinks and shower lots of love as it is part of his family now.
- Therefore, elderly folks will become busy with their pet’s activities and keep themselves happy, improving appetite and physically healthy by moving about.
Eat well Now, Don't Complain Later
Regardless of your age, it is wise to seek and review your lifestyle now. Learn the right way to eat healthily to keep your body strong and immune from sickness.
Lazy to exercise?
Take an evening walk after work or school. A brisk walk to the grocery store or park helps your body stay healthy and work out those tight muscles.
As you age, your body becomes weaker, started to have aching bones or backaches.
However, you will live longer and stay happy if you start the positive lifestyle from young.
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