We Need Solutions for a Healthy Diet for Seniors…
They have increased dietary needs, But Lower Metabolisms than Younger Folks, so eating what they need can easily consume more calories than are good for them…
That presents a challenge. How can they get enough of the nutrients they need, and not get fat in the process? Lack of money, decreasing taste and smell, and mobility challenges can increase diet risk. What are the solutions for a healthy diet for seniors?
Seniors have lower metabolisms than younger people, but senior citizen dietary needs continue and even increase.
Restoring digestive health by eating foods that raise your body's alkalinity is one step to take to help meet senior dietary needs. Having better digestion will help your body absorb the nutrients in what you eat more efficiently.
Raising Body Alkalinity Is A Help
Apple cider vinegar and lime or lemon juice, although acidic themselves, act biochemically to increase body alkalinity. That helps digestion. It seems it would be the opposite, doesn't it?
Many foods increase the acids in the body. Blood has a PH (acidity level) between 7.34 and 7.45. When acids enter the body, as with meats, processed carbohydrates, alcohol and salt, the lungs and the kidneys go to work to maintain the proper PH level for the blood.
Because this is so critical a need for the body, everything in the body cooperates to help out, if the lungs and kidney are having a hard time.
Keeping the body at the proper PH improves digestive health so more senior citizen dietary needs are met. That solves a part of the problem in seeking solutions for a healthy diet for seniors.
Another way to increase alkalinity is by eating lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. Because some seniors have digestive sensitivity, 5-8 servings a day can be a hard goal to reach. Using a good green superfood powder can help you meet your senior citizen dietary needs. You can find reviews here and here to find one that works best for you. There is even one at the bottom of the post that I highly recommend you buy, that is designed specifically for Senior Citizen dietary needs! And it's yummy!
Tastebuds and Smell Can Decline
In fact, both decline throughout life. Babies have such sensitive tastebuds that their food should not be salted or seasoned at all. Commercial babyfood, first made in the Baby Boom of the 40's and 50's, originally was made to appeal to adult palates. As we learned more about babies, the salts and seasonings were removed, and baby-tastes are now at appropriate levels.
Many seniors lose a lot of their taste and smell sensitivity.
One solution to avoid is adding sweeteners
We do WAY too much of that for all of us, I think. That will just add empty calories and pack on fat. They do not help one bit to meet senior citizen dietary needs and may hinder.
Instead liberal use of herbs and spices adds more flavor to overcome the weakening taste buds and olfactory nerves, and entice senior citizens dietary needs being met with daily meals.
Many herbs and spices have health benefits, too for senior dietary needs. Garlic and ginger can help digestion. Turmeric (the ingredient that makes Indian curry yellow) is good to relieve aches and pains.
Because of the senstivity declines, the old sniff test is not as reliable to make sure food is still good. Better is to try labeling food with Expiration Dates when you put it in the fridge.
Money Limitations for Seniors
Many Seniors do not have a lot of money. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive, as can good meats and other protein sources. But they are needed to meet senior citizen dietary needs.
I have two solutions.
One is to buy frozen. Not only does that cost less, but the produce is frozen at peak maturity. You can also use what you need, and keep the rest with less waste.
Another is to consider a protein drink. Many are loaded with not only protein but other nutrients that can help. Check out this review.
There is a United States Federal program that is underused, and that can be a help with money problems. It is called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.
Poor Teeth Can Make It Hard to Eat
When teeth get old, they can crack or fall out. Missing and weak teeth and gums can make it hard to eat property and meet those senior citizen dietary needs.
A good gift for a Senior you know and love could be a blender, to help make it easier to eat well. This link has not only the best blenders to look at, but questions and guidelines to help you choose the best one for you or your Senior. A blender can help Seniors get their diet needs with enough protein as well as more fruits and vegetables.
One way to get senior citizen dietary needs met, is to use cauliflower instead of rice or potatoes. I put cauliflower in my seafood chowders and stews. You can cook up a head or a bag of frozen ones, and mash them.
Some Seniors have digestive issues with the cabbage family, and this will not work for them. They will have to rely on potatoes and peas instead. A good multivitamin may be called for. You can find a recommendation here for that.
Senior Mobility Issues
Most Seniors do not want to go into a new home or assisted living, unless they absolutely have to. They like their homes and their neighborhoods. But mobility can become challenges to healthy living.
Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with mobility challenges in developing solutions for a healthy diet for seniors:
1 – Meals on Wheels. MOW is for all, not for the destitute. It is a free service where healthy meals get brought to your home. How often varies by community. If you have plenty of money, and have a need for help, make a contribution and accept the help.
2- Food Delivery Services – Many markets have the option to buy online and have the food delivered to your house. You can order many foods from Amazon, too. This link is to groceries from Whole Foods from Amazon. You can order almost any foods and home products directly through Amazon for home delivery. (Please know if you use this link to buy any product from Amazon, Annie's Tips will be paid a small commission, at no extra cost to you. We appreciate your support of our website!)
3- Home Health Worker. Hiring a home health worker for a few hours a week or day, can help you stay in your own home longer.
Mobility challenges for Seniors can also lead to loneliness and depression. Those definitely affect the overall quality of life as well as diet. For many Seniors, having a pet is a big help. Visits from family are important, too.
Eating a healthy diet helps maintain a higher quality of life. There are challenges for Seniors more than for younger people for sure. I hope some of these tips help you solve your challenges.
What ones can you identify with? Digestion? Loss of Sensitivity in Taste or Smell? Money Issues? Poor Teeth? Mobility?
What action are you taking? Share in a comment. Maybe what you do will help someone else, too.