Challenges and Solutions For a Healthy Diet for Seniors

Challenges and Solutions For a Healthy Diet for Seniors

senior citizens dietary needs go up while senior metabolisms go down

Senior citizens dietary needs go up while senior metabolisms go down

Senior Citizens Dietary Needs are High, But They Have Lower Metabolisms than Younger Folks.

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.

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

raising body alkalinity helps meet senior citizen dietary needs

Raising body alkalinity helps meet senior citizen dietary needs

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.

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!

senior citizen dietary needs can be challenging to meet

Senior citizen dietary needs can be challenging to meet

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.

senior citizen dietary needs can be challenged by money issues

Senior citizen dietary needs can be challenged by money issues

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 getting senior dietary needs met a challenge

Poor teeth can make getting senior dietary needs met a challenge

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.

Even without a blender, a protein powder and/or green superfood powder and be a help to getting appropriate nutrition.  The ones we recommend shake up easily and taste good.

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 challenges meeting senior citizen dietary needs

Senior mobility challenges meeting senior citizen dietary needs

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:

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 Amazon.  (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!)

home health worker can help loneliness as well as meeting senior citizen dietary needs

Home health worker can help loneliness as well as meeting senior citizen dietary needs

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.

14 comments on “Challenges and Solutions For a Healthy Diet for Seniors”

  1. ariel says:

    Hello Annie, I have heard so much about apple cider vinegar. What a great idea for as we get older too. Getting older is harder as we have to accept the changes in our bodies. Having people around is also a great antidote to healthy aging. Thanks for this post. In peace and gratitude, ariel

    1. Hi Ariel,
      I use Apple Cider vinegar all the time on my veggies and fish. It adds a nice flavor and the extra benefit is the alkalinity it adds to our bodies.
      We need people certainly- kids, grands, animals, friends. It makes life more joyful.
      Thanks for visiting Ariel. Always a joy for me.

  2. Michelle says:

    Hello Annie,
    I love AVC. I use it for my hair and my salad dressings. At one point I was on a weight loss ‘kick’ and I tried that too. It did not suppress my appetite or help me lose weight, but it was refreshing to drink. Great article, though. I did not know about MOW. As a matter of fact, I know someone who could benefit from this service. I will pass this article to the daughter of this elderly person. Thanks so much for sharing such useful information. I like stopping by from time to time to see your goodies!
    Michelle

    1. Hi Michelle, I am so glad to let you know about MOW for your friend. Services like that can help the elderly live independently.
      Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lisa says:

    Annie,

    I have been hearing lately a lot about the benefits of apple cider vinegar and I just learned another benefit from your post. Both of my parents are gone, but my husband’s mom and step dad are still living. Since they live on a fixed income getting the proper nutrition is extremely important. They both get around really well, which is great. They cook most meals at home so they eat healthy.

    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa, It is so great to have your in-laws able to live well within their incomes! To satisfy the nutritional needs of aging folks has its challenges, and it is wonderful that you two are staying aware of that. Remaining in independent living is most satisfying to senior life quality!

      Annie

  4. Paul says:

    Dear Annie,

    Thanks a lot for the thought provoking and useful post. Your post is full of valuable information and it’s prevention is better than cure for youngsters to read your post. This post is not only for the old age people its for everyone.

    Your Friend,
    Paul

    1. Hi Paul,

      Thank you for visiting and for your kind remarks. You are correct that there is information here relevant to all. Seniors have some changing diet requirements and challenges in meeting them. Yet we all have our requirements for optimal health and well-being. Being mindful of what they are and then taking appropriate action is key!
      Annie

      1. Paul says:

        Dear Annie,

        Thanks for the reply and you said it well “Yet we all have our requirements for optimal health and well-being. Being mindful of what they are and then taking appropriate action is key!”. Yes “Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso Thanks again!

        Your Friend,
        Paul

        1. Hi Paul,
          Thank you for visiting and commenting. I am glad what I wrote triggered some action-oriented thinking for you!

  5. Sue Dixon says:

    Hi Annie, this is a great article. First off, I have a love/hate relationship with Apple Cider Vinegar. I love it for all its many benefits but, like most others, the pungent smell and taste is difficult to get past. The concoction I drink is 8 grapefruit juice (not from concentrate), 2 tablespoons ACV and 1 tablespoon raw unfiltered honey. Also my ACV of choice is Bragg’s with the “mother.” This article touched on many helpful tips for seniors.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Sue, Thanks for sharing your recipe! I am eager to try it.\
      Annie

  6. Fred says:

    Very nice and helpful post. Most seniors are living on social security and don’t have a lot of money to buy what they need. I’ve heard of MOW and that is a good thing that they do. Everybody should donate and help this service out because we never know we may need them someday.

    1. Hi Fred,
      I agree with you that having resources for help, and knowing what they are, is needed for many older folks and their families. MOW is a great organization! I used to help with cooking back in the day. We had a blast, and then others came to pick up and deliver the food. All volunteer, so the only operating costs were the food ingredients, packaging and the head chef. Very efficient and it fills a huge need for some in our communities.

      Annie

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