Choosing the right foods can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Learn more in this guide to nutrition for seniors from AnswerCare, provider of respite care in Canton, OH and nearby areas.

Nutrition for seniors is very important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Seniors need to be very mindful of their food intake. As we age, our immune system becomes weaker, making it very difficult to fight off bacteria, viruses, and toxins that may cause foodborne illnesses. Having a guide to healthy eating makes life more enjoyable and less stressful for everyone.

Foods to be mindful of: 

Soft cheese: has low acidity and high moisture levels forming easy access to Listeria and other bugs. Having a weakened immune system could make this food dangerous. If the cheese is cooked, it is considered safe because heat kills bacteria.

Diet soda: is filled with little to no calories and sugar. It does not have vitamins and minerals that are healthy for the body. Healthy drinks and water have a nutritional value. Diet soda has been linked to diabetes and obesity. It also damages your teeth and can weaken your bones.

Sprouts: may contain viruses, bacteria, and toxins that can cause foodborne illness when prepared. Sprouts grow in warm and humid settings that are pathways for bacteria growth. When the seeds sprout, bacteria will get trapped inside, making people very ill. Cooking is the only way to kill foodborne pathogens.  

Raw oysters, mussels, and clams: are dangerous because the risk of getting sick is higher when food is slightly cooked or served raw. For healthy people, getting food poisoning may only result in a few hours to days, but those who have a weakened immune system may suffer enormously with complications and setbacks. 

Processed foods: are easier to prepare, so a lot of seniors tend to gravitate toward them. These foods are harmful for the elderly because they are high in sugars, sodium, and fat. They are even more dangerous to those with diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.  

Healthy Foods:

Apples, bananas, carrots, oranges, broccoli, and spinach: these foods are high in fiber. Fiber is a great source for weight loss, and it decreases constipation. It also lowers blood sugar levels. Eating foods high in fiber can also protect you from getting colon cancer. Consuming fiber will offer great health benefits.

Milk and yogurt: are a great source of low-fat dairy. The best source of calcium is low-fat or non-fat milk which contains vitamin D and other nutrients valuable for good health. 

Nuts, beans, and eggs: are ideal for protein. As our bodies age, we process protein less efficiently. In order to maintain strength, more protein is recommended. Even seniors who appear healthy need more protein to support muscle mass. The risk of having a stroke is also lower in those who have more protein in their diet. 

Liquid vegetable oils: tend to contain less saturated fats. Great choices are olive, avocado, and soybean oils. These provide essential fats your body needs but can’t produce on its own.

Brown rice, enriched grains, and cereals: these foods contain more vitamins, such as folate and thiamine. They also contain minerals such as zinc and iron. Another great source is fiber and antioxidants. Eating these foods will lower heart disease and high blood pressure.

Lifestyle choices play a large role for many senior citizens. Depending on what medication one might be on, certain prescriptions may change appetite or even taste, making it difficult to get enough nutrients. Losing a partner may make lunch and dinner less enjoyable which also results in a lack of interest in cooking for just one.

It can be very challenging and difficult to follow a nutritious diet. Shopping for groceries as well as making healthy meals can take a lot of time and effort. At AnswerCare, our skilled and trained nurses are there to help deliver healthy fresh groceries, prepare tasty meals perfect for a specialized diet, and help senior citizens reduce their risk for disease. AnswerCare makes sure the home is always stocked with healthy food, and our top priority is to help maintain a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle for those in need. To learn more tips about nutrition for seniors or our professional respite care in Canton, OH and the surrounding areas, contact us online or call 855.213.1511.