Happily Ageing! Yes, you heard it right. It is definitely possible if you take care of your body and health in the correct manner by fulfilling its essential requirements timely. Today, there are number of people who are living longer than at any other time in history. As a matter of fact, boomers will number 78 million by the year 2030. As you age, your nutrition needs also increases. Your body is in a regenerative mode. The growth of cells and tissues is slow but repairing of tissues is at a higher rate.
Generally, aged people experience low immunity, poor digestion, weak bones and muscles and fatigue. Physical activity of the body decreases typically, and you may be a victim of metabolic disorders like osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. This does not conclude that you have to eat less. Eating right becomes more essential than eating less.
Importance of proteins, minerals, vitamins, fluids, and carbohydrates will change in senior people. All these nutrients have to be packed in easy-to-digest and easy-to-absorb, small frequent meals which are spread out and spaced well over the entire day.
At times, food becomes very essential during old age. Women especially should be very careful about their diet in elderly age. Due to menopause, the capacity to absorb calcium decreases and they may get weakness in joints and become susceptible to fractures very easily. Food which is cooked should be soft and easy to swallow, in case if there have been teeth extractions for dentures which are being used.
Know About Ageing
Ageing is one of the essential processes in human, which is linked with a lot of free radical release in the body. It is also called as oxidation of cells. Weak muscles, greying, hair falling, reduced skin tone, susceptibility to colds and coughs and lack of energy are symptoms of oxidation. Few vitamins like vitamin E, C, A and some minerals are important in good quantities to decrease the ill-effects of free radicals in the body.
Physical, Internal And Psychological Changes That Come With Ageing
As we age, our bodies go through some changes. On the outer side of the body we change physically, but there are a lot of internal changes and psychological adjustments as well.
Knowing what to expect and how to slow some of those changes can help you stay as pleasant and active as possible.
As you all know your heart pumps 24/7, whether you are awake or asleep. It will pump more than 2.5 billion beats in the span of your lifetime! As you grow old, blood vessels start losing their elasticity, fat deposits build up against artery walls, and the heart has to work harder to circulate the blood through your body. All this can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
2. Bones, Muscles & Joints
As we age, our bones reduce in size and density. Some people become shorter! Others are more prone to fractures because of bone loss. Muscles, tendons, and joints may lose strength and flexibility.
3. Digestive System
Swallowing and digestive reflexes reduce down as we get older. Swallowing may become tough as the oesophagus contraction is low. The flow of secretions that help digest food in the stomach, liver, pancreas and small intestine may also be reduced. The decreased flow may result in few digestive issues that weren’t a problem when you were younger.
4. Kidneys and Urinary Tract
Kidneys may become less efficient in the functioning of the waste removal from the bloodstream because your kidneys get smaller as they lose cells as you age. Few long-term diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure can root more damage to the kidneys.
Urinary incontinence may arise due to some health conditions. Changes in hormone levels in women and having an enlarged prostate in men are contributing factors that lead to urinary incontinence.
5. Brain and Nervous System
As we age, we naturally lose cells. This is even true in the brain. Memory loss generally occurs because of the number of brain cells decreases. The brain can compensate for this loss by increasing the number of connections between cells to preserve brain function. Reflexes may just slow down, distraction is more likely, and coordination is affected.
There are many different changes that occur as we age. We may need help seeing objects that are closer to us as our lens stiffens. We may have a more hard time seeing in low-light conditions, and colours may be perceived differently. Your eyes may be less effective in generating tears and our lenses may become cloudier.
Common eye problems generally associated with age include cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
Uncontrolled noise throughout your lifetime can cause hearing loss as you age. Many older people have difficulty hearing higher pitched voices and sounds, trouble hearing in busy places and more frequently accumulating earwax.
8. Hair, Skin, and Nails
As you become old, your skin becomes drier and more brittle, which can cause a lot of wrinkles. The fat layer underneath the skin thins, which results in less sweating. This may seem like a good thing, but it makes you more susceptible to heat stroke and heat exhaustion in the summer. Hair and nails grow the little bit slower and become brittle. Hair will thin and turn grey.
9. Memory Loss
Generally, memory loss is one of the major and also common psychological effects when you were ageing. For many people, recollecting everyday things becomes more difficult. Memory loss affects short-term memory more than the long-term memory. It may be easy to recall events which are happened thirty years in the past, but difficult to recall what happened on the today’s morning news.
What is more about the effects when you are ageing? One cause is an older brain. It decreases in weight and volume, which may be due to a downsizing in neurons. This biological change may be inevitable to some degree, but factors such as nutrition and mental activity may also impact how severe the psychological effects of ageing are.
Foods To Include In Diet For Elderly People
At the age of 55-60 by consuming 3/4 cup of a daily serving of beans or lentils can help to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 5 percent. Few senior people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes found that eating about a cup of beans or lentils per day as part of a healthy diet lowered haemoglobin A1c, a marker of blood sugar control, by 0.5%, which is a substantial improvement. Need an easy way to introduce more beans into your regular diet, then you need to choose low-sodium beans with whole-grain pasta and sauteed veggies for a quick night meal, or try some of these other easy ideas.
The risk for heart diseases enhances individually in both men over 50 and women over 55, so incorporating more cholesterol-lowering foods like oats into your regular diet is a smart move. As you all know that oats are rich in soluble fibre which is called beta-glucan, and consuming at least 3 grams of this fibre a day (which is equivalent to 1.5 cups cooked oatmeal) has been shown to decrease total and LDL cholesterol levels by 5 to 10 percent. People who prefer to eat oats and other whole grains daily are also at decreased risk of dying an early death.
Apples are known as exotic fruits, which are much cheaper. A large sized apple supplies 5 grams of heart-healthy fibre, and At the age of 50 by eating apples regularly can lower both total and LDL cholesterol to help keep your ticker in tip-top shape. As you all know people who are that frequently consuming apples are at lower risk for type 2 diabetes. Cut slices of apple and add a smear of peanut butter for a classic snack that never gets old.
For elderly people instead of snack on chips, crackers, and cookies choosing nuts is an amazing and simple way to give your diet a major upgrade. By eating an ounce of mixed nuts daily as part of the Mediterranean-style diet, you can able to decrease the risk of heart stroke, attack, and death from heart disease by 28 percent. An easy way to get in a daily serving: Use sliced and toasted little nuts as a garnish for roasted vegetables or whole grain sides like brown rice and quinoa.
But as you become elder, your eating habits will change automatically. Perhaps you are limited in extent to consume a special diet after developing an allergy or another illness issue. And over time life changes may make it more challenging to shop for and prepare regular meals. But there’s one thing that will never change: the advantage of healthy eating. You may already know foods you should include in a healthy diet, but do you know what you should avoid consuming?
Food Restrictions For Elderly People
Below are few foods that you should cut down (or avoid eating altogether) as you get older, and why:
1. Raw Or Under-cooked Eggs, Meat, And Poultry
Semi-cooked foods like meat, eggs, poultry, and sushi can cause food poisoning, which can activate sepsis and septic shock. Although anyone can develop infection and sepsis, seniors are at higher risk.
If you take a set of particular medications to treat high blood pressure, anxiety or insomnia, you may have been advised not to eat grapefruit. The reason is that grapefruit and grapefruit juice can intensify the effects of some drugs, potentially making them dangerous. If your medication label says to avoid grapefruit, it is important to heed this warning.
3. High-Sodium foods
Too much intake of salt can be a problem for older people, especially if you have a history of hypertension. If your food is lacking flavor, try adding various types of herbs and spices rather than loading up with table salt. As seniors person over the age of 71 should limit their salt intake to no more than 1.2 grams in a day.
Regular intake of caffeine not only keeps many people from getting a good night’s sleep, but it may also enhance anxiety and make your heart beat more quickly or irregularly. This could be more dangerous if you have a heart condition. Apart from coffee, caffeine is also found in many teas, some sodas, chocolate and even some medications, including over-the-counter painkillers.
5. Alcoholic Beverages
Consuming alcoholic beverage occasionally is harmless for the number of people. However, if you have few chronic illnesses, like diabetes, or you take certain types of medications, such as antihistamines, painkillers (analgesics) and medications for hypertension (high blood pressure), alcohol should be avoided strictly.
For few senior citizens, it is hard to chew few foods which are full of vitamins and nutrients, from them below you can see few recipes which are easy to chew.
How to Prepare Easy-to-Chew Foods for the Elderly Who Don’t Have Teeth?
As people aged and become old, many have to adjust their eating habits because of missing teeth. Below are few preparation methods which are easy-to-chew foods for the elderly can still be tasty and nutritious.
Mashed and Pureed Fruits
Fresh fruit is one of the simplest items to prepare for seniors who are having trouble chewing. Ripened fresh bananas, melons, peaches, mango, pears, and berries are soft and easy to chew when cutting into small, bite-size pieces. To make them even easy and easier to consume, gently mash them into a preserve-like puree. Another choice is to boil the bite-sized morsels in a little amount of water and sugar, creating a thick and juicy compote with a medley of softened fruit chunks.
Boiled And Steamed Vegetables
Potatoes are simple to prepare, and they can be enjoyed as a warm side dish. Just peel, boil the vegetables until they are soft, drain, mash and season them. Just about any type of beans or peas are simple and easy to chew — or gum — when steamed or boiled to the right consistency. Even crunchy fresh vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and Brussels sprouts are easy to consume when cooked a long time and diced small. You can also boil many types of fresh produce in beef or chicken stock for a soft and nutritious vegetable soup.
Completely cooked cereals, such as oatmeal and cream of rice or wheat, are an excellent source of grain for seniors when they’re cooked to a soft consistency. Soft muffins like bran, blueberry or banana — without nuts — are a healthy choice and easy to chew if cut into small bites after you remove the crusty muffin top. Moderately cooked rice, barley and also pasta is soft and easy to swallow. You can also consume whole-grain bread for a soft high-protein snack.
Consuming a healthy diet regularly is always a good idea, but as you get older, it can be even more important. By reducing or avoiding your intake of these foods, you can feel better and make your doctor happy, too. From preparing nutritious meals to making healthy lifestyle choices, seniors may need assistance with an array of tasks. Some seniors only require help with a few regular tasks so they can maintain their independence.