Throughout the course of a person’s lifetime, they have different dietary needs at various stages. A young child requires relatively regimented nutrition, while adults may be able to enjoy a more relaxed diet.
At St. Bernardine Care Providers, we work with our High Desert clients in order to be sure that they are getting the best meals for their health care needs at their particular stage of life. Elderly people in Apple Valley and throughout the Inland Empire can benefit from a well-balanced diet filled with a variety of food types, but there are some foods that are more beneficial than others for senior citizens.
What Should Be Included in a Healthy Diet for Seniors?
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be a top priority on any senior citizen’s meal plan. Fruits and vegetables are not only delicious, but they also are nutritious. Enjoying a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will ensure that the patient gets the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that they need in order to stay healthy and strong . For instance, broccoli contains important nutrients that can help delay the onset of macular degeneration. A person should strive to fill half of their plate with fruits and vegetables that they enjoy.
Whole grains that are packed with fiber are a beneficial addition to an elderly person’s diet. As a person ages, they are more prone to issues such as constipation. Fiber helps to naturally regulate the digestive system and can prevent constipation. Fiber also is good for keeping cholesterol levels down, and can keep a person’s blood sugar in check. Add oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice to your diet for some extra fiber. Lean and low-fat protein options make the best choice. While many people think of juicy, delicious steak for a good dose of protein, it’s important to limit red meat in a senior citizen’s diet, Red meat contains a high amount of saturated fat. Lean protein options that can be used as an alternative include beans, fish, and chicken. Milk should be a regular drink for elderly people. Milk is filled with calcium and also vitamin D, which is essential for maintaining strong, healthy bones.
An elderly person should enjoy three glasses of milk each day, or supplement milk for other dairy products such as yogurt or cottage cheese. Lactaid supplements can be taken for those who do not enjoy milk or dairy products. Senior citizens do not need to consume as many calories per day as an adult does. This is because the body composition of a person has changed by the time they have reached their golden years, and also because they are not participating in as many activities. It is important to make the calories count by choosing foods that pack in the best vitamins and nutrients. This will ensure that every meal helps the patient to feel refreshed, energized and well. Caretakers at St. Bernardine Care Providers are available to help senior citizens create a meal plan that they not only enjoy, but that also is beneficial for them.