Why Is Nutrition Important for Older Adults?

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Following a well-balanced diet can help seniors maintain a healthy weight, boost their energy levels, and enjoy a better quality of life as they age. To ensure their nutritional goals are met, family caregivers need to encourage their loved ones to eat foods high in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and other important nutrients. Here are a few reasons nutrition is vital for seniors.

Enhances Bone Health

There are many foods that contain the vitamins and nutrients seniors need to prevent osteoporosis. Consuming protein and various vitamins can contribute to good bone, muscle, and joint health. Protein contributes to a large percentage of bone mass, and it can also influence growth hormones and growth factors in the body that indirectly alter bone health. Make sure nutrition remains a top priority in your loved one’s diet.

Seniors who need help preparing nutrient-dense meals can benefit from professional in-home care. In Fort Myers, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Boosts the Immune System

Nutrition is a crucial factor that affects the body’s natural resistance. Failing to get the nutrients the body needs could result in malnutrition, a condition that suppresses the immune system. Poor immune health makes seniors more susceptible to colds, the flu, pneumonia, and other infections. However, your loved one can eat foods high in protein, folate, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B, and C to strengthen his or her immune system. These nutrients help the body fight against bacteria and harmful toxins.

Staves Off Memory Loss

Seniors are at a higher risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s due to poor lifestyle choices, including diet. Poor nutrition could lead to degenerative inflammatory disease, which can damage the part of the brain known as the medial temporal lobe. The medial temporal lobe is critical for long-term memory, vision, emotion, comprehension, language, and sensory input. The issue can be prevented when seniors eat the necessary foods to keep their brains functioning normally. 

Aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from receiving professional Alzheimer’s care. Fort Myers seniors need regular mental stimulation when managing memory-related conditions, and a reliable in-home caregiver who has extensive training in Alzheimer’s care can be a great asset.

Increases Circulation

Switching to a healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease. The foods your loved one eats may have an impact on his or her blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight. Failing to control blood pressure and cholesterol could cause narrowed blood vessels, plaque buildup, and the tightening of the arteries, which leads to poor circulation. If less blood and oxygen reach the heart, the risk of coronary heart disease increases. However, ensuring proper nutrition is a natural way to increase blood flow. Healthy foods are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, flavanols, and other nutrients that widen blood vessels, strengthen capillary walls, and increase circulation.

Eating nutrient-rich meals is not the only way older adults can boost their wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Fort Myers, FL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at 239.449.4701 today.