For older adults, eating right provides numerous benefits, including improved mental capacity, better immune function, more energy, and faster recovery times from illnesses. Good nutrition keeps the body healthy and strong, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, bone loss, and diabetes. Good nutrition also helps keep the mind sharp and can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. And a wholesome diet provides more energy and improves mood and self-esteem. Here’s a short guide to nutrition for older people:
Women over the age of fifty who are not very active need about 1600 calories a day. That number goes up to about 1800 calories for somewhat active women and 2000 calories for very active women. Men who are over 50 need about 2000 calories a day. Men over 50 who are somewhat active need between 2200-2400 calories a day, while very active men need about 2800 calories a day. These numbers depend on height and weight as well, so they should consult with a physician for precise figures.
Foods older persons need
- Fruit whole fruits are preferred to juices, as fiber and vitamins are more available in them. A variety of fruits is important to getting a full complement of vitamins.
- Vegetables at least 2 cups of vegetables daily. Leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in antioxidants and calcium. Again, variety is important.
- Grains whole grains are much better than processed white flour because they have more nutrients and more fiber. Try to select bread, cereal, and pasta that have the words “whole grain” in the ingredient list.
- Protein older adults who don’t have kidney disease or diabetes need a daily serving of about 25 grams of protein per 50 pounds of body weight. Rather than relying only on red meat for protein, try to vary your sources. Fish, legumes and beans, and nuts are all excellent sources of protein.