Learn useful tips, tricks and information to help ensure you get the best possible nutrition during the winter months.
In the UK, life expectancy has doubled over the last two decades and currently around 16% of the population is aged 65 or over. It is fantastic that we can all live longer, but there are certain things we have to do to ensure we stay healthy in those later years. Exercise is of course important to maintain strength and cardiovascular health. It is also an important part of staving off obesity, which is prevalent in older people, as is malnutrition.
Malnutrition can be a real danger as you get older and have to work harder to ensure that you get the right vitamins and minerals. During the winter months particularly, it can be tempting to load up on mince pies and high calorie low nutrient foods, but that can create problems that are hard to recover from.
To help maintain good nutrition you might be considering home care services so you have a carer who can help prepare meals – otherwise here are 5 tips for good nutrition as a senior:
1. Eat Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables
The vitamins, minerals and nutritional content of fresh vegetables and fruits are incredible for health. With both fruit and vegetables there is room to blend up fresh smoothies and to cook up fresh soups packed with lots of veggies and goodness. Raw veggies or cut up crunchy fruits can be a really good low calorie snack to maintain energy.
2. Have A Heavy Lunch
Because we naturally get tired as we get older, dinner can be a bit too much and going to bed is more of a priority than eating a whole meal. For that reason, keep something light for dinner and instead make lunch the largest meal of the day. That way you can pack in all the nutrition you need without worrying you won’t be able to finish your food.
3. Drink Plenty
In order for the whole body to work as it should, we need to be hydrated. Drinking enough water can be tricky, so try to focus on high water vegetables and fruits like cucumbers or watermelon. High water meals like soups and smoothies are also a great idea for hydration.
4. Opt For Whole Grain Everything
When it comes to bread, pasta and crackers, whole grains should be your priority. The fibre is so important for your digestive system, and there are a lot more nutrients in the whole grain compared to white flour based goods.
5. Practise Portion Control
It is important to eat nutrient dense, low calorie food in later life so you maintain the nutrient intake you need, but you avoid weight gain.
Do You Need Help Knowing How To Eat Well As A Senior?
If you are unsure how your nutritional needs have changed in later life, consider speaking to your doctor. They can run some blood tests to check if you have any deficiencies and you can base your diet around those needs. If you struggle with nutrition because of a lack of dexterity or mobility in the home, perhaps now is a good time to consider at live-in care. Live-in care is where a qualified carer lives in your home and provides care to you in a bespoke plan decided by your needs. They can help with all different kinds of care and support, all whilst you stay in your own home. Part of their services are ensuring your nutritional needs are met, including creating nutritionally dense meals throughout the day.
You can find out more about how live-in care could help you at the Live-in Care Hub.