5 Important Nutrients for Aging Adults

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As people get older, nutritious food helps them prevent disease and keep their bodies functioning properly. Here are five nutrients seniors may want to add to their diets. 


1. Calcium 

Several studies have concluded that seniors take in less calcium than they did when they were younger. When the body doesn’t get enough calcium, it extracts this nutrient from the bones, which causes them to become brittle and lose strength. This can lead to weakness, broken bones, and immobility. Foods high in calcium include milk, kale, broccoli, cheese, yogurt, and sardines.

A professional caregiver can be a fantastic source of information on nutrition and how your loved one can live a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. You can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care Frederick to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.


2. Folic Acid

Folic acid is important for pregnant women because it prevents birth defects, and it can be just as important for seniors. Technically a B vitamin, folic acid can prevent anemia and reduce the amount of homocysteine in the blood, which can prevent cardiovascular health problems and diseases. To add more folic acid to their diets, seniors can eat beans, lentils, citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, and avocados. Also, they should consider switching to a breakfast cereal that has added folate.


3. Vitamin D 

To keep diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis at bay, seniors need to increase their vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is a must for maintaining strong, healthy bones, and it also helps the body absorb calcium. Cheese, eggs, beef liver, and fatty fish such as tuna and salmon are all great ways to get vitamin D into the body. The body also absorbs the vitamin from the sun, so seniors should spend some time outside on sunny days.

If your loved one finds it challenging to shop for food or prepare nutritious meals, consider adding a professional caregiver to your family’s caregiving team. In Frederick, elderly 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 Assisting Hands Home Care are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


4. Fiber 

To maintain a healthy digestive system and prevent heart disease, getting enough fiber in the diet is a must. However, most people only get about half the fiber they need. Seniors can increase their intake by adding plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to their diets. Fiber-rich foods include broccoli, artichokes, raspberries, blackberries, pears, avocados, peas, beans, lentils, oatmeal, barley, and whole wheat. Encourage your loved one to drink plenty of water when increasing the fiber in his or her diet to make it work more efficiently.


5. Potassium 

Another way to keep bones strong is to eat more potassium-rich meals. Potassium also lowers blood pressure and may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Most seniors don’t get enough potassium in their diets. If your loved one isn’t getting adequate potassium, add fresh fruits and vegetables to his or her meals, such as potatoes, bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, and mushrooms. Be careful about how you prepare these meals, because boiling fruits and veggies can remove some of their nutrients. 

For older adults who have difficulty preparing meals that meet their nutritional needs, professional home caregivers can be a tremendous asset. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Frederick, live-in care is available around the clock if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Assisting Hands Home Care today.