Good Nutrition Practices to Help Prevent Muscle Loss
Every little thing, good or bad, we do in our lifetime, changes us. Especially when it concerns how well we upheld our nutritional practice. The reason being, as we reach our senior years, our body’s processes slow down and bad nutrition practices can cause malnutrition and early onset of muscle loss. It is never too early to take care of yourself, even as early as your late 30s, to prevent muscle loss.1, 3 Changing habits to choose higher quality food, especially protein (get extra help from nutritional supplements like Ensure Gold) and taking Medical Professional’s advice seriously can help improve overall health.1, 8
Nutrition and 6 Sense of Beings
A factor that contributes to a senior’s malnutrition can be from changing of taste, lesser sense of smell, poor dental health (affecting chewing), long term medications, chronic illnesses, and overly restrictive diets. When malnutrition is prolonged, it can aggravate preexisting conditions or cause additional problems like vision loss, hearing loss (causes balance issues with less awareness of surroundings)4, poor wound healing, lesser stamina, and fall risks.3, 5
3 Good Practices for External (Knowledge, Mental Health, Finding Help)
The first step is knowledge and understanding what malnutrition is and is not will help you detect in yourself or your loved ones. Even if someone does not look sickly, they may not be eating the necessary nutrients and eating more food is not always the answer. Check in on your loved ones often and if you are a senior yourself, never feel troubled to ask for help. Consult health care providers and talk about loneliness and other issues as mental health can contribute to malnutrition.3, 5
3 Good Practices for Within (Exercise, Food, Supplements)
Lack of taste? You may be deficient in zinc as it is responsible for supporting the tongue to brain communication. Zinc is fortunately found plenty in mollusks, red meat, almonds, beans and enriched nutritional supplements.6 To get the most nutrients when eating, rich foods (e.g. cakes, cheesy dishes, fatty dishes, etc.) should be eaten in moderation and instead reach for vegetable sticks or cubed fruit for snacks. Calories wise, seniors should get about 1,800 calories per day, which can deviate lesser or more depending on starting health.1, 2
One nutrient that is essential for muscle loss prevention is protein and seniors need twice the quality and quantity to make up for less efficient processing. Quality sources are your typical milk, yogurt, fish, eggs, meat, and chicken. To help top off nutrients when food alone is not enough, nutritional supplements are always an option. Especially ENSURE GOLD, scientifically formulated to help deliver complete and balanced nutrition. Rated No. 1 Physician Recommended Oral Nutritional Supplement in the U.S.9, Ensure Gold is formulated with high-quality proteins, HMB (β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyric, a metabolite of amino acid leucine), and 28 vitamins and minerals (12 of which help supports immunity, including ß-carotene, vitamins E, zinc & selenium10).
Your overall health, muscle loss prevention, and your immunity can be supported by good nutrition practices. Never feel troubled to ask for help, eat right, sleep right, and have Ensure Gold (2 servings of Ensure Gold a day at 6 scoops and 185 ml of water per serving) along the way to help support strength, vitality, and activity. Milk based proteins and the aroma of milk not your favorite? Ensure Gold Plant Based, made with soy, rice, and quinoa plant based proteins, is now available. With the same scientific formulation of collection of 28 vitamins and minerals and HMB, non-milk drinkers can strengthen their nutrition foundation and live life well in the years to come.7, 8
To get a sample of either Ensure Gold or Ensure Gold Plant Based, please visit Ensure Myanmar to sign up.
- IQVIA, using the ProVoice Survey, fielded 14,459 physicians from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
- Ensure Gold contains protein, Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, Folate and selenium, copper, zinc and iron, that help support the normal function of the immune system.
Why paying attention to muscle strength is important as we age
Muscle strength gives us the mobility to accomplish everyday tasks but we tend to think that it is only for body building purposes. Basic movements such as bending, lifting, and walking, in fact, utilizes major muscle groups which is why how we develop muscle strength matters as we age.
Here, we break down why our muscles are important and why developing muscle strength is crucial as we age.1
Everything is muscle powered
We have over 600 muscles in the body and each of our movement–including breathing– is supported by our muscles. Engaging in strength or resistance training does not require a complicated exercise regime or many hours in the gym. Activities such as stretching before getting out of bed, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, a half hour or brisk walking per day, and drinking plenty of water can maintain muscle mobility.1
When does muscle loss happen?
Due to other preoccupations in your life, taking proper care of your muscles may not be a priority. It may not seem much at first, but from 40 years on, we gradually lose up to 8 percent of our muscle every decade. We do not pay enough attention to the loss until we have to get treated for the problems like weak legs, painful joints, and loss of grip.1
Depending on your level of daily physical activity, you will notice that you can no longer physically enjoy the activities you did in your 30s. Since your body has to expend more energy to keep up, you will feel more exhausted than usual. Having difficulty getting up from a chair, dropping items, out of breath after a short walk, frequent falls, and slow recovery are all warning signs of muscle loss. Once you start experiencing any combination of these things, it is a chain reaction and it will make you more likely to get injured again.1
How Good Nutrition can help
Muscle and strength loss as you age is not an inevitability. Its gradual loss can be slowed down.
Along with a simple exercise regimen, a well-balanced nutrition can help our bodies maintain and rebuild muscle. Try including these nutrients:
- Protein: It improves body tissue building rate. Seniors need twice as much protein as young adults, so not getting enough can cause our bodies to break down our own muscles to get it, which increases muscle loss rate. Protein source: poultry, eggs, beans, and meats.
- Vitamins: A variety supports muscle strength and density
- Zinc: helps the body produce testosterone to aid recovery from exercise and for heart health
- Magnesium: helps with muscle contraction. A deficiency can cause fatigue and cramps
- HMB (Hydroxymethylbutyrate): a metabolite of leucine supports muscle health. To get the best daily serving of HMB, enjoy Ensure Gold at 1 or 2 servings a day. Complete with 28 vitamins and minerals, Ensure Gold provides balanced nutrition to support muscle health as you age.2
If diet alone does not improve how you feel, a little more rigorous exercise routine may be required on top of it. Add weight training, resistance training, yoga, or aerobics to improve muscles and mobility. Within half of a year of any proper exercise regime added, you might gain back more than seven years of lost muscle. Make the right choices early to live a great life as you age.
Lifestyle Tips to Strengthen Senior Immunity
When it comes to fighting viruses and infections, everyday precautions such as washing one’s hands and eating a balanced diet are key. Experts say that boosting the immune system also gives a person at an advantage in staying healthy. 1
Keeping the immune system strong is especially important to senior adults. As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. Although some people do age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases. This is the reason why it is significant for elderly adults to keep their immune system strong. 2
Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost one’s immune system? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a strong immune response?
Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies. 2
Here are lifestyle tips to strengthen the immune system among seniors.3
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
Eating nutritious foods of many different colours is key component in maintaining a healthy body and mind. It’s important in ensuring proper organ function, especially as you age. From your heart to your kidneys, a well-balanced diet packed with vitamins and nutrients is critical to help keep your organs running smoothly. Proper nutrition even plays a key role in maintaining our immunity. Don’t forget to stay hydrated with plenty of fluids – water is best.3
Keep the body and muscles healthy and strong with regular, moderate-intensity exercise. It’s not just for our body, but also for a strong mind and overall mood.3
- Get enough sleep.
Sleep helps restore the body and mind and is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. In fact, not getting enough sleep can have several negative effects on our health – impacting our mood and concentration, even contributing to problems such as heart disease and diabetes. But many of us struggle to get enough quality sleep, whether because of our busy life or because we are experiencing sleep problems. 3
- For an easy and healthy addition, enjoy Ensure every day
To help support you get 28 essential vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and selenium. It also contains HMB and protein to To protect you against muscle loss. This can be particularly helpful if you are not getting all the nutrition you need from your diet. 3
The immune system keeps the body healthy by fighting harmful foreign substances like bacteria, viruses, fungi and cancer cells. It is a complex network of blood cells and bodily organs including lymph nodes which are glands that harbor, then release, specialized white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymph and blood vessels transport the infection-fighting lymphocytes throughout the body. 1
As people get older, their immune system ages with them. There’s even a medical term for it: immunosenescence or the gradual decrease in immune function that comes with age. Similar to your walking or running speed, the body’s ability to fight off infection inevitably slows. 1
This is the reason why strengthening one’s immune system and proactively keeping it as healthy as possible is important as people age. 1
Because the immune system is not as robust as it used to be among seniors, it takes longer for their bodies to detect an infection, all the more ward it off. The body starts losing the race between bacteria or viruses. Infections are more severe and more of a threat than when you were younger, and you recover from them more slowly. 1
What seniors should do
Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Avoiding obesity and keeping chronic conditions like diabetes under control reduces immune-system stress.2
If you suspect your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs — maybe, for instance, you don’t like vegetables — taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits, beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system. Supplements like Ensure offers a balanced diet of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients like protein will benefit overall health plus HMB and protein to help rebuild muscle and strength to keep you aging strong and healthy.1,3
Getting vaccinated is the first line of defense against common infections such as flu and pneumonia among senior adults. Getting adult vaccinations according to recommendations is the best way to protect seniors from infectious diseases.1
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves a person’s cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.2
Wound Healing and Immunity in Seniors with Tips to Speed it up
Aging, for better or not as good as you used to in your youth, things become slower. The internal changes are what you feel, but on the skin is what other people see. As you get older, the skin will thin and become predisposed to injury. Also if a senior has chronic diseases, some sort of blood ailment, and malnutrition can add to the slowing of the healing process. Because immune cells are at the top of list responsible for healing, you want to do everything you can to support them.3
Diet and Exercise to improve immunity and support wound healing
If the cells and systems do not have the necessary nutrients for repair and growth, healing may be impared and lead to infections if the wounds are open for long. It is also common for wounds to heal slower and even get injured more often if a senior has Diabetes. Diabetic seniors can develop numbness and pain in the lower legs and feet that make it difficult to feel an injury. With a decreased blood flow in a diabetic, the cells that help heal a wound will not work properly. Including high blood sugar, peripheral blood circulation is often obstructed in diabetes by preventing cells such as platelets and monocytes from entering the wound. With exercising to get the blood flowing, it takes pressure off the wounds, and that combined with a healthy diet that includes protein, key nutrients in healing, and amino acids help rebuild skin and body tissue.1, 2, 3
Offloading, Supplements, and Prevention for better wound healing
Bedsores are common in seniors if they have been imboble for a long time. That pressure cuts off blood flow to the soft tissues on top of the bones. First by taking care of the physical aspect, keep pressure off the wound to get blood flowing back to the area. Depending on the wound location, stand or walk, lie down on your side or stomach, and turn every couple of hours to reduce the risk of developing another wound. If there are any open sores or injuries, get it cleaned, dressed, and medicated to create a moist, healthy environment in the wound and promote healing. For the internal, you can start by taking a combination of supplements, doctor recommended medications, and nutrition to improve cell function and immunity for better healing. Top picks are Vitamin C and zinc because they enable cells to multiply. Is it the same for both male and female seniors? The principle is the same, but for specifics, women need about 46 grams of protein per day versus men needing 56 grams. Includes a wide variety of vegetables, some fruit, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods.2, 3
Eat right, move often, avoid unnecessary stressors, get chronic conditions under control, treat your diabetes and a bit of vigilance will help not only boost immunity, it all aids in wound healing.
Why a strong immune system is key to successful aging
It is not about living a very long life, but it is about living a healthy one and aging gracefully. In some Asian cultures, we wish that we live a very long life, but is it not more beneficial to wish for a healthy one where you have the physical and mental health to enjoy it? That is why a strong immune system for seniors is the key to successful aging.1
What is actually happening to your immune system as you age?
There is no specific thing that you can pinpoint that causes the degradation of immunity, but is a collective of reasons. Feeling that you take longer to recover from an illness or muscles hurt from just doing simple tasks, it happens for every senior at a different rate. The T-Cells, responsible for attacking other illness-causing cells, are produced at a lower rate when you age. It still works pretty well at defending illnesses that you have already experienced, but the new ones are the real problems. Also as every other part of your bodily function slows down, your body also produces less White Blood Cells. Because of that your healing is affected. The antibodies become less able to attach so illnesses like pneumonia, influenza, infective endocarditis, and tetanus are more common among seniors. This also has an effect where vaccines become less effective so if a senior wants to improve their immunity, they may need to get booster shots.2
For successful aging Seniors must be on top of their health
Part of successful aging is keeping your regular ailments in check. If you are overweight, look to getting back to a healthy weight appropriate for your age and body type because excess fat in the stomach area causes inflammation, which leads to tissue breakdown and impairment of the immune system. Not only keeping your weight in check will help your overall healthy on the good side, the process of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables can boost your body’s antioxidant levels.3
A key to successful aging is cutting out your vices
Do you have a smoking habit or enjoy a night out often as much as you did in your youth with plenty of libations? It is suggested that you quit as soon as possible because they both have a negative influence on your immunity. Smoking destroys antioxidants in your blood and increases lung inflammation which makes the antibodies in your blood concentrate on fixing that instead of fighting off other harmful things in the body. And ontop of smoking, drinking in large amounts, it does not have to be chronic, also destroys immune cells and healthy bacteria in the gut. This can affect the quality of life of a senior because the gut is responsible for the majority of the immune system as a whole. With an already slower immunal response, there is no need for further impairment of it.3, 4
As more areas of your body and mind develop as you age, so does your immunity. Depending on circumstances, you might not feel you bounce back as well as you did in your youth from illnesses. Why does immunity change as you age? Here are Five reasons why seniors will want to improve their immunity.
- Because it is inevitable
You will want to work on improving your immune system because it becomes slower to respond as you age. You may develop an autoimmune disorder, depending on genetics and lifestyle. Because you have fewer active immune cells, your injuries will heal slower and thus increase recovery periods. To do this, stay up to date on vaccines, get physical, eat healthy, quite your vices, and set up your living space to aid you. And most importantly, communicate with them and encourage them to communicate with others because mental health is also affected in aging.1,
- Because of hormones and unmanaged chronic conditions
You will need all that you can to keep yourself healthy. Hormonal changes affect sleep quality in a senior, and if they don’t have good sleep, their immunity T-Cells will not function properly. You will want to manage your immune system because as it is already affected by natural aging, you might have other complications that could make it go out faster. If you have Diabetes, hypertension, and other respiratory ailments, immunity gives that extra layer of protection from potential infections that can make side effects from those issues.2,
- Because you maybe already recovering from something major
Management is always better than finding a cure in later stages. As your body has less defence against pathogens, it is of no question to want to improve your immunity. First step is to limit contact with other people besides the primary caregiver. Sanitation of surfaces and commonly used items helps a senior not get infected and the caregiver to not potentially spread it to others. But all in all, remember to make situations less stressful because less stress equals balance which equals better healing.3,
- Because insufficient nutrition makes the body work overdrive
To improve immunity in older adults, good nutrition is one of them. An underlying reason sometimes seniors have issues because they are not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals. You might want to improve the immunity within a senior because in an already weakened system, bad nutrition can make the immune system work harder and increase vulnerability to free radicals. Vitamin C with fruit or veggies, Vitamin E from nuts and leafy greens, and Zinc from shellfish or whole grains or beans. Besure to include carrots, tomatoes, squash, plums, and mangoes for Carotenoids. If you feel that you as a senior or the senior you are providing care for is not getting the nutrients that they need, you can use the help of supplementary nutrition. Supplementary nutrition can be found with Ensure Gold, now with HMB, 28 vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D and Calcium. 3, 4
- Because ineffective immunity leads to loss of mobility
Physical activity has often been linked to overall wellness. If a senior is recently coming off of a major illness or other chronic conditions, they may become more dependent on others for daily life. So if you use nutrition, mental health assistance, medication, and help instilling good sleeping habits, a senior’s general immunity may improve, thus giving them back their independence. Better health equals more independence, more mobility equals better health. Walking, swimming, yoga, water aerobics, and cycling are just some of the many ways older adults can do.3