Changing nutritional needs of seniors
A person’s nutritional requirements change as one ages. What nutrients you needed 20, 10 or 5 years ago might be different from what you need today. This is the reason why adapting your lifestyle, counting fitness and nutrition, to your age is the most important choice to make to keep the body in top shape.1
A few factors that one should consider as one ages are:
Fluid intake is important as one ages, but many older adults neglect meeting their liquid needs in a day. Dehydration has in fact shown to have negative consequences on the elderly’s health including constipation, impaired cognitive function, falling, poor hyperglycaemia in diabetes or hyperthermia. It is thus key to including many sources of fluids everyday into your diet depending on your fluid requirements.1-2
Our metabolism naturally slows down with age hence we burn fewer calories. This also points to the need to decrease one’s caloric intake and keep a regular physical activity. Making smart nutritious choices is essential.1 According to the National Institute for Aging, people over age 50 should include key vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium in their diets.4
Did you know that you lose 8% of your muscle mass every 10 years? Age-related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia, affects adults age 50 and older. This decline in muscle health can contribute to fatigue, losses in strength and energy as well as poor mobility. In fact, a study shows that people can lose a lot of muscle in a short amount of time causing delayed recovery from illness, slow wound healing and reduced quality of life. The catch is to get ahead of muscle loss before it accelerates.1,3
HMB or beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, helps in keeping your muscles in balance by slowing down muscle breakdown. In fact, HMB has been shown to help preserve muscle mass in healthy older adults. HMB, along with maintaining a well-balanced diet rich in protein and exercising regularly, supports the natural balance. Ensure has HMB and protein to help rebuild muscle and strength.1,3
In conclusion, staying active, packing your diet with a variety of nutrients each day, and consciously making the right choices is the key to staying fit and healthy as one ages.