Why Do Seniors Have Different Nutritional Needs?
Having a balanced diet and ensuring you get enough nutrients is essential for all ages to lead a healthy and happy life. However, it is more important for older adults because nutritional requirements tend to change as we age. Studies show that seniors have special nutrient needs, including varying calorie intake, proteins, vitamin-rich foods, and more. Read on to learn what the experts from our independent living facility have to say about nutritional needs and aging.
Changes in Our Bodies as We Age
Changes Affecting the Senses
- Taste – You may notice that because of a decrease in the taste buds, food often tastes more sour or bitter. This is why your desire to consume vegetables and fruits may decrease.
- Reduced Hearing – This may affect your nutrition because the frustration and difficulty from the inability to hold a conversation can limit your food experience.
- Smell – The loss of smell leads to poor choice of foods, causing dissatisfaction and affecting your nutritional levels.
According to the specialists in our independent living facility, your nutritional needs may vary due to physiological changes that may occur in your senior years:
- Energy – Your metabolism and physical activity tend to decrease with age, thus reducing the intake of calories.
- Function – Your body may also experience changes in the nervous system, kidney function, digestive system, and redistribution of body composition.
Other Age-Related Changes
- Gastrointestinal Changes – Constipation, chronic gastritis, and gas may also reduce your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods.
Malnutrition and Vitamin Deficiencies
According to the experts in our Hartford retirement facility, malnutrition is because of nutrient deficiencies or undernutrition. It includes inadequate intake of calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. The following socioeconomic factors may also cause deficiency of nutrients:
- Financial concerns
- Fear of personal safety, affecting your ability to venture out and shop for groceries
- Lack of proper health insurance, which is why malnutrition may go undetected
- Depression or loneliness
- Loss of a spouse, family member, or a friend
Improving Your Nutrition in Senior Years
Focusing on good food habits can help you stay healthy in your senior years. Keep the following in mind to ensure you have a balanced diet and improve your daily intake of nutrients:
- Fruits – 1½ – 2 ½ cups, including different varieties
- Vegetables – 2 – 4 cups, including leafy vegetables
- Grains – 5 – 12 ounces, in the form of cooked rice, whole-grain pasta, cereals, bread, and more
- Dairy Foods – 2 – 3 cups of low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheese
- Protein Foods – 5 – 8 ounces of fish, meat, poultry, tofu, cooked beans, nuts, and peanut butter
- Oils – 5 – 8 teaspoons, as well as foods such as nuts, olives, and avocados
We Provide the Best Senior Retirement Solutions
If you are looking for a place to spend your retired years, The Holiday Retirement is the right choice! We offer independent living homes for seniors with excellent amenities, security measures, and freshly prepared nutritious meals. We have a qualified team to ensure your well-being and cater to your needs.
To learn more about our West Hartford retirement facility for seniors, feel free to reach out to us by calling 860-337-6023. You could also fill out our online form to schedule a tour of our facility.