As we grow old there are a number of factors which start affecting our body. Immune system becomes weak, muscles start deteriorating and diseases start affecting your body. Growing age changes many conditions and needs of our body. Our system does not perform in similar way it used to when you were young. Hence with growing age, the demands of body in terms of nutrition also changes. These changes can make you prone to nutrient deficiencies if not taken care at the right time. Let us know from expert Ms. Shweta Singh, Paediatric Dietician from Fatima Hospital, Lucknow what relevant changes should be made in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
How Does Aging Affect Nutritional Needs Of The Body?
Aging brings a variety of changes in the body; nutritional demands are also one of them. A large number of people who do not change their diet according to age suffer from atrophic gastritis and causes chronic inflammation in the cells. Wrong diet can lead to acidity more, low stomach acid also affects the absorption rate in the nutrients such as vitamin B12, calcium, iron and magnesium. Dietician says that older adults need to take just as much nutrients as they want, not too much not less. This is because their digestive system and metabolism does not remain very strong after an age, especially after 55-60 years.
Nutritional Changes To Slow Down Aging
1. Take Food with More Nutrients Having Lesser Calories
As you grow, you should opt for food that is high on nutritional ingredients and less in calories. It also depends on the person’s diet, weight and muscle mass. The activity levels reduce as you grow and body does not remain so flexible. Therefore the body is unable to burn certain amount of calories like it used to earlier. Maintain a diet which creates a balance in your nutritional needs and give you enough calories to perform daily activities and exercises.
When this is not followed, people start having a bulge in their lower stomach which you must have notices in many adults. This is because the excessive calories get accumulated there. Nutritional needs are especially important when women have menopause, decline in estrogens promotes more fat in belly area. You should switch to fruits, vegetables, fish and lean meat to stay away from nutrition deficiencies and reduce aging problems.
Also Read- 7 Foods And Drinks To Lose Belly Fat
2. Have More Protein
Most of the adults feel that after a certain age, as they do not indulge in any major workout activities, they do not need as much protein. This is actually not true, dietician says adults and elderly people need comparatively more protein than a regular young person because their muscle mass starts decreasing. Proteins help to build muscle fat and keep muscles healthy which prolongs the health of a person.
Loss of muscle mass and strength is called sarcopenia, change in levels of protein is therefore essential for people above 40 years. It reduces the risk of fractures, poor health conditions and loss of muscle mass.
3. Increase Fibre in Your Diet
Constipation is a very common disease in elderly people and people over 60 years have high probability of having constipation. Fibres actually prevent constipation and gastrulas problems and promote healthy lifestyle. With age metabolism also becomes less efficient, therefore it is important to increase fibre in your diet. This provides regular bowel movements and help stool pass properly. Fibres can prevent you from common aging health issues that of colon, diverticular disease and inflammation. Certainly if you don’t face these issues, your health is prolonged. Have more roti’s than rice, and drink more water.
4. Meet Calcium and Vitamin-D Demands
As mentioned earlier, the muscles and bone density decreases with time. After 30 years of age, the bone density slowly decreases and after 50 it reduces significantly. Therefore to maintain a balance and fulfil the calcium demands of the body it is important to take more calcium in your diet. However it is true that older people are not able to absorb calcium through their diet well. Hence they can get some calcium pills to improve their bone density.
Vitamin-D is mostly present in cholesterol present in your skin, but since skin becomes thinner with age, the vitamin-d demands are not fulfilled. Also cholesterol needs to be controlled in regular diet due to excessive calories. Hence the best way is to get it naturally from sunlight. Food supplements such as leafy vegetables and dairy products also might help.
5. Vitamin B-12
Basically vitamin B-12 is a water soluble vitamin. It increases the production of red-blood cells which help to maintain our health. Aging affects the red blood cells and reduces their production in the body, to fulfil this demand one must find supplementary diets which can improve vitamin B-12 in the body. Fortified food contain crystalline vitamin B-12 which is can be absorbed easily by adults in their body. Rest one can have eggs, fish, meat and dairy products to increase the vitamin B-12 deficiency from occurring.
Nutritional demands of body changes with time. There are many changes with you need to have in your diet as you grow old. By meeting the appropriate demands of the body one can prevent issues regarding to aging and increase their body health. This includes having meals which are high on nutritional values and low on calories, more vitamin-D, vitamin B-12, calcium, protein and fibre. Other than that one must also realise the level of exercise one can do, and maintain his potassium levels in the body. Having more of omega-3 fatty acids is always beneficial to prevent heart problems and magnesium to reduce the risk of age related health issues. Right amount of nutrients can improve the health of the person and reduce aging as well. Consult your dietician for balanced diet and changes in nutritional demands according to your body.
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