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12 Changing Needs of Nutrition in Old Age

by Ana

When we get older, our needs of nutrition also changes or they get strict. Some Minerals and Vitamin like B12, becomes more important with time.

Helen Rasmussen PhD, a registered Dietitian at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston says that these suggestions should be carefully applied at different stages of life and it is safe to think about them in 30 years.


Image by : wikimedia

Here are some suggestions for eating in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond

  1. Look for Vitamin B12

    Vitamin B12 is often ignored. It is used for making of Blood Cells and to improve the Mental Cognition, Vitamins B12 go in to the body along with the Proteins gained from the animals like Eggs or Meat.

    Mostly young people, who are not Vegetarians, get these Proteins in their diet, for the body to use B12; it should be dissolved form the Protein. This is more challenging with the age when the level of Stomach Acid decreases.

    B12 is found in the Fortified Cereal and Supplements; it is quickly absorbed by the body in this way. From the age of 50s, you should start getting these types of Fortified Cereals.


    Image by :  wikimedia

  2. Eat more Bananas

    Blood Pressure of an individual normally increases with the age. To fight with this problem and the lower the Stroke and the Heart Attack risk, one should consume less Sodium and more Potassium.

    Many medications of Hypertension tend to increase the process of Urination, which lowers the level of Sodium and Potassium in the body.

    Rasmussen says that both of these are really important for the body but Potassium is needed more than Sodium.

    For attainment of Potassium, go for Fruits and Vegetables. Banana, Broccoli and baked Potatoes are rich in Potassium

  3. Burn Calories

    Rasmussen says that as we get old, the rate of our metabolic system slows down, so that the Calorie intake should fall accordingly.

    We actually don’t need too much things to keep an individual moving. Generally, when people get old, they move less. Extra Calories makes extra Pounds, which increases Heart diseases, Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Diabetes etc

    Rasmussen says that every bite you take, should be full of as many Nutrients as possible.

  4. Add more Spices

    With the increase in age, Saliva and the taste-bud power decreases and lowers pop of food. Don’t try to solve the problem with the problem with the help of Salt shaker. Try to go for other Spices that are free of Sodium. Go for new foods and avoid overcooking of food because it loses flavor. Try to add more Pepper and Spices in food, if you want to have more spices. If you intake excessive spices then try to take more Water and Milk, it lowers the bad effect of excessive spices.

    Spicy Food

    Image by : wikimedia

  5. Drink a lot of Water

    It is believed that with the passage of time, the sense of taste and sensation of thirst decreases and use of some medicines like that of Antihistamines and Blood Pressure can make you feel dehydrate. People using these medicines should take more Water to fulfill the need of liquids in a human body. Dehydration is the most important reason due to which older people dies.

    The Institute of Medicine suggests that women should drink 2.2 Liters or 9 Glasses of Water a day and men should drink 3 Liters or 13 Glasses of Water a day.

    Try to restrict the intake of Coffee, Tea and Alcohol. Coffee and Alcohol can also lead to dehydration.

  6. Take more Calcium

    Calcium is really good for bones and it is found in the dairy products and other products. The expert says that people still take insufficient Calcium. The level of Lactose decreases with the age.

    Adults should take 1,000 Milligrams per day; it level should be 1,200 Milligrams for women over 50 and men over 70.

    Take supplements of Calcium, if you are not taking enough Calcium in your diet. The maximum intake of Calcium should be 2,500 Milligrams per day for adults or 2,000 Milligrams per day if your age is above 50, more than this, the Calcium can cause stones in Kidney and other diseases.

  7. Increase the Intake of Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is required for the body to absorb and properly use the Calcium. This Vitamin can be taken directly from Sun. Sometimes it becomes very difficult to get it depending on the time of the year, where you live and what you eat.

    Fortified foods can also help but it may not be enough for the body’s requirement. Vitamin D is soluble in Fat, Low-fat Milk. Adults should go for 600 International Units a day and it increase to the 800 units after the age of 70.

    Photo by Mowie Kay

    Image by : Flickr

  8. Get Lutein for Clarity

    The vision of older people mostly get blur with age. To save the Eyes from Macular Degeneration or Cataracts, increase the intake of Lutein during middle age.

    According to the researchers, the Nutrients related to the Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A can help in increasing the Cognitive ability.

    Green Vegetables including leafy vegetables such as Spinach and Broccoli are rich in Leutin. Fruits like Grapes, Oranges and Egg Yolks also contain Leutin.

  9. Concentrate on Fiber

    Fiber is mostly found in fruits. These Fibers help in the digestive tract to run smoothly.

    Intake of Fiber is important for the normal Bowel function and may lower the risk of Gastrointestinal Inflammation. It can also lower the Cholesterol and lower the rise in Blood Sugar that occurs in the eating.

    Do not limit your diet to Prunes. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains etc will help.

  10. Restrict the Saturated Fat

    Try to avoid the foods that are high in Saturated Fat, it would be lifelong goal. Try to maximize the Nutrients to Calorie intake.

    Low-fat dairy products like rich in nutrients including Protein, Calcium etc without adding Fat or Calories found in full- fat dairy.

    The Fats present in the diet of older people should be good Fats including Polyunsaturated and Monosaturated Fats.

    It is present in the foods like Soybean and Canola Oil. These Oils are a good source of Vitamin E and K.

  11. Restrict the Unhealthy Carbohydrates

    It is good to limit the use of foods that are rich in Sugar. This rule should be strictly applied, when we get older to keep healthy weight and maintain the Pancreas. The function of Insulin pumping organs gets affected due to Diabetes.  Try to maximize the consumption of good Nutrients per Calorie.

    Refined Carbohydrates like White Bread etc are lower in Vitamins and Fibers. Go for healthy Carbohydrates like Fruits. Cake contains fewer amounts of Carbohydrates.

  12. Consume Supplements

    Food is the best source of Nutrients but it is difficult to get the required amount of all the Nutrients at a time.

    The Nutritionists have formulated the food Pyramid for older people. They also suggest that older people should take supplements of different Nutrients to meet the requirements of Calcium.

    The supplements of Calcium, VitaminB12 and Vitamin D are really important for health. Overconsumption of these supplements can be dangerous for the human body. So, be careful when you are taking these supplements in the daily routine because the risks can be high otherwise. You can also take advice from your doctor about taking Supplements.

    There is a difference in intake of nutrients at different stage of age. Try to plan the intake of nutrients in your life according to the needs of your body. It will really help to make you healthy and fit

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1 comment

Vinay January 18, 2012 - 2:16 am

This is article is very very good and knowledgealbe. It guided me the most.
thank you

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