This week we are going to talk about the importance nutrients as you age. Healthy eating habits is important at any age, but as we become older we have to be more aware because our bodies have different needs. Making sure certain nutrients are incorporated into your diet becomes especially important for good health.
The following nutrients are important to overall health for the aging population.
Fiber – The more fiber you consume the more regular you will be. Fiber is also known to help lower ones risk of diabetes and heart disease. Examples include peas, broccoli, raspberries, avocados, oatmeal, and bran flakes.
Potassium – After the age of 50 your risk for hypertension increases, therefore incorporating more potassium in your diet can help lower this risk. Potassium helps balance the amount of sodium in your body. Having too much sodium in your body is one cause of hypertension. Examples include fruits, vegetables, dairy, and fish.
Vitamin B12 – This nutrient is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. People over the age of 50 should consume vitamin B12 fortified foods. Examples include fortified cereal, lean meat, and seafood.
Fluids – Water is a vital nutrient! Keep in mind that your body is approximately 60% water; therefore water is involved in almost every metabolic process. For example, absorption of nutrients, digestion of food and elimination of toxic metabolic byproducts from the body. Good sources of fluid are milk, juice, and tea. Don’t forget fruits and veggies contain water too!
Calcium – Calcium is important for ones bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Gradual bone loss begins in adulthood and becomes more serious after the age of 50. Calcium is not produced in your body, therefore the amount you have depends on the foods you eat. Examples include milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines, dark leafy greens and cereals that have been fortified.