In this fast-paced world, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is of utmost importance. The elderly should be extra cautious about their health and should maintain a good diet to minimize the chances of illness. This is so because, with age, people become more susceptible to a number of diseases. Therefore, along with regular exercise, eating full and nutritious meals will help boost energy levels among the elderly.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), older people are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition. Most diseases that they suffer from are the result of dietary factors.
If you have an elderly person in your family and are wondering what food is good for their health then here are 5 foods that you include in the ageing parent’s diet:
1. Fatty fish: Salmon, mackerel and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty fish lower levels of beta-amyloid which is a protein that causes Alzheimer’s, says a study by Tufts University.
Eating these fish helps prevent inflammation which can cause cancer, arthritis, and heart ailments. They also slow down the progression of Macular Degeneration (AMD), a condition that usually leads to poor vision.
2. Yogurt: Dairy products including yogurt, milk, and cheese are rich in calcium which helps make bones stronger.
With age, people tend to consume less calcium. If the body is not getting the right amount of calcium, it starts to reabsorb it from the bones making them fragile. Weak bones may make a person prone to osteoporosis. Yogurt also helps to keep your body cool during summers and prevents you from getting dehydrated.
3. Tomatoes: High in lycopene, tomatoes help protect elderly people against prostate cancer and lowers chances of lung cancer, says a study published in the British Journal of Cancer. Having tomato soup, juice, or making it as one of the ingredients in your daily meal can help keep the body healthy.
Nuts such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts are rich in fibre, protein, magnesium and full of omega-3s which are amazing for heart health. They also keep your vision good even at old age and fight cataract progression. Older people can relish on nuts during their snack time or whenever they crave to munch on something.
We’re all aware of the saying, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. Eating the fruit in old age helps in maintaining blood sugar levels and keeps cholesterol under check. The soluble fibre that apple contains can help lower cholesterol and slow the uptake of glucose. The fruit also provides potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin C.
5. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolates are full of antioxidants. It may also help reduce the chances of heart attack, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of stroke.
Furthermore, since sleep deprivation is an issue with the elderly, a study by researchers from the University of L’Aquila in Italy found that a chemical in chocolate called flavanol can counteract the effects of sleep deprivation and could, therefore, help people with insomnia.
They took care of us when we needed it and it is time we take care of the older ones in the family with just a few of these dietary additions.