Senior Nutrition – Keeping It Real

Senior Nutrition – Keeping It Real

As the body changes, unless a wholesome diet is achieved on a daily basis, it can crave some unhealthy foods, particularly sweets.

Diabetes, high blood pressure, and cognitive challenges are a few results linked to habitual, poor eating choices. Add in weight gain and vices such as alcohol or tobacco and your senior years could be wreaked with some uncomfortable havoc, to say the least.

According to a 2006 Canadian study by the Division of Geriatric Medicine University of Western Ontario and published in ‘Clinical Interventions in Aging’, it was stated that,

“More than other adults, patients over the age of 65 are at nutritional risk because of the greater burden of comorbid illnesses [the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient] coupled with common physiological changes due to aging.”

Readjusting your diet at an early age can be highly beneficial in maintaining an optimal health status. To go into your elder years with a nutritionally advanced track record, the benefits can be highly advantageous.

However, it’s never too late to replace your processed food choices with live produce, legumes, lean fish and many other wise food choices. Keeping it real is a reminder that if it’s processed, it isn’t genuine, life-giving nutrition

Either way, choosing foods that are fresh (organic if possible) and minimally, if at all, cooked or processed means an opportunity to bring a variety of system strengthening compounds into your system.

Go Fish

Eating fresh, free-range, lean, fatty fish about twice per week will give you a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids. This compound has been continually recommended for a variety of many potential health issues, from inflammation to heart disease.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that,

“Fish oil has been shown to lower levels of triglycerides (fats in the blood), and to lower the risk of death, heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heart rhythms in people who have already had a heart attack. Fish oil also appears to help prevent and treat atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by slowing the development of plaque and blood clots, which can clog arteries.”

For those of you that do not eat fish, Omega-3’s can be found in flaxseed (great on cereal), eggs, nuts, avocados, and Neuromins DHA (derived from microalgae).

A Handful of Berries 

Colorful berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries as well as red grapes are a few of nature’s medicinally healing fruits. With high amounts of antioxidants and phytonutrients, a daily handful or more of bright, fresh, non-processed berries and other fruits could stave off a whole list of potential diseases.

One compound found in many of these fruits is anthocyanin. The Linus Pauling Institute describes its benefits,

“There is experimental evidence that certain anthocyanins and flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties, and there are reports that orally administered anthocyanins are beneficial for treating diabetes and ulcers and may have antiviral and antimicrobial activities.”

Keep Your Wits

Loss of memory is a real concern as we age. By incorporating some specific foods it could make a difference.

Some to consider are:

  • Coconut Oil – This nut has the potential to improve memory and cognitive function. According to Natural News, in 2004 “a study published in the journal ‘Neurobiology of Aging’ determined that coconut oil improved cognitive function among older folks with memory problems and even Alzheimer’s disease.”
  • Cocoa – The compounds found in cocoa show “connectivity and, subsequently, blood flow in a region of the brain critical to memory.” (Washington Post 10/26/14) Unfortunately this does not include chocolate which removes these compounds during   processing. Add cocoa to your food in its raw form for the best benefits.
  • Dark Greens, Avocados, Peanut Butter, and Salmon – According to  Martha Clare Morris, ScD, director of the section on nutrition and nutritional epidemiology in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University, in Chicago, dark greens, avocados, peanut butter, and salmon can all improve memory.

When it comes to senior nutrition keeping it real can be the mantra. If your food doesn’t seem real, it probably isn’t.