We all know that as we grow and age our bodies become older and weaker. Because of this change, elders need more nutrition than they would have needed in the past or they will become malnourished. This can become a very serious and life threatening thing.
There are 9 essential nutrients for the body. They are called; Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, and Niacin. Most seniors lack vitamin D, and Calcium; both of which can be found in milk and yogurt. These vitamins help build up bone strength and prevent bones from becoming weak and frail. There are many other vitamins that seniors may be lacking and there are many reasons why they are not getting enough of all these essential vitamins. One of which is a lack of appetite and not wanting to eat; this can be very detrimental because if a senior does not feel hungry they won't want to eat. At that point, one should try to make the senior excited to eat or serve them their favorite meal because some nutrients are much better than no nutrients.
A lot of seniors fall into patterns of eating, they eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch and dinner; they always have the same routine. This is a problem because they are only getting a limited amount of the nutrition they need and they have zero variety. So get your senior friend and/or family member to step out of their comfort zone and explore different foods which will give them more variety and a balanced lifestyle.
Here are some food options for each of the 9 essential nutrients.
- Calcium: Milk, Yogurt, Broccoli, Cheese.
- Potassium: Avocado, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Coconut water, White Beans, Banana.
- Phosphorus: Organ Meats, Nuts/Seeds, Popcorn, Pretzels.
- Protein: Eggs, Fish (seafood), Pistachio nuts, Pork, Chicken, Turkey.
- Vitamin A: Sweet potato, Dark Leafy Greens, Carrots, Lettuce, Apricots, Fish, Liver.
- Vitamin D: Fatty Fish (Tuna,Salmon), Cheese, Egg yolks.
- Vitamin B12: Shellfish, Red Meats, low fat dairy.
- Riboflavin: Beef Liver, Lamb, Milk, Mushrooms, Spinach, Almonds.
- Niacin: Rice, Liver, Fish (Tuna).