Thrive Over 60: Nutrition Tips for Seniors
When it comes to aging, there is no “one size fits all” plan. Vitality varies from person to person. However, there are many ways you can help combat some of the health concerns commonly associated with aging.
Most gerontologists agree that the root cause of physiological losses associated with aging, i.e., loss of muscle, skin elasticity, or changes to organ function, result from normal wear and tear to cells that die and are not replaced. Therefore, the effects of cell loss accumulate over time. Though some degree of decline is normal and unavoidable, many individuals may exhibit excellent health well into the “older adult” phase. The Greeks referred to this appearance of vibrancy and youth with age as “agerasia.”
While aging is a normal process reserved for the lucky, the following recommendations are simple ways to help you maintain your youthful energy and health—agerasia—into your 60s, and beyond.
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is important at any age, but it is particularly key for older adults. Older individuals tend to retain less water than younger people, mostly due to decreased lean body mass, though also related to decreased fluid intakes or a decline in kidney function. This factor may increase your risk of chronic dehydration.
The average person requires roughly 1 milliliter of fluids for every calorie consumed. Therefore, if you consume an average of 1,800 calories daily, you require around 1,800 milliliters, or 60 ounces, of fluids.
Concerned about coffee? A study in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics has concluded that daily coffee intake as part of a normal lifestyle is not associated with dehydration. Furthermore, current research suggests that regular coffee consumption may protect against cognitive impairment and decline later in life. This being said, it is good to keep in mind that water is the gold standard for hydration, and should make up a majority of fluid intake.
Aim to consume the majority of your daily fluids as pure water, though feel free to continue—or even consider taking up—your own daily coffee routine.
2. Keep Moving
The USDA recommends adults at any age should get at least 250 minutes of exercise each week. This can include gentle activities, such as yoga, walking, or swimming, which are also beneficial because they minimize the impact to your joints. Some types of weight-bearing activity—like weight lifting, dancing, step aerobics, or basketball—may also help preserve lean muscle mass.
3. Focus on Protein
Our body composition changes with age. Aging is associated with an increase in total body fat, as well as a shift of that fat distribution. An older individual has higher total body fat and visceral fat (fat surrounding the organs). While routine physical activity may help lessen this shift, some degree of change is inevitable. To some extent, a small increase in overall fat may be healthy. Think of it this way- if …read more
Source: Deepak Chopra