Changes in nutritional needs as you age – VnExpress

As the body ages, the body needs fewer calories and iron, but should increase the amount of calcium, vitamins B12, D, and protein to maintain flexibility and clarity.

Aging leads to a series of changes including loss of muscle, thinner skin…. These changes are related to changing nutritional needs. Accordingly, meeting enough nutrients is essential for a healthy aging process Livestrong.

Need less calories, more nutrients

A person’s daily calorie requirement depends on height, weight, muscle mass, activity level, and several other factors. Older adults may need fewer calories because they move less, exercise, and lose muscle mass. If you eat the same number of calories a day as you did when you were younger, you can easily gain extra fat, especially around the belly area.

This is true in postmenopausal women. Because the decline in estrogen levels during this time can promote belly fat storage. However, although older adults need fewer calories, they also need some nutrients at high levels. Nutrients that become important as the body ages include protein, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12.

In order for the body to get enough nutrients, the elderly should prioritize whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and lean meat. These healthy foods can help combat nutrient deficiencies, not increase your waistline.

Need some iron

After menopause, you will need less iron. Because when the body no longer loses blood during the monthly menstrual period, the amount of iron circulating will be more stable. However, some older people may be more susceptible to iron deficiency due to problems with absorption or decreased appetite.

Each person should talk to a doctor or dietitian about the foods to eat. Regular diet with green vegetables will help replenish the lost iron.

Equipping the body with nutritional knowledge helps the body go through a healthy aging process. Photo: Freepik

Easy to get dehydrated

According to the Cleveland Clinic, drinking enough water is essential for the body to function properly, to help keep joints lubricated, and to regulate body temperature. Dehydration is one of the common causes of hospitalization in the elderly that can pose health risks.

Dehydration occurs in the elderly for many reasons such as: less sensitive to thirst; tend to drink less fluids to reduce the number of bowel movements, to deal with movement problems or urinary incontinence; fluid restriction due to various health conditions such as heart failure.

Nutrition experts recommend, elderly people should drink water regularly as soon as the body does not feel thirsty.

Reduce cravings

One worrisome concern for the elderly is decreased appetite. This can lead to unintended weight loss and nutritional deficiencies. Anorexia is also associated with poor health and a higher risk of death.

Factors that can cause older adults to lose their appetite include: changes in hormones, taste and smell, and changes in life circumstances. In addition, other causes of the condition can be mentioned such as tooth loss, loneliness, pre-existing medical conditions, use of drugs.

If you find it difficult to tolerate large meals, each person should try dividing meals into smaller portions, eating them every few hours. Older adults try to form the habit of eating healthy snacks like almonds, yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs. These foods provide many nutrients, a good amount of calories.

Reduced absorption of certain nutrients

As we age, our ability to absorb and use certain nutrients becomes less efficient. Because the body produces less digestible substances. For example, older people may have problems absorbing vitamin B12 due to reduced acidity in the stomach. In addition, some medications change the way nutrients are absorbed or metabolized. For example, anticonvulsants can reduce folate absorption.

To overcome this situation, you need to add the right foods to meet your nutritional needs. In some cases, mixing foods together is a smart way to get the right amount of nutrients. For example, combining iron-containing foods with foods rich in vitamin C can help increase iron absorption.

Le Nguyen


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