Nutrients are vital to seniors’ good health


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With our current Craving Companionship program emphasizing the link between mealtimes and socialization, it’s also important to remember that the types of meals we enjoy together – and the ingredients in those meals – are as important as enjoying them with a companion.

Below are a few ingredients vital to your senior loved one’s good health, plus foods in which they can be found:

Calcium: Calcium strengthens bones, which is especially important to seniors who are susceptible to falls. Find calcium in milk products, calcium-fortified orange juice, leafy green vegetables and soy products.

Fiber: Fiber keeps food moving through the digestive track, and some types of fiber even reduce cholesterol. Fiber can be found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and beans and legumes.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, but our bodies’ ability to make Vitamin D on its own decreases as we age. In order to ensure your senior is getting enough, suggest Vitamin D-fortified yogurt, soy beverages such as shakes or soy milk, or orange juice.

Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 helps keep our nerves and blood cells healthy. However, aging bodies have a difficult time absorbing B12. Some seniors may need supplements or injections of B12, although many can instead eat fortified cereals, tofu, meats, and fish or shellfish to get the amount their bodies need.

Lastly, one of the most important “nutrients” for seniors is simple – fluids! Keep in mind that sense of thirst declines as we age, so you may have to provide ongoing encouragement to make sure your senior is getting enough to drink. Water, tea or 100% fruit juice are the best choices.

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