Nutrition and Healthy Aging Tips for the Soul

Last modified: August 2, 2019

Richard Honaker M.D.
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Everybody gets older. That’s part of life. Since it’s unavoidable, all you can do is to maintain being healthy so you can age gracefully. Having a balanced diet contributes to healthy aging until you reach 50. The moment you hit that mark, your body’s nutritional requirements start to change. The following are some tips on how you can adjust your balanced diet to truly achieve healthy aging.

Why Your Body’s Nutritional Requirements Change as You Get Older

This happens to everybody. As your body undergoes structural and functional changes when you get older, the changes also increase your needs for specific nutrients. Your body’s capability to absorb and synthesize specific nutrients is also declining.

You may need to deal with some annoying health conditions, and taking medicines like antibiotics that quickly reduce your body of much needed nutrients. As a result, your daily needs for plenty of nutrients rise as you get older. So it’s best that you give healthy aging tips a chance.

Tips for Healthy Aging #1: Your Body Needs More Calcium As You Age

Basic nutrition and aging information state that the thickness and density of your body’s bones usually decline as you age. This results in being more prone to bone fractures. Additionally, your body secretes less stomach acid and this makes it more difficult for your body to absorb all of the calcium that you get from foods that you eat. The suggested calcium intake for elders is around 20 percent more than the needs of younger adults.

Additional tips for healthy aging recommends that you should try to eat foods that are rich in calcium like milk and other dairy products, fish, tofu, and veggies that are in the cabbage family. If you think that you’re not getting enough from food, take some supplements, but only to fill what’s lacking from your recommended calcium intake.

Tips for Healthy Aging #2: You Also Need More Protein and Vitamin D as You Age

Healthy aging tips suggest that your body needs more protein and vitamin D because of lean muscle tissue loss, diminished immune function, and older skin produce less vitamin D even when exposed to sunlight. To counteract these, eat protein-rich foods like eggs, nuts, legumes, fish, meat, and take vitamin D supplements.

Tips for Healthy Aging #3: Aging Adults Have More Nutrient Deficiencies

Aside from the weakened ability to absorb calcium, reduced stomach acid also diminishes your body’s absorption of folate, iron, and vitamins B6 and B12. Your thirst reflex also lessens so you tend to get dehydrated more. To support better nutrition and aging, drink enough water and other fluids daily. Don’t just drink when you feel thirsty.      

Tips for Healthy Aging #4: Your Body Needs Less Calories

This is one of the tips for healthy aging that’s difficult to achieve as you need more nutrients and your metabolism slows down. The solution is to just eat plenty of nutritious foods. Mainly eat whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. Avoid heavily processed foods.

Take multivitamins. Sometimes, folate and iron are absorbed better from supplements. Eat less sweets and salty snacks. Minimize having sweetened drinks as well. As you age, your kidney function declines and you’re more at risk of getting diabetes. Exercising regularly is a great addition to all of the tips listed here.

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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker:

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

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