6 Vital Nutrition Tips for Your Elderly Parents
As people age, their diets may need to change, especially if their diets are not well-balanced. Generally, doctors will recommend a well-balanced diet for elders, meaning that they should eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains to maintain and improve overall health. According to Ruth Frechman, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, in addition to eating a healthful variety of foods, there are specific things a caregiver can incorporate into their parent's diet to boost his or her health.
Prepare meals rich in these nutrients
- Omega 3 fatty acids
The acids have been proven to reduce inflammation, which can cause heart disease, cancer and arthritis. They can be found in many different types of fish and in flaxseed oil. Your parent should have foods rich in this nutrient twice per week. If this is impossible, check with their doctor to see if an Omega 3 supplement would be beneficial.
- Calcium and Vitamin D
The need for calcium and vitamin D increases as people age. This is primarily to preserve bone health. One added benefit of calcium is that it helps to lower blood pressure. Adults over the age of 50 need at least 1200 milligrams per day of the nutrient – equal to about four cups of milk per day. Many people find it challenging to consume this much calcium per day by eating and drinking, so check with your parent's doctor to see if he or she should take a calcium supplement.