How Your Nutrition Needs Change as You Age

by Jeff Cans
middle aged man who uses Progentra eating healthy meal

Changing your diet to a healthy diet is extremely important as you age. Age can cause a number of changes in your body, both good and bad. When it comes to the bad, there are many ways that you can prevent, or at least hold off, some of the changes that negatively affect you. This article will help you to become aware of some of these changes and how you can help prevent them.

Some Little Things That Can Create Big Problems.

As you age you become more susceptible to many things including less stomach acid, muscle loss, and thinner skin. These can all lead to nutrient deficiencies. For example, once you start to experience lower levels of stomach acid, you can start to lose the absorption of some vital nutrients. These nutrients can include, B12, iron, magnesium, and calcium. They can also affect your senses. This can be especially jarring as we age, as we are so used to our senses that once they start to leave, our quality of life can lessen. Do not worry, as there are many things that you can do to prevent these things, just by changing your diet.

You Need Less Calories.

This sounds fantastic right? Yes, you need less calories as you age, but you need more nutrients. This can be a hard balance to find as we age. Everyone’s body needs a different amount of calories and nutrients based of off various factors like height, weight, activity levels, and much more. You need less calories as you age because you tend to have less muscle mass and tend to be very active less often. As you age, if you continue to eat as much as you did when you were younger, you will add on extra weight. Extra weight is really hard on people as they get older. It can affect their joints and make you more susceptible to various conditions and diseases.

man holding salad bowlWhile you are looking for that sweet balance between needing less calories, but more nutrients, you will find that it is not as hard as it seems. If you start eating more whole foods like your fruits and vegetables, you will find that you are eating the needed amount of calories and getting enough nutrients. The healthier your diet is now, the easier it will be for you to find that balance as you age. Remember that as we age, there are some nutrients that become very important to incorporate into our lives. These include, protein, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

You Need More Protein.

What may be surprising is the fact that you need protein. You would think that as you age, you need less protein as you are less likely to be as active as you were when you were young. The truth is, you need more protein as you lose muscle mass and your strength as you age. If you are able to add more healthy protein into your diet when you are young, they benefit you as you age.

Proteins can be found in many things. You can find healthy proteins in lean beef, fish, and poultry. You can even find proteins in many non-meat foods. For example, many nuts contain a lot of protein. Almonds are some of the best sources of non-meat proteins. You can also find protein in many fruits and vegetables. Although it may not be as much as nuts or meats, most fruits and vegetable contain a healthy amount of protein in them.

You Need More Fiber.

I feel as if everyone has a general idea about this, since every elderly person in parodies eat prunes and other fiber rich foods. This is something that is actually true, but you don’t have to only eat prunes. As we age, we need more fiber in our diets. Since you tend to move less, especially when you are over 65 years of age, you tend to have a harder time processing foods. By adding more fiber to your diet, you will be better able to process foods as you get older.

High fiber diets can also help to prevent various conditions and diseases. High fiber diets can help to prevent diverticular disease. This can affect your colon and cause it to become inflamed or even infected. There have been studies that show that the higher your diet is in fiber, the less likely you will be to contract diseases like diverticular disease and many others.

You Need Vitamin D and Calcium.

vitamin D and calcium food sourcesThese are both very important nutrients for any age. They are the primary nutrients for bone health. Although we need these nutrients through our whole lives, it is very important to make sure you are getting enough of these nutrients as you age. As we age, it gets harder to absorb these nutrients. Plus, your diet tends to lack these nutrients. Also, your body will be less likely to produce enough vitamin D. These two things correlate and this is why they have been put into the same section. Once your body begins to produce less vitamin D naturally, it will become harder for you to properly absorb calcium.

As your body begins to produce less vitamin D and absorb less calcium, it puts you at a higher risk for fractures and bone loss. There are many foods out there that you can add to your diet so that you can get enough of these nutrients. The more dairy products that you incorporate, if you can, the better it will be for you in the long run. You should also try to incorporate more leafy vegetables into your diet. You can also find vitamin D in fish like salmon. If you are still struggling as you age, remember that there are vitamin D supplements out there too.

What Else Do You Need As You Age?

There are many different nutrients that you need throughout your life and as you age. The following are some of the other nutrients that you can start incorporating now, to help you in the future.

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin B12
  • Water (stay hydrated!)

All of these are great for you and can benefit you no matter what stage of your life that you are in.


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