Nutrition for older, physically active people is key to maintaining wellness and proper body function. Here are some rules to follow to stay healthy.
Physically active people need to make sure that they regularly supply their bodies with lost water. This rule especially applies to active seniors, as their body has an increased demand. As we age, the human body loses the ability to conserve water, so older people may feel thirsty somewhat less frequently. For this reason, they should pay even more attention to their fluid intake. After every workout, walk or any other activity, seniors should replenish their body’s water levels. It is estimated that people over the age of 60 should take in 2 to even 3 liters of fluids per day. In addition to water, you can also drink other healthy beverages. Herbal infusions, green tea, natural fruit juices, milkshakes or vegetable soups work well. For seniors, adequate water helps the digestive system and improves kidney function.
As we age, metabolism and the proper functioning of the digestive system deteriorates. This is manifested by abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, a feeling of tightness in the abdomen, and a decreased appetite. The consumption of high-fiber foods can help prevent these symptoms. The nutrient also supports heart function and reduces the risk of nervous system disorders. Physical activity helps the metabolism in seniors, but it is not sufficient. The inclusion of dietary fiber in the diet can significantly improve bowel function and protect the body from unwanted disorders. Whole grains, such as pasta, bread, flour, brown rice, avocados, bananas, blueberries, nuts, and corn, provide the most nutrition.
Seniors who are physically active should also make sure to minimize salt in their diet because it flushes salt out of the body. Taste also deteriorates with age, so it’s a good idea to replace salt with fresh herbs and spices that will give dishes an equally distinct flavor. Curry, turmeric, garlic, basil or rosemary will be a great choice. Excessive salt consumption in old age, can lead to elevated blood pressure and ultimately increase the risk of heart disease or stroke or heart attack.
It’s also a good idea to eliminate saturated fats, which are harmful to the body, from the diet of an active senior. In addition to affecting organ function, fatty acids also raise cholesterol levels, increase the risk of atherosclerosis and build up body fat, increasing body weight. Unhealthy fats can easily be replaced with beneficial monounsaturated fats, which help prevent inflammation, significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and do not affect cholesterol levels. The healthiest nutrient for an active senior is omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in olive oil, nuts, avocados, fish (tuna, mackerel), as well as flax seeds and canola oil.
Balancing your diet also means regularly providing your body with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs. Seniors who are physically active should prioritize vitamin D supplementation, which supports the immune system, strengthens bones, and improves brain function. Equally important in a senior’s diet is vitamin A, which is responsible for improving vision, strengthening liver function, and proper hormonal function. When deciding on physical activity in old age, it is also worth taking care of supplementation of vitamins C, B12 and E.
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