Several reliable studies conducted by USDA demonstrate that the majority of chronic illnesses in adults over the age of 65 are due to consumption of a poor diet.
Fibre improves gut health, helps fight heart diseases, reduces the chances of getting certain cancers, and controls your blood glucose levels by slowing the breakdown of nutrients. Aside from consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, Kodo millet is a fibre-rich food that can be used as a replacement for rice. You can even use it to make upma and dosas. For a nutritionally dense meal, make a Kodo millet salad with the Super Seven Bean Mix by Conscious Food. Additionally remember to include sprouted beans to your diet as they are easier to digest than dal and they help supplement any meal with protein.
Calcium and Vitamin D needs are higher for adults over the age of 70. Moreover, the absorption of Vitamin B12 usually reduces after 50. To address these needs, elderly people should incorporate the following vitamin-packed foods in their diet:-
- Fenugreek (methi) seeds: Consuming a teaspoon of soaked methi seeds every morning supplements the body with iron, zinc, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and B.
- Black sesame seeds: This is a nutritional source of plant protein and contains essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, iron, and zinc. It can be sprinkled on your salad or could be used to flavour rice.
- Amarnath: This is an ancient gluten-free grain that is packed with fibre, protein, and essential micronutrients. The nutty and crunchy flavour of Amarnath makes it a great ingredient for desserts. It can also be used to make a healthy porridge or a savoury snack with sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds added to yoghurt.
Vitamins and minerals are considered essential because they improve your bone health and immunity, hasten the healing of wounds, and repair cellular damage.
Adequate fluid intake is highly recommended to prevent urinary tract infections and constipation. Fluids include water, soups, juices, and coconut water. You can also prepare lemonade with Conscious Food’s Wild Forest Honey to make it an immunity-boosting, hydrating, and delicious drink. Honey has antioxidant properties and is a healthier alternative to sugar, especially for diabetic patients.
Contrary to popular belief, oil is essential for your body. Cold-pressed oils are packed with healthy fats, contain potent antioxidants, and may promote brain health. Cold-pressed peanut, sunflower, virgin coconut, and mustard oils retain the nutritional values as compared to their refined counterparts that strip them of their nutrition.
Seniors who choose to eat whole grains over wheat have a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. Alternatives to wheat include sprouted ragi atta, split wheat dalia, and sprouted suji which can all be found in the Conscious Food pantry. These alternatives are not only nutritionally dense but are also easy to digest. These grains can replace regular wheat flour in rotis, can be used for breakfast upmas, and as chutney thickeners.
Along with physical health, a balanced diet also improves mental health. For comprehensive wellbeing when you are older, combine a healthy diet with regular exercise that includes walking and stretching.
Written by Siddhi Latey (Weloquent)