What is the role of nutrition in healthy aging?
"Micro- and macronutrients of nutrition contribute to a healthy physiological status. Valuable nutrients and minerals, such as iron, zinc, calcium, and selenium, improve bone density and immune functioning."
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Nutrition provides the necessary body energy, helps to manage bodyweight, and may help to fight diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, osteoporosis, and other non-communicable diseases. Aging is associated with changes such as muscle loss, less stomach acid, thinner skin, and a reduced ability to recognize thirst and hunger, which may make the body prone to deficiencies in vital nutrients and minerals.
It is important to consume whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and fish, especially for older people, as this may help prevent nutrient deficiency.
Vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B12, and proteins are all important as you grow older. Here are some of nutrients that have a positive impact on aging.
More Protein Intake Can Benefit You
It is common to experience sarcopenia - the loss of strength and muscle mass in the body - as you age. Sarcopenia is associated with fractures, poor health, and weakness among the elderly. More protein consumption aids in the prevention of decompensation and weakening of the body. It also helps the body to fully recover from injuries. Consuming more protein facilitates the buildup of more muscles, slows muscle loss, and increases muscle mass. Adding more protein to the diet will play a vital role in fighting age-related strength and muscle loss. Combining exercise with protein-rich food may be of more benefit.
You Can Benefit from Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in healthy aging. It facilitates the formation of DNA, proper nerve functioning, and red blood cell formation. Intake of vitamin B12 helps prevent anemia, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, neurological changes, and constipation. Low levels of vitamin B12 are linked with age-related diseases such as cognitive dysfunction, osteoporosis, dementia, and cardiovascular disease.
Take More Fiber
Aging is associated with health problems such as constipation. Fiber plays a vital role in relieving constipation and improving bowel movements in people with constipation. It also prevents diverticular disease, a condition where pouches on the colon wall become inflamed or infected. This condition affects most elders. Bowen problems, including diverticular disease and constipation, are common as you age.
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More Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D and calcium are the most important nutrients essential for bone health. Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium, while calcium helps in maintaining, strengthening, and building bones. Aging may make the skin thinner, thus reducing the body's ability to make vitamin D, which results in a calcium deficiency. This increases the risk of fractures and promotes bone loss. To counter the effects of aging, consider increasing your intake of vitamin D and calcium to promote healthy aging.
Read also >>> How to get vitamin D without risking excessive sun exposure
Other Essential Nutrients That May Benefit You as You Age:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help to lower the risk of heart disease, which commonly affects the elderly. It also reduces the chances of having high triglycerides and high blood pressure as you age. Omega-3 fatty acids help the body to fight anxiety and stress, improve eye health, promote brain functioning, fight inflammation, and fight against mental disorders in the process of aging.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that protects against deficiencies in the aging immune system, skin elasticity, and cardiovascular function, prevents sun damage, and improves the appearance of acne, dark spots, and wrinkles. It also promotes the production of white blood cells, which help fight diseases by promoting a stable immune response.
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Consumption of foods rich in potassium is linked with a lower risk of kidney stones, hypertension, heart disease, and osteoporosis, which are common in the elderly. It also reduces the risk of strokes by retaining muscle mass and maintaining strong bones, which are part of your anti-aging goals. Consider the intake of adequate potassium to maintain healthy bones and reduce diseases related to aging.
Iron is an important mineral throughout your life for the formation of hemoglobin, a protein that has a vital role in transporting oxygen in the body. Aging may lead to an iron deficiency linked with shortness of breath, dizziness, slowed mental function, feeling tired, cold, and weak, and impaired immune functioning. The elderly may also experience severe complications, such as a high risk of falling and diminished strength. Intake of iron-rich foods helps promote the body's well-being; consider the intake of iron for optimal health as you age.
Magnesium is essential in preventing oxidative stress, limiting the damage of free radicals, fighting signs of aging, and preventing chronic conditions linked with aging. It also plays a major role in reducing wrinkles and fine lines. Aging people require more magnesium, which is vital for energy production, the structural development of bones, the strengthening of bones, and the facilitation of the transportation of calcium to all cell membranes, all of which result in a normal heart rhythm.
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Aging is associated with changes that can make you more susceptible to a lack of various nutrients, such as magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and other vital nutrients. Aging can also affect the sense of taste and smell, limiting the amount of food consumed. Elderly people have more leptin and cholecystokinin, the fullness hormones. Aging may cause poor health outcomes and a decreased quality of life.
You can prevent age-related changes and deficiencies through the consumption of nutrient-rich foods and appropriate supplements that can make the body healthy as you age. Nutrition is all about the intake of a balanced and healthy diet. Drinks and foods give the body the nutrients and energy it needs to stay healthy. Minding what you consume will make it easier for you to make food choices as you age.