Top 10 Foods for the Elderly

The following 5 foods are set to assist elderly individuals due to the health benefits that come along with these foods.

  1. YOGHURT – “friendly” bugs to help digestion and calcium to keep bones strong and blood pressure down
  2. FISH – especially salmon and tuna: vitamin B12 and omega-3 fats for healthy blood, joints and eyes
  3. NUTS – fibre, unsaturated fat and vitamin E for a healthy heart, gut and eyes (walnuts, almonds, Brazils)
  4. AVOCADO – monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folate & B6 for a healthy heart, brain, immune system & eyes
  5. ROLLED OATS – soluble fibre and resistant starch for a healthy bowel and to reduce cholesterol, plus iron, zinc, potassium, vitamin E
  6. GREEN TEA – less caffeine and lots of antioxidants
  7. LEGUMES – soluble fibre and resistant starch for a healthy bowel, lower cholesterol and weight control
  8. DARK GREEN VEGETABLES – vitamin A, C, K, folate and antioxidants
  9. BERRIES – sweet treats packed with antioxidants
  10. CITRUS FRUITS – vitamin C and antioxidants

Elderly people with poorer nutrition have a greater likelihood of falling and if they do fall, they are likely to sustain more severe injuries and take longer to recover. Nutritional deficiencies have been found to impact significantly on factors such as gait, balance and mobility. These can all affect a resident’s tendency to fall and result in fractures. Reducing the risk of falls is therefore important and preventable.  Adequate nutrition goes hand in hand when promoting falls prevention. Prevention recommendations include:

  • Nutrition screening on admission to residential aged care facilities
  • Providing residents with well-balanced menus
  • Encourage sufficient intake of calcium through foods such as milk, yoghurt, cheese, fish, shellfish, broccoli, soybeans, tofu and almonds
  • Adequate Vitamin D. Vitamin D is important because it helps the body absorb the calcium in your diet. Vitamin D can be found in supplements and made naturally through getting outdoors in the sun
  • Ensure residents are adequately hydrated
  • Keep blood glucose levels well controlled, again with adequate nutrition

Balance is critical to living a long and fruitful life. A focus on adequate nutrition and hydration can help the elderly stay upright and healthy. The Dietitians at Healthcare 2 You all specialise in aged care nutrition and can provide one on one consults for residents, menu evaluations or education sessions for your team on falls prevention and nutrition.