Health Tips for Ageing Persons
A nutritious diet with the right balance of all macro and micro nutrients helps to keep the body healthy and fight diseases. Protein intake in particular should be adequate for old people as proteins contribute to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar levels and maintain bone health. It is therefore important for ageing persons to check vital parameters such as blood pressure, and sugar levels regularly.
Getting adequate nutrients from food becomes tougher as a person ages because the body becomes less efficient in absorbing nutrients. The body may fall short of several key nutrients whose levels need to be monitored. Such nutrients may need to be supplemented in addition to the diet after talking to a healthcare professional. The table below shows some of the essential nutrients, their function in old age and their dietary sources.
|Nutrient||Function in Old Age||Dietary Source|
|Vit B12||Healthy nerve function||Milk products, fish, egg, poultry|
|Vit B9 (folate)||Prevents Anaemia||Fruits and vegetables|
|Calcium||Deficiency leads to brittle bones and increases the risk of fractures||Milk and yoghurt|
|Vit D||Aids in calcium absorption and prevents osteoporosis. Also helps in protecting against cancer, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases.||Oily fish|
|Potassium||Reduces high blood pressure and prevents kidney stones||Fruits and vegetables|
|Magnesium||Contributes to cardiovascular health and bone health||Whole grains, fruits and vegetables|
|Fiber||Healthy digestion and gut health||Whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables|
It is equally important for ageing persons to maintain a healthy lifestyle:
- Exercise regularly. Thirty minutes of moderate activity a day like walking to the supermarket, or walking the dog can increase longevity.
- Avoid smoking, drugs and alcohol. Quitting smoking improves circulation and blood pressure, and drastically reduces the risk of developing cancer.
- Minimize exposure to toxins in the environment. Apart from staying away from polluted places, it is wise to cut down the excess use of pesticides, insecticides, room fresheners, cleaning and personal care products. These products may contain chemicals and toxins that hasten the process of ageing.
- Get good sleep to improve immunity, lower stress levels and improve mental health.
- Stay mentally active by doing simple mental exercises like recalling phone numbers, remembering grocery lists or solving newspaper puzzles.
For ageing persons, it is imperative to be in touch with a good healthcare practitioner who is abreast with the latest medical trends and who is also attached to a well-equipped health care facility.